Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of building in the past couple of months. I have learned a pile about insulation, dry-wall, and hanging doors and windows. Some of my “schooling” came from trial and error, but the majority came from counsel of folks who know what they are doing. I have learned that it really pays to find someone who knows, and listen to them. Hi Jerry Richardson.
My motto is: “if you can jump it, I can calk it”. Bottom line? I am not a carpenter. I also have come to know that just because one may have a jet boat, it doesn’t logically follow that they can go to any given river and safely navigate it. There is a learning curve. It is much like driving an obstacle course where the road (and sometimes the obstacles), are moving. It is 50% - “Oh, how beautiful”, and 50% – “oh no. How did I get here?”.
Spiritual Switch: One of the things that breaks my heart is when someone is running amuck in life, and a well meaning friend will tell them: “It’s OK, everyone messes up. Your no worse than everyone else; and perhaps better than most.” Although this sounds benevolent, and is somewhat true by worldly standards, we do a dis-service and even empower folks to continue what they are doing, which is what the Bible calls Sin, and "Better the wounds of a friend than the kisses of the enemy". This is "Condemning Tolerance". There, I said it. Does God know we sin? Sure He does. Everybody, No exceptions. But nowhere does God say things like: “That sin wasn’t that bad, don’t be too hard on yourself”. No, He rather tells us things like Repent, (turn away from sin and self, and toward Him), Die to self daily, or Do not grieve the Spirit of God. “If any man says he is without sin, he is a liar, and the truth is not in him. If we confess our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1st John 1:8-9. You see, the world tells us we are not that bad, while God says on my very best day, my righteousness is as “filthy rags” before a Holy God.
He is not being mean, or hypercritical. He is Holy, and His standard is Perfection. “But nobody’s perfect” you may say, and you are right. So how do we reconcile these two? We don’t. God did. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2nd Cor. 5:21. Just as I am not a carpenter, you (and I) can never be good enough to go to heaven. Will your story in eternity be a happy one? Or will it be a brief: “Oh, how beautiful” followed by an eternity of: “oh no. how did I get here?”. Find someone who knows, someone you trust, and listen to their counsel. God bless.