Tuesday, January 3, 2012
2012: Of judgment, consequences and repentance
The year ahead, 2012, is going to be a landmark year with many things happening--some good, most probably not. We can see in the headlines the first day that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt will not recognize Israel and will work to cancel any peace agreement between the countries. Moreover, America's debt continues to mount, with no end in site and no leadership to curve it. Additionally, Constitutional rights that have been held as the strength of our Republic are eroded by bad legislation and bad government. The state of the Christian church is such that many are so involved with a political gospel or a self indulgent gospel that it resembles a church only in that it carries the title "Christian" in some form.
Often when Christians speak of judgment, they are marginalized, criticized, or worse. Christians these days like to believe that God is this loving daddy that would never dare bring harm unto his wonderful creation. This is not quite scriptural. There are requirements to enter the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven. When we as Christians fall short of those requirements there are consequences. Many of them are just ramifications of our actions; many of them are spiritual. But there are consequences--seen or hidden, they are there. But when we talk of our responsibility in the kingdom of God, most like to wax love all over it and try to believe that the consequences are forgiven. In reality, it is the sin that is forgiven.
The consequences are the result. Consequences can reside in a repentant heart. Sins are exposed to the Lord. They are forgiven. Repentance occurs. Consequences can sometimes be an inward reminder that prevents future sin. Other consequences may be an outward reminder. If that sin or those sins are continuously repeated, there is no repentance and the consequences mount up, bad things will happen. Sometimes the mere weight of them cause all sorts of problems. Sometimes a people become so stiff-necked that God lifts his hand of protection and judgment is upon them. America is entering and already has entered this gateway. The lack of good citizenship in God's kingdom is the catalyst.
The Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 4:17,18, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" This is a time where the true Christian needs to rise up into his/her place of destiny. If we do, great things will happen for the kingdom of God. If we do not, the questions Peter asks in these verses will be answered for us. Eat spiritual meat. Don't be tossed to and fro with the winds of manmade doctrine. Read the scriptures with understanding. Encourage others to do the same. Pray, repent, stand, act for the time is short.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!