Saturday, December 6, 2014
December 5 – I’m not that kind of person
But to the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. That is the second death. (Revelation 21:8 HCSB)
This may seem to be a negative promise, but it’s also one of the most important promises for you to know in the entire Bible, which makes it very positive and uplifting if we abide by it. If this list is of people who are lost and destined be thrown into the lake of fire — along with Satan, demons, the beast, the false prophet and Hades —then those who refuse to live this kind of life, who have true faith in God, are guaranteed to be welcomed into heaven and live with God forever.
What should make us all stop and think is the list that we have here. As expected, people “who practice magic spells” are on the list, together with murderers, detestable people and idol worshipers. Most Christians are pretty comfortable and confident of the fact that they are not Satanists, witches, murderers or idol worshipers. The problem is that the Holy Spirit also lists cowards, unbelievers, the sexually immoral and liars right along with the others. I’m sure some people’s reaction would be, “How can He lump murderers together with liars? Murder is so much more serious that telling a little white lie every so often.” But for God, all of the behavior listed here is serious enough to destroy our communion with Him, whether or not we see it that way.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that churches are full of cowards, unbelievers, the sexually immoral, idol worshipers and liars. How many people are afraid to have a real, first-century type of faith in God? Many are afraid to be tithers, to pray for healing, to insist on a miracle. I used to be one of them, and I have to constantly watch myself to avoid slipping into that same cowardice.
How many “good” Christians put their job, career and family before God? When the Spirit mentions idol worshippers he includes these things as well as people who bow down to images of wood and stone. And how many “good” Christians are unbelieving-believers, professing a faith in God that they do not practice after walking out of their weekly church service? Whenever problems arise, they never think of shutting their office door and getting on their knees to ask for God’s help and a miracle. That sort of thing is completely foreign to them. Many don’t really believe that God would have time for them if they did ask Him for help. So aren’t they unbelievers even though they belong to a church?
Don’t step into the devil’s trap of: “Those kinds of people are lost. I would never do that.” In 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul says: “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.” — Living by real faith and pleasing God is possible, but not easy. It demands effort and humility. We have to constantly work on being sensitive to the Spirit’s voice.
Take some time out of your busy schedule, go through this list and make sure you are not among those who are lost… or drifting in that direction. Our salvation is worth the effort.