Biblegateway Verse of the Day

The Path of Destruction

By, Benjamin H. Liles          

          I know that the tone and seriousness of this article is going to be practically the same as the last one I wrote, which was exactly written two weeks ago today. Frankly, there is a huge lack of truth in today's world, even here in America. So, knowing that here we go: there is a need for diminished truth in this age, both within and without the so-called Christian world. On one hand there are some who creep around, the sneakers I will call them, who distort and disengage from the Bible, God's word. The writer of Jude says, "For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 1:4, New King James). 

           On one hand we have a dismantling of arms, and part of it is centered on the Bible, the other part is centered on the world -- or in this man's view, a turning from God all the way, atheism. We see how that has worked out for countries such as China and Russia. People in those countries have little to no voice whatsoever, and the result is that it creates a people who are subjugated to tyrannical leaders. On one hand, one voice calls out, "There is no God," while the other voice cries out, "There is a God, but we have to have faith enough, be able to manifest Him in our lives." I say both are wrong and deadly. It doesn't help when people are in apathy either.

          When I say what I do it's because I do love my country. We're in the middle of an election process. On one side we have those who I'd call Deconstructionists. They want to forget the history with which brave men and women laid their lives down, so that honor and integrity prevailed, for the most part, over the past three to four hundred years since the American colonies were founded. Our ancestors left their homelands, some fleeing persecution while others were enslaved either for crimes committed or for how they looked; neither is a good thing. But the basis for a country was founded, for the right to self-govern without feeling oppressed or even forced to do (or pay something) without fair representation.

          So, when I write this, I write it from the sense that this nation of America is being horribly dismantled from within by two overwhelming powers that are both severely in the wrong. We just looked at what Jude said, so let's look at a few other verses. Paul writes to Timothy, saying, "For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new" (2 Timothy 4:3, Holman Christian Standard). 

Defining Terms

         Between this verse from Timothy and Jude I want to define that word lewdness. In the original King James text the word is "lasciviousness," and in Greek it is Aselgeia, meaning, "Outrageous conduct; sensuous/sensuality; conduct shocking to public decency." Other closely related words would be "carnality, eroticism, and vulgarity." As I said, the two different parties here are on two polar opposites of this spectrum. One seems to think having a lack of truth, a lack of integrity, and justice is a good thing: but this is just as "lewd" conduct as the other party is; where it's okay to grab people, to be coarse and vulgar, to disregard their own spouse. To that end, I cannot support either one of the two men or their "Next in command."

          We need to have a new look at what it means when Paul says in Romans, "What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: 'There is none righteous, no, not one...There is no fear of God before their eyes' (Romans 3:9-18). It boils down to a people perishing due to not knowing their dear God their forefathers once claimed to have known and done the will of. It is a steep and staggering fall from the heights which once declared America as a haven for the "downhearted, the disenfranchised, the foreigner." We are all foreigners to this place of America. We're all foreigners to this alien world that the Lord God, through Jesus Christ, framed it!

          If anything, and this isn't anything new that I see God showing me. It's within the pages of Biblical scripture. Where Israel was under fire for disobeying their God, the same God in the person of Jesus Christ gave sight to the blind, made the lame walk (with a word), the deaf hear (see the response of Jesus to John the Baptist, Matthew 11:5, Luke 7:22). But it seems in the so-called evangelical circles they are just as blind, just as lame, and just as deaf now under the guise of Charismatic/New Apostolic Reformation. At the same time, there are those, who again would rather just stay away from the truth, who don't want to know real, authentic history. 

The Truth versus the World, the Lie

          If we, as a people, disengage from the truth, discerning the actual voice of God from within the pages of the Bible, rewriting a precious history of people who wanted better for themselves, I offer this: we are about to ruin ourselves and in fact dishonor those we have sworn to uphold and protect to begin with. As scripture declares about what true religion is, "Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27, Berean Study).

          I'm going to substitute a word here for a word used in a previous verse because worldliness is at the core of deifying man over God. It's a way of carnality that God hates, despises even to the depths of what it means to be sinful. To make a mockery of a nation's history -- rewriting what actually happened, changing laws for selfish gain, to care less for the being of another life, are things I was taught by my parents as wrong. Strangely enough, it's Biblical as well. Without meaning to, my parents, not being godly parents instilled in me one of the two commands God gave, that Jesus even used: "Love your neighbor as yourself." That's the second and most important commandment. The first is "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, your mind, and all your strength" (Matthew 22:37-40; Mark 12:29-31).

          Friend, the honest and unabashed truth is we have traded the truth for lies. Lies we may not have asked for, but lies that have subverted the actual truth of God for a subtle form of being worldly and carnal. If we take that into consideration then what God told Hosea is correct: "But let no man [fight]; let no man offer [a reprimand]; for your people are like those who [fight] with a priest. You will stumble by day, and the prophet will stumble with you by night; so I will destroy your mother--My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you as My priests. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children. The more they multiplied, the more they [violated] Me; they exchanged their Glory for a thing of disgrace. They feed on the [wickedness] of My people and set their hearts on [misconduct]" (Hosea 4:4-8, highlighted passage for emphasis).

Conclusion and Remarks

          I want to end with a word of caution and warning. To keep continuing on in a course of action (or inaction) thinking it's a right way to go isn't helping you or anyone else. The biggest reason why Israel was handed over to their enemies were for two reasons: one, they forgot their God, as the verses from Hosea say; two, as Paul points out, no one cares to be guided by the truth, no one seeks it due to being unregenerate. Those especially within the ecumenical community claiming they have a word from God actually has a word. What they have are their own selfish desires to take away your hard-earned money. Keep it in your pocket, friend. I have no reason to deceive or take anything from you.

          No, rather, I want to lead you more into a path where you can claim a promise. You see, Jesus came to be a light to all; to offer life, to extend His righteousness to you. He did so at a time when Israel was in foreign possession (by Rome). He came while the Laws of God were still in effect, the Laws of Moses. This is what He meant when Jesus said, "I don't want you to think I came to destroy the word of the Law of Moses or that of the word of the Prophets, but to fulfill them" (Matthew 5:17, a paraphrase of the New King James, New American Standard, and New Living Translation). 

          The importance of Jesus going to the cross is that of putting sin and death on display. If you want to know why Jesus had to die, it's not that God was angry with the Son of God, Jesus, it's that God's Word was to be fulfilled. If John is correct in his gospel record of Jesus being God's Word  being made flesh then we have a reason to rejoice. For God was ransoming us out of our sinfulness. He was offering a way for us to come to Him without having to work for it as one would have to do according to Jewish tradition. It's not something to work for; it is a gift. It's been done so that God's wrath be fulfilled. 

          There are many verses from the Old Testament that allude to God's promise to redeem His people from the curse of sin, death and the Law. He did this by offering up a blameless, sinless man -- in the Messiah Jesus -- as He laid out in His words to Moses as well as the Prophets He revealed Himself to. There were some in the Jewish community who didn't want to be spared from His wrath, but continue in neglecting God, and ultimately rejecting Him. Having that same attitude toward history is a terrible thing. If you overlook the bad history, versus the good, thus having an overall and arching theme of God at work in the lives of men, then what you really are doing is being selfish toward a God who is selfish over you. He doesn't share our selfish, sinful desires, but glories when we glorify and worship Him. Accepting His Son, Jesus, as Savior over sin and death, knowing His offer of everlasting life is a great offer I don't have to believe I have to obtain. I'm saved by grace, as I chose to believe what He's done for me, not because I deserve it.  

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