Sunday I posted an article about lying to ourselves about what is right and what is wrong. This article follows that one.
Malachi chapter 3 deals with our worship, our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I fear that the majority of us have lost our zeal for, and fear of God. Many preachers today just want us to feel good. They don't talk about God's character. They don't mention sin. If your little child continually reaches his hand toward the hot stove, even though you keep telling him it will hurt, do you at last, slap his hand or are you afraid of hurting him? Which will hurt worse, the slap on the hand or the burn he would get from touching the stove? Love teaches and disciplines. Our government, and thus our society, no longer believes in discipline.
The Bible tells us that fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The problem is, we have for so long, heard that God is a God of love, with no mention of the other facets of His character, that we treat Him as a celestial teddy bear.
God is also a God of wrath. He destroyed the entire earth by flood because of its wickedness, saving only Noah and his family because they were the only people on the entire planet that loved God. Teddy bears don't get angry.
God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because they were filled with homosexuals. Gen 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
Gen 18:18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
Gen 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
Gen 18:20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;
Gen 18:21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
Gen 18:22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
Gen 18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Abraham was worried about his nephew, Lot and his family, who lived in Sodom. Abraham pleaded with God several times, respectfully and humbly, if God would destroy the cities if there were certain numbers of righteous people in the cities. God, after each number mentioned, told Abraham He would not destroy the cities if that number of righteous people resided there. The last number Abraham mentioned was ten. There were not even ten righteous people living in those two cities. Only Lot and his daughters were spared. His wife looked back as they fled, and was turned to a pillar of salt.
So the question is: Are we allowing ourselves to be deceived by our own wishes to have our feelings pumped up during church, and be told we are good and God is good, and the world is wonderful and there is no sin? Wake up, people! Why are children being molested, kidnapped, bullied, and killed? For some it is God protecting them against worse things to come. For others it is to deliver them from evil before they have a chance to be turned the wrong way.
Romans 3:10 says, "There is none good, no not one."
Isa 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
Isa 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Isa 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
Isa 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Isa 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Isa 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
This passage, of course, is talking about Jesus. This is one of the many prophecies of what would happen to Him. If we are good then Jesus went through all of that torment and death for nothing. He died for our sins. WE ARE NOT GOOD!!! We are evil and need a savior. Jesus has taken the penalty for our cruelty, evilness, everything bad that we have ever done, and it was poured on him at the cross. He shed His precious blood for OUR sins. We need to stop kidding ourselves, stop lying to ourselves that we are good. We need to acknowledge our sin on a daily basis, because whether we want to see it or not, we sin every day. There isn't a day that goes by that we haven't had an evil thought, or told a lie, or said something about someone, or done something we regret. We all are guilty before God. We can kill our conscience and tell ourselves we are good, but in the end, we will stand before God to be judged. God hates our worship and praise if our hearts are not right with Him, or if we are just going through the motions. Joh_4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.