Continued from “Candy Christianity: The Devil’s Favorite Flavor” (Part 3 of 4) – Art and text Copyright 2009 S.A. Buss
“The Christian should reject decisively the thought that eternal life is to begin when this physical life is over. We read on a tombstone that a man “entered into eternal life” on the day of his death, but the Bible teaches that for a Christian eternal life begins, not on the day a man enters heaven, but on the day eternal life enters into the man through the new birth.”
Donald Grey Barnhouse
“And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.”
Failing and unfaithful as we have been, He has appointed this hour to bring glory to himself through the very thieves who attempted to steal it from Him.
Put another way: He has chosen us.
He has given us His Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells within us for great purpose. He calls and equips us to otherwise impossible knowledge and action.
His people are blessed beyond measure. We are honored and privileged to play a role – a great and vital role – in the same fantastic adventure that we so nearly stole from ourselves by seeking to steal glory from Him.
Where we merited death, He has instead chosen to impose abundant life. In this all glory is due Him.
From the very moment He spoke the universe into existence, He ordained that you and I would come together in this way and on this day. He lovingly planned this intersection from the foundation of the world.
There was never a chance of any deviation. Life never could have unfolded any other way. While from our cloudy, fallible, finite perspective this seems to be an impossible or even unpleasant thing, for Him it is not only possible and good but, by His nature, it is essential. His sovereignty is complete.
This is the God we are called to serve, and as He has given us ears to hear and a spirit to heed His call, we can do nothing else. This is a most beautiful truth.
My poor use of words and your kind, patient interest in them will of course come to no account without His intervention. We are nothing. It is through Him, by His sovereign choice and pleasure, that you and I are appointed to play these crucial roles in an odyssey that will ultimately culminate in the regeneration of creation and the restoration of all glory to Him.
If that doesn’t inspire you, nothing will.
We have a mission.
It is not a passive role that we have been assigned. We are called to action.
A God given fire and passion for His nature and truth is ours to cherish, adore and fan into a bright and brilliant demonstration of His glory. This is our one and only ultimate goal: The proclamation of His truth and nature so that all glory might be laid at His feet.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
We are not here to convince. We are here to give answers.
We are not here to compromise. We are here to proclaim.
We are not here to conform. We are here to shine.
We are not here to be silent. We are here to be bold.
We are not here to be adored. We are here to be hated.
We are not here to convict. We are here to exalt His holiness and truth.
We are not here to win. We are here to fight.
We are at war.
Sharpen your sword. Prepare your armor. This is the most brutal and violent of conflicts. The very identity of our God is at its center. There is no place for compromise here. There’s no haggling to be done. There is life only in Him and apart from Him there is only death. Every good thing has its source and goal exclusively in Him. Apart from Him, no good thing can exist.
These are not notions that go over well at a negotiation table. They are not favored concepts of the diplomacy minded. They are unwavering, unshakable, unyielding truths.
They do not bend, however much ours is a world built upon bending, twisting and distortion.
Look for the middle ground, the fence, the “happy medium”…they’re nowhere to be found. In the absence of that quiet, peaceful, neutral place that our enemy so advocates and adores, there is only hatred. Hatred of truth.
We are to be hated and hated we shall be. Such is the nature of truth’s advocates to a world dedicated to darkness. The fallen world’s rebellion cannot abide by the truth of our Lord, and thus war is inevitable.
This is the war that we were destined to fight since the dawn of creation. It is the war we were destined to win since the foundation of the world.
How can boldness not result from such assurances as these?
How can we have allowed for weakness and cowardice to take root in our minds, our homes, our families and our churches?
While we have long neglected our duties, ignored the call to battle and dismissed His command to combat the enemy, He remains faithful. From the moment that He created moments, He ordained that we would be equipped for the completion of the task before us.
So let’s get to it.
Soli Deo gloria…and let’s roll!
Copyright 2009-2014 Scott Alan Buss