I believe that I am still somewhat in shock about what happened at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday. I found out when one of my coworkers came in and told us about it. Interestingly, I had my earbuds in and had been listening to this podcast from John Macarthur (Abortion and the Campaign for Immorality.) If you pay attention to Macarthur for even a short period of time, you’ll quickly find out that he doesn’t stray from his expositional style of preaching much, and is not one that typically preaches specific topical sermons. That being said, this short series was a result of having visited both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions earlier this year, and I guess you could say that he has a sense of urgency about the condition of our country, and the sins that we as a people are committing against God.
One of the first things that Macarthur says that jumped out to me was this:
Since the Bible says that the role of government is to punish evil doers and protect the good, you better have somebody in power who understands what is good and what is evil.
You don’t hear that preached from many pulpits. Of course, sin itself, isn’t taught or talked about much. How can we as humans compare the mass murder of 20 children and 7 adults with other types of sin? Yes, this evil that exists is vastly different than other sins, but the Bible plainly defines what God’s standard is. Even if you ignore everything else that the Bible clearly lays out and just go with Jesus’ words about what the greatest commandment is, you should know exactly where you stand. Check out Matthew 22:36-40:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Love is all you need?
This group of verses has really been hitting me lately. In our culture, where we are told by others to just “love each other” – we are told that if we just “do unto others as we would have them do unto us,” we’ll be following Jesus’ words. Uh. No. Jesus says that you are to FIRST love God with everything, THEN love others. How do you love God? The answer is found in Jesus own words in John 14:21:
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.
So, if sin is any transgression against God, it doesn’t matter how nice you treat others, any act of sin is against God. The fact is, we’re all sinners and have to pay the penalty for that sin. We are on a collision course with eternity. That date is coming sooner than we know, and we will not be saved by our works or actions. We can only be saved if we have the blood of Jesus covering the multitude of our sins.
By obeying God, we show our Love for Him. By having that Love for Him, we will WANT to do works for Him and tell others about what He did for us.
We live in a world where we would expect a life guard to jump in and come to our aid if we were unable to swim and in danger of drowning. However, our nation is moving in a direction (and is already there in many cases) where you can’t throw the life raft because doing so would be seen as hate.
I’ve already passed by word count that I wanted to aim for. I’m gonna stop here and pick back up later. I hope that I’m making sense. I want to go on record and say that I am a screwed up person. Jesus says that if you hate someone, you’re a murderer in your heart. Yep. That’s me. I’ve been there. Done that. Guilty. Yet, because of forgiveness and restoration, I don’t have to fear the Judge.
I hope you have what I have.