Monday, September 7, 2015

It's Time to Kiss the Son

“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little” (Psalm 2:12 KJV).
 
“God...has indignation every day” (Psalm 7:11 NASB).

“A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; The Lord is avenging and wrathful” (Nahum 1:2).

Let’s make no mistake about it—God is angry every day.  Yes, He’s MORE than angry every day (He also rejoices and runs the gamut of many other emotions each day), but He’s at least angry every day—on some level.  “Why?”—you might ask.  Simple; because of disobedience.

One of the greatest revivals in our recorded history occurred when Jonathan Edwards (in 1741) preached a sermon titled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”  The sinners he spoke of in his sermon were patterned after the Israelites of old (those who saw His marvelous works but remained mysteriously unmoved and unchanged by them); Edwards likened them to Christians of his day who also remained unconverted in spite of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary of their sin-held positions.  These Israelites Edwards said “lived under the means of grace”—yes, Old Testament people lived under grace!  He also cited Deuteronomy 32:35—“Their foot shall slip in due time.”  And herein is the crux of my message.

Your foot can slip in the age of grace!  The God who undeniably loves His own people can—and often does—gets angry.  Yes, we are not appointed to wrath (at least that is His will for us); but that is contingent on us continuing in the love of God (walking in obedience).  The idea of the grace of God has been accentuated beyond the bounds of its biblical definition; though the grace of God in some ways cannot be overemphasized, in other ways it can.  Perhaps my point is best summarized by how it is juxtaposed beside truth in this verse of Scripture:  “Grace and truth have met together; justice and peace have kissed each other” (Psalm 85:11 CJB).  Too often today subjects like “grace” are taught in a vacuum; teach it in context and concert with truth and watch it become limited in definition but expanded in meaning and import.
   
“This you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for BECAUSE OF THESE THINGS THE WRATH OF GOD COMES UPON THE SONS OF DISOBEDIENCE” (Ephesians 5:5-6).

I read some well-meaning Christian’s post this morning on Facebook; in it, this author claimed they were tired of all the prophetic “doom and gloom” messages being heralded out there in this “end time.”  They went on to perpetuate a sunnier outlook.  Though I know it is always well with those who obey the Lord and follow Him faithfully (in ultimate terms), the way to this ultimate high and sunny ground is more likely than not via a dark path through many “doom and gloom” valleys.  Additionally, Christians are but a scarlet thread running through falling cities and countries under judgment; we, in some ways, eat the judgment allotted our respective nations.  We share in her national sins.  But God always makes a way through His wrath for us.  And it often requires a devotion from us beyond our measure to accomplish it (without His divine strength); but we cannot fail if we remain faithful.

If not for reasons of our own disobedience (but perhaps in proxy intercession for others) we often find ourselves in uncomfortable and perplexing places (internally and externally); this pilgrim journey is fraught with dangerous obstacles and satanic schemes aimed to derail us.  Our only hope is in Him and His finished work on the cross.  It behooves us to always fear Him.  Indeed, “Do homage to the Son that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (Psalm 2:12).

In reality, we are in a confluence of two streams of destiny, one leading to life everlasting, the other, to eternal damnation.  And everything hinges on what we do with Jesus Christ; either believe (utterly cling to and rely on Him) or not.  And the “not” here is a foregone conclusion derived not so much from action taken now as much as from a disposition already arrived at internally.  “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).

Clearly the obedience spoken of here is about belief (or faith); to not believe God’s report about His Son (and the provision of life from the dead inherent therein) is to forfeit one’s own life.  The prerequisite proof that life is already dead and without hope without God’s intervening plan (of inserting Jesus Christ back into the stream of humankind) is abundantly clear.  “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20).

In the end, perilous time will come (the Scriptures undeniably herald that fact); let our heart cry in harmony with the prophet: “Lord, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years, In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2).  “Since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.  For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 8-9).  Indeed, “The gospel...is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH’” (Romans 1:16-17).