Friday, June 24, 2011

Dash God

"Let's meet at My house Sunday, before the game."
                                                                 - God
Ever seen one of these before? If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'm referring to the auspiciously placed billboards seen all over the country (especially the Bible belt) that have sayings like these. I've been on the road a lot lately and I see one of these every once in a while. Another of my "favorites" that I spotted in Atlanta says, "JESUS" on one side, and on the other, it says, "COMING SOON!"

My process of thinking upon seeing one of these gems usually goes kinda like this:

1. Hey! Look a billboard talking about God! Chalk one up for the team.
2. Oh wait... that's kinda cheesy.
3. Do people actually get impacted by corny stuff like this?
4. I need to talk to the guy in charge of this stuff.
5. Scratch that, he'd probably just give me a "Smile! Jesus loves you!" bracelet.

Ok, that might've been a bit exaggerated, but there's a reason I bring this up:

I am fed up with what culture and Christians themselves have made out of Jesus.

Ask anyone on the street what they think Jesus was like and they'll probably regurgitate the painted image of Jesus that they remember stuck to their grandma's refrigerator as a child: a white, soft-faced, long-haired, lotion-using, love-spreading hippie.

Don't get me wrong, God definitely is love, (1 John 4:8) but more on that later. The main idea I'm trying to get you to see is the fact that we have let culture tell us what God is like, instead of the other way around.

We've let God be portrayed as a guy who takes all the hits and doesn't say a word. We've let God be portrayed as Someone Who doesn't care how much bad stuff you've done because He'll just forgive you anyway. We've let God be portrayed as a mamby-pamby wimp who won't ever be seen with a look of anger.

But let me show you what the Scriptures tell us God is like.

God, while having more love than anyone, also has more wrath and anger than anyone. If you love, you have to hate. Think about it: if you love your mother or daughter, you will hate anyone who tries to hurt them. So God, in His love of people, hates sin, and the Bible tells us that those who live in sin are "storing up wrath" (Romans 2), and that He will carry out judgment for those who have not followed Him. (Rev. 20)

We sometimes misinterpret the passive wrath of God, however. When we see someone living in sin and having a physically blessed life, we wonder where God's wrath is. But we don't realize that God's passive wrath here on this earth will turn into active wrath at the Great White Throne of Judgment. (Rev. 20)

God has destroyed cities and broken down kingdoms to rubble at the word of His mouth, and yet somehow we think that Jesus can be reduced to an "all-around-nice-guy," and we try to forget the part of the Bible that talks about Him flipping over tables and yelling. Matthew 21, by the way.

Christ also ferociously pursues the lost and those who belong to Him, with a fire and a passion unmatched by any human soul. The Bible says that once we are in His Hands, "neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

So let's not be fooled into believing what culture dictates, but let us search the Scriptures to find out what He's like and let us seek Him to personally know Him for ourselves.


That. Is. Seriously. Powerful.


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