Tuesday, July 26, 2016

stop listening to people wearing millstones

The Word for today:
Nehemiah 7
know I'm a child of God. You know how I know? I know it because I know my Father.
I know his heart and his promises. I saw them acted out at the cross.
Recently I sat in on a Sunday school class where the old subject of assurance came up. So I listened as people weighed in on whether or not we can be certain we are saved.
I feel like screaming whenever this nonsense comes up, because to say we can't be sure is a refutation of everything God stands for, and everything he has done. To say we can't be sure is to call God a liar:
Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:10-13)
I will go so far as to say--to those who sow these doubts in Sunday schools, pulpits, and seminaries--that if you don't know you're saved, you probably aren't! Because the God who saved me certainly didn't leave me guessing. If the god you're dealing with isn't god enough to save you for certain, your god isn't Jesus Christ. You might call him that, but you've mistaken him for somebody else. Because all who trust him are legitimate children:
To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)

In today's reading, Nehemiah searches the genealogies, going to great lengths to identify legitimate sons:
Then my God put it into my heart to gather the nobles, the rulers, and the people, that they might be registered by genealogy. (Nehemiah 7:5)
And there were some who… could not identify their father’s house nor their lineage. (Nehemiah 7:61)
They sought their listing among those who were registered by genealogy, but it was not found; therefore they were excluded from the priesthood as defiled.  (Nehemiah 7:64)
The Bible teaches that if you don't know you are legitimately a child, it's because you don't really know your father. So if you happen to be one of those who can't say for certain that you are an eternal child of God, it would be wise to re-evaluate; to reject any god who can't save for certain; to turn in renewed faith to Jesus Christ--who died, suspended between heaven and earth, so that we wouldn't be left (either literally or figuratively) hanging.
After the troubling Sunday school class which prompted this plea, one of the students rushed up to me. She wanted to know whether her salvation might be in jeopardy. So I told her...
[ I can hardly tell this story. I'm going to exit this blog because I have to find and strangle those who caused this child of God to doubt. No, I won't need to strangle 'em. God's already seen to that; he's got a millstone waiting for those who create doubt (the seminal sin) in his children who believe:
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6) ]
…I told her that, according to the Word of God, Jesus became sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
"Righteous," I said, "means a lot of things. But the thing for you to remember is that righteous means you have as much right to be in heaven as Jesus Christ himself. So don't ever let anybody snatch your assurance from you. And don't ever forget this: In order for God to kick you out of heaven, he would have to kick Jesus out with you."
And so I say to you what I said to her:  In order for God to kick you out of heaven, he would have to kick Jesus out, too.
So rest assured, child of God.  And stop listening to people wearing millstones!

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