My Firsthand Experience of both God's Justice and Grace
By Benjamin H. Liles
I know so far that I have recounted how my infected gall bladder was about to go septic as of yesterday. But the truth of the matter is while I have been teaching God's word and explaining it to you as best as I could, within its proper context, I wasn't living my life out in faith.
You most likely will say, "Okay, what are you saying here?" My point: I was literally, on October 9, 2018 about to die. I wasn't going to go to Heaven at all. Yes, I do believe Jesus Christ is real. But I wasn't acting out on that faith. What was happening is that God was showing me Tuesday night, late, that I was at "Death's Door."
Another point to be made here is that you can only go so long having head knowledge of the truth that is spoken within the pages of the Bible, but if you're not actually "doing" God's commands, which He lists as this "Live justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).
Third point is that I was literally walking in "the valley of the shadow of death" (Psalm 23:4) late Tuesday night. I don't recall the actual time. Here's the clincher, my great grandfather, my father's paternal grandfather, died in 1918 after the Spanish Flu hit. He was born in 1881, he was just 36 or 37. I also literally just turned 45 as of September 28. So at just barely nine to eight years later than my great grandfather, I would have died.
Seriously guys and ladies, read this carefully, for I have seen God move a massive mountain I couldn't pass at all this past week. I was facing eternal damnation. So on Tuesday night I just started praying and crying out to God, "Why did you allow this to happen? Is it because of the fact I'm not acting on authentic Christlike faith?" I heard a soft, and very reassuring, "Yes."
I want to show you something from the Old Testament about how God "authentically" is with His "chosen people" of Israel, and it happened to Elijah. If you read on your own 1 Kings 19:11-14, this is God's actual nature with those who authentically "listen" and "obey" Him. Take note especially of "after the fire a still small voice."
God doesn't enjoy sending judgment down on the people He creates, but He does not and cannot tolerate sin! He is the only, rightful God who can render such judgment. So, while God got my attention that while my faith "was very real," I wasn't acting on it. I am now and I'm far more at peace and joy than I have ever been, actually. I see God in the small finer details both in His word as well as in my life.
I'm sure some of you know who Aleister Crowley is. His parents were very devout and authentic active fundamentalist Christian Plymouth Brethren. Aleister chose his own way. He fully rejected the idea of God, got himself involved with dark arts, profaned God's name to no end even going to far as worshiping Satan. Please, please, don't miss this crucial point here: on his death bed, as his life was closing his nurse heard him start screaming, "Hell" over and over again, multiple times. She ran out scared to death, but not literally. She just ran because Aleister Crowley finally was seeing God's judgment on sinful activities. It's God's right to do so.
As I close this I want to leave these words for you all, don't just sit idly by saying, "Oh, yes, I follow Christ," and not act or obey Christ's teachings for at best you're just doing the things of this world and this current age we're in. When you ride the fence, you're lukewarm and who wants lukewarm water? It's why God says what He does to one of the seven Churches in Revelation: "I will spit you out...you are lukewarm, neither being cold or hot" (Revelation 3:16).
The whole point of this article is simply to tell you that God wants you to see Him active in your life. He wants to develop an active and authentic relationship with you. You get mad? Fine. Rail on God, His shoulders are big and wide. He will never fail. Are you sad? God draws near to the brokenhearted. God doesn't want to show His wrath, but He's not going to keep putting up with sin in any person's life forever, and that's why when Jesus comes back, riding on the clouds of glory, it isn't going to be a "good thing." The world will mourn, we're told that in the New Testament scriptures. But at the same time we as believers who actively pursue Him and act out our faith we will be gathered (paraphrase of 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18)
It is not ever my purpose to judge anyone, to scare or even intimidate to making a decision to come to Jesus Christ. What I do feel is my purpose, however, is to inform you of my personal, recent testimony, and to relate to you God's active plan and purpose: for everyone to make a better, informed choice to accept Him and His Son Jesus Christ as able to forgive, to heal, to justify, to reconcile, and to also make things new. With that said I am now closing this out with these words, "Father, I accept your mercy and grace upon my life. Thank you for killing my flesh on Tuesday night and extending to me Your Spirit. I feel brand new. I don't want the old me ever again. I realize I need to remain faithful and to obey You in all things. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen."