We are currently living in a society today that keeps us in constant fear of offending someone—in our speech, in our actions, even in our own personal beliefs. Some things in our culture have been in need of changing, and I am glad to see it; but we, as a society have become obsessed with a totally self-absorbed, "victim mentality" which no longer cares: whether something may be right or wrong; whether it hurts or offends others; whether there are other viewpoints or opinions besides theirs; but simply whether or not they are offended in your differences. You either agree with what I feel is right, with what I think is best, with what my opinion is or you are an evil, bigoted person who deserves to be hated and canceled from society and life. It's a very strange way to fulfill the goal of societal acceptance and unity which many claim is the drive behind their attitude.
But the worst and most troubling area this attitude has crept into is of Jesus Christ and His Word. There is a strong and growing trend in nonbelievers and proclaiming Christians alike which says that God is supposed to be a God of love and acceptance, therefore He must accept me as I am; must love me for what I am; must not judge me in my actions or decisions—after all, if He is God—He made me this way, and if He doesn't accept me for who I am, then I don't need to change, He needs to change; His Word needs to change, or He needs to be canceled, along with anyone and everyone who agrees with Him. Just like everything else in our "Me-first" world, it has become popular and accepted to change the Words of God, change the face of God, change the very heart of God, rather than accept Him as He is. The foundational message of Christ is fast leaving the message of Hope, Repentance and Forgiveness for our sins—that is too judgmental. It is becoming that we should all be free to do and be what we want and the only true sin is judging others actions, rather than to be accepting; changing how even proclaiming Christians think in the areas of sex outside of marriage, drugs and alcohol, homosexuality, gender identification, forgiveness and reconciliation over hate and cancelation, self-sacrificing love, and serving God rather than being served. This so called new, or more progressive way of thinking in the church is not an evolved, more modern, or better way of living God's Word. It is the literal, direct proof of our deep desire to have our own way; control our own world, and love our own sins at any cost to our relationship with the true God. It is the very foundational reason we fell away from God in the first place.
Many people today—many Christians included—have a completely misconstrued idea of Jesus, Redemption, Heaven and Hell. And if we could get a whole and Biblical understanding of who God truly is, who we truly are to Him, and what He died to truly accomplish, it would change the way nonbelievers and believers feel about Him, and what it means to accept Jesus Christ into our lives, and why we need to hate our sin. Most of us believe that in the beginning God created Heaven, hell, and earth, and that we live here on earth, as a prelude for where we will go later. God lives somewhere out there in Heaven and somewhere in a lost underworld there is Hell. And as we live out our days here on earth, our good deeds need to outweigh our bad so we can make it to the Kingdom of God when we die; or that we accept Christ, and His gift of forgiveness which pays our way into the Kingdom when we die. This is all fine and good, but not completely Biblical. Even many Christians may be saying at this point "But that's exactly what I do believe!" The problem with this view is that it is all full of partial truths. And it focuses totally on me, what I have to do, what I have to give up, what happens to me. Listen closely and you will understand God's heart and truth. In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth. He had not created a "Hell" for us because earth was a perfect place of perfect fellowship. Earth was a part of God's Kingdom because He walked here with us and He called it all very good. When we decided we wanted our own way over God and followed Satan's leading into sin and rebellion in this world over fellowship and love with our Creator, God's Presence and His Kingdom were separated from Earth. Satan took dominion—this became his kingdom. Not just physically, but spiritually, in our hearts. The Presence and Kingdom of God were gone by our choice. And we brought the true essence of "Hell" here to our world. The hatred of and absence of God. Then the Hell which was created for Satan and his demons was expanded to make room for those who had joined them. Satan did this because he wanted total authority and rule over God. And since he could not defeat God, He tried to hurt God by robbing Him of the love and fellowship of those God loved so dearly. He tried to use God's own Holiness against Him by making us unworthy to remain in God's Kingdom ourselves. God had to have justice, truth and real selfless love or there was no fellowship and evil had to be punished by a just God or He wasn’t loving. God had to remove hell but it was in you and I as well so He couldn’t just destroy what had been done and start over. He decided to take the weight of the entire world's sin onto His own life. Jesus let hell burn itself out on Him. He didn’t stop Hell; He satisfied its requirements until it had no more power on Himself. He Suffered and died horrifically for us all; not to simply restore our place in His Kingdom but to restore His Kingdom in our hearts. The goal was not just to buy us a ticket to a better place. God didn't care about the place; He could make another. The goal was to change our dark hearts that had created this hell on earth and broken our fellowship to begin with to restore us to our original selfless love and beauty He had created us for. When Christ came and died, He brought a part of His Kingdom back to earth in us. Everyone that comes to know Christ and invites Him into their lives has a part of the Kingdom here and now. And at the end of this age, Christ comes to restore all things and reunites this earth and the Kingdom of Heaven and dwell once again with men. Hell’s power being burned out for those accepting His gift and those still choosing it removed from His Kingdom. Until then, He wants us to take that new love of His Kingdom and win as many back from the Hell they now live in as possible by showing a real, selfless love—a better way to work with Him to restore His Kingdom in love and gratitude for all He’s done. We need to get two very important points from God's plan: 1) Don’t ever again say, "Well if God doesn't love and accept me just like I am,
