"I was thinking..."
I was thinking…Pastor Steve
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15: 4 (NIV)
This past month we’ve been going over the history of the Israelites. The Old Testament is full of fascinating stories and individuals (not to mention donkeys that talk!). I tend to think that many of the preachers in this generation have forgotten to teach the Old Testament. Everything is written down for a reason. Similar to the Law, it shows us the character of God and reveals His Promise to us. People don’t want to know that God will hold us accountable for our actions. Yes, Jesus loves me, but I’m still doing bad stuff. There are consequences for our actions. The only way to avoid punishment is to ask Jesus to forgive us. However, the rest of the people who have denied God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will have to answer for their decisions, and it won’t be pretty.
So, we have a few generations of people who don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. They think that by avoiding the issue it will go away, and people won’t have to worry. That’s a wrong attitude. We need to know why we need Jesus, otherwise, why bother? If we don’t share that there is a judgment coming, and the only way to avoid it is by giving our lives over to Jesus, then we have neglected to tell the world why they need a Savior. How can you appreciate the Good News if you don’t know what the bad news is?
I’m not talking about walking around town with a signboard on that says, “The End is Near!!” That’s the reason, I think, that people shy away from the topic of judgment; it sounds too final. And, in all actuality, people don’t want to hear that they are sinning (it’s hardly a word used anymore). They will say, “Well, that’s what you believe, but I don’t have to live by what your religion says.” Sad to say, that’s true. But, it doesn’t change the fact that wrong is wrong and right is right. There is still a standard whether they want to live by it or not.
Let me get back to what I was thinking about. It’s unfortunate, but the saying is true, “If we don’t know our history, we are doomed to repeat it.” We need to know the history of the Israelites. We need to know about the Judges and why God said it was a mistake to raise up a king. We need to know what the message was that the Prophets brought to Israel from God. We need to know the goodness of God’s Creation and the Promise of a Savior. We need to know. It helps to put the New Testament into perspective for us. Jesus quoted the Old Testament a lot of the time. If it’s good enough for Jesus, then it’s plenty good enough for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the New Testament, and it has plenty to say about the Kingdom, Salvation, Mercy, and Grace, and holding my tongue! There is so much about all 66 Books of the Bible that I couldn’t pick a favorite if I tried. So, I hope you’ll hang in there with me for the months ahead of messages that I feel the Holy Spirit is urging me to teach on. As John wrote in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 4, about the four living creatures who surrounded the Throne in Heaven saying,” “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Come, Lord Jesus, come. For now and always, God bless.