The New Year is right around the corner and most folks are usually quite excited to see the old year go out and the new one come in. Resolutions are made in the excitement of the prospect of this new beginning, but are seldom kept once the realization sets in, that the new year is just like the old one. The same temptations are present and the same weaknesses exist in us in the New Year as they did in the old. Solomon said, "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." (Ecc 1:9) This thought can be very depressing to the flesh which desires and seeks to find something in this world in which it can find comfort and some form of hope.
Those who live after the flesh run after many things, trying to fill this void and longing for something new and different. The men of Athens, were described by Luke thusly, "For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing." (Acts 17:21) The natural religious bent of man causes him to seek out all manner of religious experiences and doctrines in hopes of finding something that can answer many of his questions. The flesh often becomes quite content in the imbibing of doctrines and practices which fit in nicely with its desires to either be calmed and entertained or satisfied with some sort of activity which gives it a sense of doing something for the god of its imaginations. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Prov.14:12) False religion is but the answer of the flesh to satisfy men. Men are convinced that GOD is just like they envision HIM to be. (this is idolatry) They delight to build idols with their hands and most often with their imagination. The flesh is not much concerned with who the true and living GOD is but is very content to serve the god which is most like it pictures him to be. The flesh can become quite demonstrative and very passionate to defend its "gods" regardless of which form he may take in their mind. Jeremiah the prophet describes this activity, "Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish." (Jer 10:14-15) "This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood." (Jer 13:25) (see also Rom. 1:20-32)
The Muslims revere one who they call Allah and are quite ready to lop off the heads of any who do not agree with them on the agenda of his supposed great prophet, Mohammed. The Buddhists find god within themselves. The Hindus worship many gods and starve to death rather than eat one of them. And the list goes on and on. Sadly many of those who call themselves "christians" evidently serve a god who is not much different than these heretofore mentioned. The average modern "believer" is convinced that GOD is limited in one way or another, that they can "experience" him, and many feel that sincerity in worship of some god is more important than who one actually believes god to be. The more conservative among them are ready to act in the flesh to destroy those who would dare to disagree with them even to the point of going against the plain teachings of the ONE who they profess to follow. I recently heard a radio talk show host say that the nastiest and most threatening letters and emails he receives are from those who call themselves "Christian conservatives". I have personally heard curse words spoken by some claiming to be fundamentalists (who supposedly believe that GOD loves everybody the same) when the subject of the absolute sovereignty of GOD is set forth. I was glad they did not have the Muslim's sword in their hand during the confrontation.
This so called "christian conservatism" is not much different than the mindset of the terrorists among the Muslims and in some cases produces similar results (remember the abortion clinic bombings). How is it possible that those who call themselves Christians can harbor hatred in their hearts toward others and believe it to be a good thing, when the ONE who they claim to worship, said "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Mat 5:44)? How can they propose warfare as justifiable to gain political ends, regardless of the objective, in light of the same? How can they say GOD is all powerful and yet believe that the "free will" of man is some barrier which HE cannot cross or that some things occur which are outside of HIS will and purpose? The scripture plainly says; "But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. " (Psa 115:3) How can they accuse GOD of injustice and get angry when the doctrine of unconditional election is set forth? The scripture plainly says, "What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."(Rom 9:14-15) Whether or not one believes the doctrine of election to be taught in the scripture, isn't it necessary for those who believe GOD is GOD to say that HE can do exactly as HE pleases with that which is HIS whether they think it fair or not? How can those who claim to trust in the "finished" work of CHRIST not believe in the absolute and definite atonement of CHRIST? How can they believe that HE has failed ( in any sense) in doing what HE attempted to do, when the scripture plainly says, "by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Heb 9:12)? How can they believe that the final determination of a man's fate rests in his own hands, when the scripture says, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me" (Joh 6:37)?
The apostle John was given an antidote to be delivered to all who know themselves to be sinners in dire need of a SAVIOR, those who know that they have no power in and of themselves to either know GOD or walk in HIS way, those who cannot find help in the flesh or any of its religious exercises or remedies, and those who by HIS grace long to hear words of comfort straight from HIS lips. He said, the "Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed". What a glorious message of comfort and hope for those beset by sin and its sorrow! Those whom the LORD has awakened are encouraged to know that there is ONE who is mighty to save, whose hand is in no way shortened to save HIS own. HE is the SAVIOR of sinners and shows mercy to all who tremble at the mention of HIS name; calling upon HIM. "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious." (Isaiah 11:10)mam