Last week I shared my concerns about the consequences we are experiencing because we have become a people who has forgotten God. Since posting the blog, I have been asking myself several questions about what the future might hold if we continue in the downward spiral that will lead us further into moral bankruptcy.
I have been wrestling with several things that may be just around the corner.
- What will my response be if our religious liberties continue to be taken away?
- What will I do when speaking truth about God’s moral absolutes will be illegal under the guise of social justice and/or critical race theory?
- What will happen when the Equality Act passes and Christian organizations are not allowed to discriminate in their hiring practices based on sexual orientation?
- What will be the results when school choice efforts are done away with?
- What will Christian schools do if they are denied accreditation due to their stand on biblical lifestyle morality?
- What consequences will we face if God’s design for the family is attacked with greater intensity by groups, like BLM, whose mission is to destroy the nuclear family?
- What will I do and how will church leaders react when the government says that church is not essential and it is unlawful to meet for worship services?
- Are we ready for the persecution that appears to be on the horizon?
These possibilities have been racing through my mind ever since posting last week’s post. Please know that I am not discouraged even though I am concerned. In fact, I find myself even more committed to what God has called me to be and do. I believe that there are two things that every Christian must know in order to face the future with confidence and boldness. Once we deepen our knowledge of these two things, we must also do three things. First, let’s look at what we must know in preparing for the future.
#1 — We Must Know God!
I am convinced that all of the problems that we are facing in our homes, churches and communities are because there is a lack of the knowledge of God on the part of God’s people. God wants to be known and this has and continues to be His motivation in everything He does. For example:
- God created this world so that He would be known
- Man was created in God’s image so that he can know Him
- God performed miracles throughout the Bible so that the world would know that there is a God
- Redemption brings eternal life which Jesus defined as regaining the ability to know God (John 17:3)
The bottom line is God wants to be known by the people He has created. God charged Israel through the prophet Hosea with these sins.
Hear the word of the Lord, you children of Israel, for the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land. Hosea 4:1 (NKJV)
There was no knowledge of God in the land. The land that Hosea was referring to was the nation of Israel—God’s people. When God’s people do not know Him two things always result.
- God’s people are destroyed (Hosea 4:6)
- God’s people are taken captive (Isaiah 5:13)
When I look at what is happening in the world today, there is no doubt that we are being destroyed and we are quickly being taken captive—especially by false ideas and ideologies. If you read many of Paul’s letters to the churches, you will find that one of his most common prayers for these Christians was that they would “grow in the knowledge of God.” G.K. Chesterton once said that if there is no God, everything is right.
Knowing God is of utmost importance to Him. In fact, God said, For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings (Hosea 6:6, NKJV). It is important that we understand the difference between knowing about God and knowing God. There must be an intimate, personal relationship with God in order to truly know Him.
J.I. Packer wrote,
Once you become aware that the main business you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord.
Jonathan Edwards also understood the necessity of growing in our knowledge of God when he said,
Of all the knowledge that we can ever obtain, the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of ourselves are the most important…He who does not know Him, knows nothing else as it truly is.
#2 — We Must Know Truth!
This past week, I read Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s essay, Live Not By Lies. He penned this work on the very day he was arrested, which led to his exile to Germany the next day. I also read Rod Dreher’s book by the same title. In both these works, I was amazed that people would believe lies that were absolutely absurd which led to their captivity by totalitarian governments.
I found myself saying that I would never believe that 2+2=5 because it isn’t true. But then I wondered if, by remaining silent, I am fostering an equally absurd lie that says that there are many more gender options than the two that God created? We are living in a world that is saturated with lies and a great number of people, including many Christians, are living as if they are true. Time and space don’t allow me to begin to list the lies that have taken so many of us captive.
There is only one way for any one to follow Solzhenitsyn’s advice and live not by lies. That way is to do just the opposite and live by truth. However, to do so, one must know truth. So, the question we must be able to answer is what is truth?
To answer this question, I want you to consider a fundamental math fact. If A=B and A=C and C=D, then A=B=C=D—they must all be equal to each other. Let’s take this principle and apply it to what God’s Word says about truth.
- Jesus said, I am the truth (A=B)
- Jesus also said that He was the Word (A=C)
- In John, we find that the Word is God (C=D)
- Therefore, Jesus = truth = the Word = God
Then Jesus said to this Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32 (NKJV)
Here is the key to not living by lies. We must abide in God’s Word and, by doing so, we will be free. I have been challenged recently by a deeper look into these two verses. Jesus told some new Jewish believers that they would become His disciples if they abided in His Word. He went on to state that His disciples would know truth and, therefore be set free. Just being a believer wouldn’t guarantee freedom from lies. Only His disciples would experience this because a disciple was one who abided in the Word.
To abide means to dwell or take up residence. I could come and visit you in your home but I wouldn’t know the truth about your home by just visiting it once in a while. However, if I came and took up residence or dwelt in your home, then I would know what your home was really like. To know truth and live in freedom requires a Christian to take up residence each and every day in God’s Word. I read this quote yesterday.
So many people open a Bible and they are being taught to listen for the voice of God to hear what God is saying to them through their Bible. I will tell you what He is saying to you. “Put your head down, look at the words and read them.” That’s what He is saying! John MacArthur
For almost 40 years, I have tried to read through the Bible each year. In addition to this, I have to study the Word in preparation for ministry opportunities that come my way. What has amazed me as I studied the Word in 2020 was that I found myself underlining more passages and making notes than I had in recent years. The more I abide” in His Word, the more truth He reveals to me and the freer I become no matter what I am facing in the world.
Here are some questions you and I must answer as we get ready to face an uncertain and possibly dangerous future.
- How well do we know God?
- Do we just see Him as a God of love, mercy and forgiveness? Or do we also know Him as the God who is holy, just and righteous?
- Do we know God as a supernatural Being who is distant and detached from every day life? Or do we sense His presence and His guidance no matter what we face each day we are here on earth?
- Are there lies about gender, marriage, family, race, justice, etc. that have taken us captive?
- Do we know the truth about each of these issues and any other ones that the world throws at us?
- Are we visitors or dwellers in God’s Word?
- What truth has God revealed to you and me recently as we abided in His Word?
If we are going to face the future with courage and conviction we must know these two things—God and Truth! Next week I want to share with you some things we must do as we move into the future.
Here is a song that I came across this week as I prepared this post. I hope the words will bring you hope, joy and peace. You can click here to listen to it live.
Only A Holy God CityAlight
Verse 1: Who else commands all the hosts of heaven; Who else could makeover king bow down; Who else can whisper and darkness trembles; Only a Holy God
Verse 2: What other beauty demands such praises; What other splendor outshines the sun; What other majesty rules with justice; Only a Holy God
Chorus: Come and behold Him, the One and the Only, Cry out, sing holy, Forever a Holy God, Come and worship the Holy God
Verse 3: What other glory consumes like fire; What other power can raise the dead; What other name remains undefeated; Only a Holy God
Verse 4: Who else could rescue me from my failing; Who else would offer His only Son; Who else invites me to call Him Father; Only a Holy God, Only my Holy God
Chorus: Come and behold Him, The One and the Only, Cry out, sing holy, Forever a Holy God, Come and worship the Holy God