Saturday, August 15, 2009

What If He Really Means It?

See, I was having this discussion, about various things, with my pastor a few days back. We were sitting on the front pew, after one of our "Revival services" where Ray Jones and his crew were leading.

It'd been an outstanding evening.

I was moved ask Bro. Mike "What if God really means what He says?" Then I explained I didn't mean "Yeah .. sure .. it's the Word of God"; what I meant was His saying exactly what He means, and meaning exactly what He says.

No "Yes .. but a loving God would never ...".

What if?

The case we were verbally dancing around was a couple facing the likelihood of divorce. What if God really really means that, if you divorce your wife for any reason other than marital unfaithfulness, and if you marry another woman, you really are committing adultery? And ditto for the person marrying such a divorced woman?

And why would we think that we won't have to stand personally before God and answer for that, some day ("Payday Someday", anyone...?) ... or answer for telling someone that "under their circumstances", it's "OK" to go ahead and get a divorce?

During our discussion, the term "biblical grounds" (for divorce) came up. I question that; I'm not at all sure that marital infidelity gives us someone a "pass" to divorce the guilty spouse. The passage we were discussing dealt only with marital unfaithfulness, and its effect on whether the parties would be committing adultery were they to marry later. That passage simply does not address Jesus' own statement of "let no man put asunder...", nor does it seem to indicate God doesn't hate divorce, even in those cases.

Maybe one reason we're not seeing the sort of power so easy to spot in Acts 2 & 3 is that we're taking His Word lightly, in deference to the preferences and urges of man.

Sinful man.

Then I read Psalm 23 and see that we need fear NO evil. And I also think back to years of prayer requests from people who have an appointment Monday morning to get the results of their tests, and they are fearful of the results. Yeah .. I do it too .. but all the time reminding myself of what God says, and acknowledging that any fear I have is a result of my sin, which keeps me from trusting God fully in such matters.

Make that in all matters. He did say ... in Proverb 3 ... that we should trust Him with ALL our hearts, didn't He?

I think that means ALL.

What if He really means some of the other stuff He says in the Bible, when He says....
  • that He really does hate divorce ...
  • that, when someone re-marries with their ex never having committed unchastity, that they really are committing adultery ...
  • we can ask forgiveness as we forgive those who sin against us....
  • That we really aren't forgiven when we carry grudges or nurse old wounds ...
  • that Deacons really must lead their families in a Godly way ...
  • that our tongues really are set on fire of hell when we gossip ...
  • that we really are in danger of hellfire when we call someone a "fool" ...
  • that God really is working for good, in all things, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, and we sit here whining about the stock market, housing prices, or thre job picture ...
  • that those with the faith of mustard seeds would see mountains move, and here we sit debating (sometimes heatedly) whether this or that "gift" has passed, usually because we think that, if God hasn't done it for us, then He doesn't do it for anybody, any more.
  • that those who would be first, had best be the servants of all, while here?
I guess I could go on, and I bet you could, too.

What if He really does mean everything He's told us?

What if.......

2 Comments:

At 9:27 PM, August 16, 2009, Blogger John Notestein said...

I believe He really means what He says, and everytime I read passages like the ones you mention, I realize what a great sinner I am, and am so grateful for God's grace that surpasses my feeble understanding. I have been married for over 30 years, and have never even thought of divorce, but there are plenty of other sins that I have committed.

 
At 8:23 AM, August 17, 2009, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks for looking in, John.

We do presume on God's grace, don't we? God help me to never do that again.

 

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