August 23, 2012

God is not mocked

Our city has a “Fringe Festival” each year, mostly street performers and plays. Many would say the title of the festival is based on the fact that many of these performances border on the fringe of decency. One was reviewed in the newspaper as a one-person depiction of God as a comedian. The reviewer thought this act was hilarious and urged others to go see it. From what he quoted and described, that is about the last thing I’d want to do.

Those who know God also know that while He sometimes seems to have a sense of humor, we cannot laugh at or make fun of Him. As the Apostle Paul wrote…
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7–8)
Making fun of God is from the flesh, our sinful human nature. Without Christ, everything anyone does is of the flesh. However, when puts their faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into their lives and changes their very nature. They have new goals, great love for God and are empowered to live in the Spirit.
Although Spirit-filled living is a choice, anyone without Christ cannot choose it. This option is available only to those who have Christ and eternal life.

The newspaper review had a hint of ‘forget all you know about God and let this actor give you a new idea of what he could be like.’ However, this is not new. For thousands of years, people have broken number two of the Ten Commandments as they tried to make God in their own image. What folly. The revealed nature of God is so incredible and so worthy of worship, no one who knows Him would want to change Him. The fact is, because God is who He is, there is hope. He loves us, even us sinners. He told His people who had strayed away from Him…
For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end… (Lamentations 3:22)
God is not like we are. He always does what He says He will do, no matter how foolish His people behave. His unchanging nature is an unfailing anchor for those of us who trust Him.
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19)
For those who do not know God, whether comedians or ‘religious’ but without Jesus, the Lord has a different plan. Instead of persisting in forgiveness and mercy, He offers judgment.
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26–31)
Instead of condemning this comedian or anyone else whose faith is in anything other than the Living God, my prayer is for their repentance. Even those who have trampled Christ underfoot, outraged the Spirit of grace, and mocked the God who never changes can find mercy at the foot of the Cross.

Lord, do pity those who mock You. Some may do it in ignorance, not knowing the reality of who You are and that You never change. May You be merciful and show them the Way, the Truth, and the Life — found in Your precious Son, Jesus Christ.

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