Thursday, April 01, 2004

Getting to know Him

Comments On 2nd Quarter Lessons 2004: #1

King Salomon said in Ecclesiastes, “…there is nothing new under the sun.” Isaiah presents grievances against Judah that are not new, for their time nor ours. A quick reading of this first chapter will let us see into how far they were from God. It is amazing how much it sounds like our spiritual condition. There is evil and corruption everywhere. The fatherless and the widows are left neglected as they are abused with no one to intercede for them. The people in their guilt think that God can be manipulated by accepting sacrifices, burnt incense, rituals, and the observance of Sabbaths He never ordered. Sounds familiar? Our spiritual condition is no different. Paul predicts our condition in his letter to Timothy:

2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

The Lord reveals to John in Revelation about our times:

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

You ask any Adventist about salvation and they will say, “It is by Faith.” And yet, as you observe them and hear them speak you will see and hear what they truly believe. I would dare say that many of us believe that as long as we do not work our job during the Sabbath hours, do not watch TV nor read the paper, we go to church Saturday morning, pay tithes, and spend the day with other Adventists we are OK. Of course, we will abstain from eating unclean meats. But, a little wine does not hurt. And, when it comes to dating and going to a club or theatre is fine, as long as we do not have sex. Where is God in this picture? Well, He should be happy we at least go to church. What else does He wants? Of course He wants more. He sends His prophets to let us know and reprove us. And we, like the Jews, reject them too. When we reject them we reject God and His invitation. Invitation?

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isaiah accepted this invitation. He tasted the Lord and saw that it was good. And, he wanted his people to also accept God’s invitation. This is the same invitation that the Lord tells John to write for us in Revelation.

Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Beyond, just doing as you are told, God wants you to get to know Him. Spend time with Him, share with Him, and fall in love with Him. You will not regret it. He will cleanse and transform you. Then you will know that you can trust Him. And, because you can trust Him you will believe Him when He says, “you will overcome and be victorious over Sin and death.” You will believe Him when He says “He will reward you with eternal life, in an incorrupt and immortal body, dwelling in a perfect dwelling with God’s throne at the public square.” You will love Him. This is what God wanted from the Jews. This is what God wants from us. It is what He’s always wanted.

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