When you look at the world today, it seems that most people just go from one day to the next without ever considering where they’re going. What makes it even worse is that most of us don’t seem to have any clue about what life is really all about other than to gratify my urge-of-the-moment.
We don’t really consider the beginning of life or this world because we’ve been told that it all happened by accident. So we go merrily on our way while “scientists” continue to spend millions and even billions of government dollars — taxpayer dollars -- attempting to prove that everything is just one huge cosmic accident.
But what happens when the money runs out? Or, more importantly, what happens when we reach the end of our lives? Where do we go? Evolution says we rot and that’s it. Atheists believe the same. Yet many people believe that we go to heaven. But how can that be? If life just evolved, then there is no heaven.
And what about all that money that governments waste on trying to prove something that really makes no difference one way or the other? After all, when you die, are you really going to care whether or not someone “proved” evolution was true? Won’t you still be dead?
If you think about it, you can see that all the money we waste trying to prove evolution is really just money being spent by atheists in an attempt to disprove God’s existence (Psalm 2:1-4). They hate the idea that they may be held to account for their actions and lifestyle. But putting your fingers in your ears and saying, “La, la, la, la, la” isn’t going to stop God from being Who He is.
As a side note, imagine how many poor and hungry people could really be helped if we stopped wasting money trying to prove something that isn’t going to make any difference anyway as far as man is concerned. Think about how people would really live their lives if they knew they were going to have to stand before God someday and give an account of their behavior.
Maybe if schools stopped teaching young people that they descended from animals, the young people would stop acting like animals. But I digress.
In reality, God has already told us how everything came into being. He created everything. Simple as that. No need to waste any time or money looking for “truth” when we’ve already been given that Truth right up front. Unfortunately, most people just refuse to hear Him.
God’s Word expounds on this simple Truth a number of times, reassuring us that we don’t have to look for any other explanations.
10) And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
11) They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
12) And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
How we respond to what He says speaks volumes about what we really believe about God. If we can’t believe Him when He tells us how everything came into being, how can we believe anything else He says? Yet so many who call themselves Christians think that God is wrong about our beginnings. To be honest, that’s foolishness. Either God is right or He isn’t. We can’t have it both ways. If you have any questions, I would strongly suggest you watch a wonderful video by Living Waters ministry that deals with this. It can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0u3-2CGOMQ
The Truth is that God does still speak. The question is, are we listening or have we closed our ears because we think we know all the answers?
How Does God Speak?
The amazing part about God speaking is that He does it in multiple ways. He understands that we humans can and do struggle hearing Him. This is especially true when we seem to have so many things going on in our lives.
Sometimes He speaks through nature. In other words, He uses His creation to get our attention and reveal Himself to us through the vastness and complexity of it.
Listen to a few words from King David:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
I live in a semi-rural area that isn’t bombarded with streetlights or any other kind of lights. I love going outside at night and staring at a sky so full of stars and planets that I can’t help but realize how small I am. Yet in all of that vastness, I see the hand of God. It’s obvious in the complexity as well as the predictability of what I can see. Everything moves much like the gears in a watch. Through it all we can keep perfect time. The sad part is people believe in a watchmaker but refuse to believe in the Maker Himself.
When I look at those beautiful night skies, I’m also reminded of David’s words record in Psalm 8:
3) When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4) What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
I understand exactly what David meant. All that beauty and majesty revealing not just His power but also His creativity. Yet with all that, He condescends to speak to mankind by sending prophets to speak to us and tell us what’s on His mind. He loves us enough to pour out His heart to us. Sadly, most people don’t even seem to care.
The writer of the book of Hebrews sums this up quite nicely in the following passage:
1) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
So God has also spoken to us through His Son. Jesus Christ. The King of kings and Lord of lords took upon Himself a human nature. In doing so, He shows us that we really are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:16). He had much to say to us while He walked on the earth. He told us what’s important — fellowship with God — and what isn’t important with God — religion for the sake of religion. But, of course, Jesus did so much more for us than that.
He lived a perfect life, then laid down His life to pay the debt that we owe to God for our sin. Through His death on the cross, we get a real look at the love God has for us. Because of His resurrection we have hope of eternal life (Romans 6:6-12; Romans 8:24). In fact, God’s love for us is tied directly to the cross and Jesus’ death on it.
He reveals all of this to us through His Word (John 1:1), which is His primary way of speaking to us. Anyone who has access to a Bible, has the ability to hear Him speak. The fact that anyone can open a Bible and search for God is why the enemy spends so much time and effort trying to discredit it. He — the enemy — doesn’t want people discovering the Truth that God has revealed to us.
That brings us to the next point.
It’s God’s Word, Not Ours
Think about that for just a moment. When we open a Bible, we’re looking into God’s Word. In other words, it’s what God has chosen to reveal to us about Himself. Yes, He used men inspired by His Holy Spirit to write. But the words that were written were straight from God’s heart. Words that reveal His desire for us (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
So when we come to His Word, it’s important that we see it from His perspective. Too often we read His Word and see it only from our perspective, or the perspective of whatever denomination we belong to. We do that because we tend to be selfish and self-centered, a horrid byproduct of our sin nature.
