Pretense of the gospel? ..No More!

 I love Jesus Christ; I used to bring great offense against His name.

I love the church; I used to hate it.

I love true fellowship; I used to mock it.

I love Truth; I used to embrace deception.

I love Light; I used to love darkness.

 

                I just finished reading a blog post entitled, The Wickedness of Bribery and the Hope of the Gospel.  Click on the title to open the web page; it will be worth the few moments of your time to read and consider.  I know nothing of the story or the judges involved and so I don’t rightly know what stirred me up as I began to read… perhaps it was the word ‘bribery’ in the title, perhaps it was the gratitude that justice seems to have been served in a society where justice seems to have lost any presence or power.  Certainly, I can tell you it has stirred up my spirit on a parallel deception – one that I know well – having been a long time conspirator.

                Pretense.  This is not who I am or how I am, but I do all within my ability to make you seamlessly think you are seeing the genuine article.  I follow in the slithering furrow of my prince, Lucifer himself. 

But quickly, I must hide.  “Hurry, woman… follow me into this cover, away from the Light of His Presence.”  “Tell Me where you are, man?”  “Hidden?!  Who told you about hiding? ” “She did what?!  Who told you about accusation? ”

And this is how I have survived – running, evading, hiding, lying, deceiving, pretending… dying.

                I lived this way for many years.  Finding my home, my place of comfort, in the local church – I found out I had skills that allowed me to thrive in this environment.  And I got what I needed in return… or so I thought; not only was I a deceiver, but I was deceived.

 

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.  So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

 

What?!  How can these things be?  Slither, slither… ”Well, Tim, you believe all these stories from the important black book right?”  “Well…sure, they’re in the Bible.”  “Yes, yes…they’re in that important book and remember if you believe in what you are told from this popular book then you too should pray and accept these stories and then you’ll go to heaven.  You do want that, right Tim?”  “Well, sure I do…I certainly don’t want to go to hell.”  “Good then, it is settled, you’ve prayed and indicated your decision clearly, sincerely… all is well.  Now, let’s go see what fun lies ahead.”  And life rolled along. 

 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.  And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.  But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”  John 3:16-21

 

“This really isn’t fun anymore.”  “Oh?!,  well maybe you need to get more involved  with helping out in the church, that’s what the others are doing and they are clearly having fun… see all their smiles?”  “OK, I can do that.”  “Good, now let’s go have some fun.”  “But I have to teach a bible study!”  ”Oh… hmmm, ok, let’s go have some fun, then study some and it shouldn’t take too much, after all, you already know plenty from that book.”

 

Judgement?!  “But I’m covered… right!?  I did pray that prayer and accept Jesus as my personal savior; in fact, I’ve done that several times.”

 “TIM!!”  

Yes LORD?”

  “Look and See ME” 

“O LORD, I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

 

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.  1 John 1:5-10

 

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.  John 3:36

 

I love Jesus Christ; I used to bring great offense against His name – by thinking I could do it…do anything in my strength that would be anything but an offense to His glory.

I love the church; I used to hate it because I carried on in the great conspiracy and bondage of loving my sin more than living in the good news of the grace of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

I love true fellowship; I used to mock it by pretending that I was free of that burden of sin I practiced with both shame and delight.

I love Truth; I used to embrace deception because it works with those who are in the dark, whether in the church or not.

I love Light; I used to love darkness, BUT!! I can’t anymore… I’ve been BORN AGAIN!  and by His stripes I am healed and by His grace I LIVE eternally in Christ! 

 

GLORY, GLORY, GLORY!

 

 

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