“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A tale of two babies

Why do some people turn wholeheartedly to the Lord, while some only half-heartedly, and others not at all? Why do some end up reveling in the world when they grew up in a home that feared the Lord? This question has intrigued me for a long time.

Two children grow up in the same home, in the same environment, and in some homes both are converted, in other homes, only one is. And that person can be the less likely of the two, given the person’s inherited character traits.

Of course, a lot goes into any outcome. Many factors are involved: parental favoritism, the influence of neighbors and friends, the luck of school teachers and mentor-like adults met while developing, etc. But what I want to look at here is what happens inside the individual, regardless of external influences. We’re talking personal accountability.

One thing we can say, God knows the answer. “Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that My fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts.” (Jer. 2:19).

This says that their reaction to consequences plays heavily into the paths people take in life. The Lord God declares that He superintends the lives of those who are called by His name. He protects them and He disciplines them, punishing when necessary. He retained that right with Israel because the custom of those days was that a father, if he were a proper father, would correct and guide his children and all of his progeny until his last breath; and the families reverenced their beloved patriarch. Therefore, the nation could understand why their God would discipline them, even if the other nations’ gods didn’t do so, or at least not as often.

God, in His great power has kept the home structure alive to this day for this same purpose. Against Satan’s unwearied attempts to destroy the family and natural ties of self-forgetful love, the family unit still survives. Thus fathers still retain their hold of loving control and guidance, and they are still revered and loved. Thus, the Lord’s love can still be discerned in all His punishment that He levels against His erring children, from the greatest to the least of them.

Only when the ancient family structure, instituted on the sixth day of creation, is replaced by an imperious global church, empty of filial ties, will natural love completely depart from the world. Then the Biblical lessons set by the Lord God will no longer apply, except for a minority group that holds fast to a Father who would love them so much as to set boundaries for them. Except for those remnant children, the Holy Spirit will completely withdraw from the billions on earth, and with it will go the spirit of holy love.

Here we see a great divide between two peoples—those who, at some point in life, chose to serve God with all their heart, soul, mind and body; and those who, at some point, chose external morality to cover hatred of serving anyone more than self. The secular mind disdained obedience to a holy Law, a disdain that wasn’t apparent when God was still blessing them with His Spirit.

But that disdain for love only needed a conducive environment to encourage insubordination, and when sufficient years passed and they turned down the continual wooing of the Spirit of God, and the omniscient One knows nothing more can be done to turn them back to Him, then God withdraws His blessings of His gracious Spirit because they chose another father. Then in the harsh void of gracelessness, the secular ungodly reveal their true condition, unchanged from birth and unaffected by God’s long wooing. The hatred and selfishness they give to one another now was simply harbored in their natures all long. Finally Satan has them in his grip and develops open rebellion in them.

In the end of the age, Satan will have a world full of such individuals. But in the distressing world-wide vacuum of mercy those who sought the God of mercy and peace will have sufficient access through justification to continue in His love by faith. While gross Egyptian darkness encompasses the world, there will be light in all the habitations of Goshen.

Two persons were born into this world as beautiful infants, two babies with blank brains like slicked, formatted hard drives. Both entered life with the exact same propensity to sin. Despite a favorable home and upbringing and standard of living, or a completely unfavorable home life, one of the two children responded to mercy and love while the other stopped responding at a certain juncture in life. The wheat and the tare grow together, hardly distiguishable.

The first found it easier and more glorious to respond to love more and more; the latter found it easy to respond to love until some point in life when it turned down the offer of simple, profound love. Instead it accepted an earthly, self-indulgent substitute. Then that substitute grew more justified and acceptable to habitually follow the pattern of the world, and more undesirable and ridiculous the notion of following after unimportant love and mercy and loyalty to fairness, service.

And this is the state of many, even within religious circles. Thus it is that the church becomes filled with multitudes who are half-hearted, and many who outright rebel against God, who proudly wear sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. And these can be found in all religions, from Adventism to paganism. Only a small remnant find in mercy and love the real key to faith, and the real prosperity that comes with surrendering to the true God of the Bible and learning to cooperate with Him.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Psalm 1


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