For example, I’ve read about “believers” who use passages like the following to get things for themselves:
Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
But those words are not Jesus’ secret formula to getting things for ourselves. They’re a promise to us that whatever we need to advance the Kingdom of God we just need to ask Him, believing (Matthew 6:33; Matthew 21:22). Yes, we can ask Him for our personal needs. But the verse above — and others like it — do not give us any authority to ask selfishly (James 4:1-3).
Again, we need to remember that God’s Word needs to be read and understood from His perspective, not ours. That’s because His goals are decidedly different from ours.
Another problem people often have when reading God’s Word is skipping over parts that don’t line up with our denominational theology. We don’t like being confronted with passages that seem to disagree with what we’ve been taught so we have a tendency to skip over them. Even forget about them. But that’s NOT the way to approach God’s Word.
If our denominational understanding is in conflict with God’s Word, we should change our denominational understanding to line up with God’s Word. But that runs into a problem that human beings really dislike: acknowledging that we may be wrong. No one likes to admit that. But when it comes to God and His Word, we’re talking about eternal consequences. So we have to get our understanding right.
Besides, acknowledging we’re wrong is really about going to God and admitting it to Him. And He already knows! So don’t skip over uncomfortable parts of Scripture because they challenge your beliefs. Embrace them to His glory. And if you’re struggling with a passage, go to Him and ask Him for understanding. Who better to talk to about His Word, than God Himself?
Now let’s take a look at a few passages which tell us something about God and His Word.
Probably the best known passage that speaks to this is the following from Isaiah:
8) For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9) For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Here we see that God’s thoughts (verse 8) and His ways (verse 9) are different than ours. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’m sure every Christian would agree with that. Yet I’m struck by how many times I’ve heard people read a passage of Scripture then offer an opinion that’s exactly opposite of what they just got done reading. So why does it happen? Because too many people aren’t really reading God’s Word to get His mind or heart on a topic, they’re reading it to confirm their personal interpretation or understanding.
Jesus Himself touches on this very issue in the following:
48) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
49) For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
50) And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
Jesus tells us that the words he spoke were not his own. He had been given them by the Father (v. 49). Jesus didn’t have the option of changing them to “make them more relevant” or any other excuse that preachers often use. The Father expected Jesus to deliver the Words from God’s heart to our ears.
So we need to train ourselves to hear what He says, regardless of whether or not we agree with it.
Another passage that points to God’s Word being something special is this:
12) For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
God’s Word cuts to the heart of the matter. It not only reveals God’s heart to us, but how we respond to it reveals our hearts as well. That brings us to the last point.
God’s Word Is To Be Obeyed
One of the things that I find surprising about God’s Word is the number of people who think obeying it is optional. It seems odd that people think that because they “believe” in God, they don’t have to do anything else. I hear some of these folks say that we’re saved by grace and to do anything beyond that shows a lack of faith. But that’s not consistent with what God teaches us through His Word.
The truth is, faith that doesn’t work, isn’t really faith at all (James 2:17;). It’s just empty words. That kind of faith can’t save anyone (James 2:14).
Yes, it’s true that we’re saved by grace THROUGH faith. But once we’re saved, God most certainly does expect us to obey Him. Look at the following familiar passage (at least most believers will be familiar with verses 8 and 9. But far too many are completely oblivious to verse 10):
8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Once we’re saved by God’s grace through faith, He expects us to be obedient to Him. When Jesus gave us what we call The Great Commission, He expected us to be obedient to Him to fulfill that commission. But it seems as if most Believers think He was only kidding, or He meant it for someone else. But He meant it just as He revealed it. It’s a self-perpetuating call to deliver the message of the Gospel to others. We’re to teach others what Jesus taught the first disciples. The message is to be passed along from one generation to the next, just as He originally delivered it, until He returns.
19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.
Jesus has a clear answer for those who think they’re Christians but don’t have to obey what He says:
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
If we refuse to obey Jesus, then He really isn’t our Lord at all. And if He isn’t your Lord, you’re going to have a BIG problem when you stand before Him some day. In case you think that Luke 6:46 is an isolated statement, think again.
23) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24) He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
Jesus clarifies that what He’s telling us isn’t His opinion, but it’s God the Father’s opinion. If you have a computer Bible or good cross-reference, go to those verses in John 14:23-24 and check out the other verses where Jesus is driving home that point.
Finally, here are a few more verses that we need to consider:
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
22) But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23) For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24) For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25) But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
25) At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
26) Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
Finally, consider this parable that Jesus told. Especially note Jesus’ question in verse 31 (highlighted for emphasis).
28) But what think ye? A [certain] man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
29) He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
30) And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I [go], sir: and went not.
31) Whether of them twain did the will of [his] father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
32) For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen [it], repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
The question was not about who heard, but who did something about it. If we’re not doing, then we really aren’t hearing.
To sum up, God is still speaking to mankind. He has life-changing information that we need to hear AND obey. And He expects us to respond to Him. Our eternal destiny depends on it.
The question is, what are you going to do?