He's not a God of love and I don't want Him!” Just like you are, whether anyone on this earth loves or accepts you, Jesus Christ loves you so much that He left everything He had and was beaten and tortured so mercilessly that He could not even be recognized as Human [Isaiah 52:14]. His skin torn from His Body with whips, hooks and sharp bone until His insides were visible. People cleared their throats and spit on His tortured face even at death. He was shamed, ridiculed, hated, and mocked for everything you deserved to be punished for. He would choose to lose everything rather than lose you. Letting Hell itself extinguish its wrath on Him. And you could dare to say He doesn't love you as you are? 2) Accepting Jesus Christ is not about whether He loves you as you are—obviously He does. It's about whether you love Him as He is, He loves you so very much that He can’t allow you to continue in the ways of this hell we've created. You and I are tainted in our feelings and thoughts because we are a part of this hellish world of sin today. Do you love Him enough to let go of what made Him suffer so much? Because He has created us for something so much better—that is why He needs us to change. If you say you love Him; if you say you trust Him, then Scriptures say we are to give our life away because the old us died with Him in Judgment and we are to live a new life in Him: Romans 6:6-7. Our goal as Christians is to be like the One we love and trust. Jesus died to restore us to sinless, selfless lives; to restore us to His image. The Mission of Jesus is not about getting you to Heaven one day, but about getting Heaven into you now. That requires changing from the ways of this fallen world: Colossians 3:1-8. The whole purpose of these scriptures are: to show us how dark our hearts have become; to show how much He loves us anyway; to show how to be forgiven and redeemed from sin; and to teach us the way to love selflessly and purely. If Scriptures offend you—good. They were written to offend you and I in our fallen state because we have a part of the Hell that destroyed His Kingdom living in us. How else could we know how horrid and dirty our hearts have become when we are surrounded by those who think just like us? They were written to make us realize that we are—by nature—far from God and true love; not to make us feel guilty and crush us in sorrow, but so that we could change our hearts and ways and become what we were created to be: 2 Corinthians 7:8-11. Unforgiveness, selfishness, greed, hatred, apathy, lust, homosexuality, and everything else God says we should resist all come naturally to a fallen mind; all prevent us from having true joy and peace: Romans 8:7-8. If your only answer to this is to say, "How dare you judge me?", then Jesus is not your problem. Your problem is that you desire your sins more than Him; you have chosen to blindly embraced things which will cause misery and death. In your few days on this earth, you presume to already know more than the ancient of days Who created all things and you are still actively working to keep hell in His Kingdom after He gave all to burn it out. God did not turn His Face from fellowship with all of mankind; did not let His Own Son die tortured, shamed and judged—just to make an exception to your sin. It is the attitude behind wanting that very sin over Him that was the seed which destroyed it all in the first place. But listen, don’t ever think that God sees the worst of sinners with any less love and desire than anyone else. Don’t put Him in the same boat as those self-righteous, self-loving, so-called-Christians trying to carry His Name who falsely represent Him. My Jesus is not a liberal, not a conservative, not a kill-joy, not a hater of sinners, not a racist, not a homophobe, not a misogynist. As a matter of fact, He was hated and rejected for loving those who were rejected and looked down on by the "religious" and "righteous" of His time. Even in His unswerving, unashamed love and acceptance of open sinners, He could not—would not—accept their sin against Him or their love of sin over Him. He came to them, often going great distances just for them; often coordinating great events just to interact with them; totally embracing them where they were; loving them more than His Own Life in an effort to show them how much they were loved. But they had to love, desire and want Him back just as badly; more than they wanted their own lives or His Love and Sacrifice could do nothing for them: Luke 7:36-50. Jesus shared an open, intimate moment with a dirty harlot who was hated; a moment that would have been too intimate in public then—even if she was not a hated sinner—to show His love and acceptance of her in front of these self-righteous religious men. But, He didn't accept her sins, He acknowledged her sins and proclaimed she was in need of forgiveness. It was her understanding of His pure love of the Sacrifice He was about to give for her, of her own wrongs in need of forgiven, that made her give herself so completely and intimately to Him. She came unashamed, knowing she was accepted and loved. She gave all of herself to Him at great cost, and she became one of His beloveds. He can't do anymore to show you how He loves you, right where you are. Now, do you love Him just as much right where He is? He doesn't just want to make you ready for "That Day" in the Kingdom of Heaven. He wants to restore His Image in you now; bring the Kingdom of Heaven to you, here; now; have sweet fellowship with you right now. Trust Him. Break your alabaster box that is so dear to you and pour it out for Him.
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