I received a response to my last devotional “Examining Our Consciences” and I thought it was worthy of sharing. The respondent wrote, “Thanks be to my LORD for my conscience for what would I be and where would I be and where would I be headed???” I knew I was going to write about this and I meditated on it a couple of days. The answer to my dear brother’s questions is, we…the church…would be where it is today.
Last night Bro Pete shared a powerful message on being a church member and he gave very alarming statistics and the sum total of the statistics is that the American church is in decline because the number of believers are declining. If memory serves me right, the Builder Generation, those born in the early 20th Century, sixty-percent were born again believers. The Millennial Generation, born between 1908-2000, the number of born again believers drops to under 20%. This explains a lot.
It first explains the need for the NTFV (New Touchy-Feely Version) Bible. You cannot preach to the majority of America about sin, hell, or worse of all, make them feel guilty. And to avoid this you would definitely need a new Bible so as to not allow the little darlings (meaning all generations) to happen upon a Scripture verse that made them feel guilty.
But it is through the mirror of the Ten Commandments and the quickening of our souls by the reading of Scripture that we are able to see our need for mercy. Look again at this passage from David:
“Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart fails me.” (Psalm 40:11-12)
The Bible is required for salvation. Without God’s Word we do not come to know our need for Jesus. The Apostle Paul, a Pharisee’s Pharisee, a teacher of the Old Testament, came to know this better than anyone:
“But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” (Galatians 3:22-25)
The very purpose of the Ten Commandments and the Old Testament was to reveal sin. We need to understand that we cannot be saved by keeping God’s commandments because of the very sin nature we inherited from Adam. This is why to say we are made in the image of God is not completely accurate. Here’s what I mean. Adam and Eve were indeed made in the image of God:
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
Every thing is going wonderful in the Garden of Eden until Eve goes on her first shopping trip and brings back some forbidden fruit. Why did Adam and Eve feel guilty from that point on? Because of God’s Word:
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” (Genesis 2:16-17)
We know what happens next; God finds them hiding in the garden trying to hide their shame with fig leaves. After a brief trial, of which the serpent was the only one smart enough not to try to defend his sin, God drove them out of the garden. When we read Genesis 5 of the genealogy of Adam, we find something interested about his offspring:
“And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.” (Genesis 5:3)
If we wanted to be technical (and biblically accurate) we would no longer say that we are made in the image of God, but the image of Adam. It clearly explains why we are born with a sin nature. I often have people tell me they don’t believe that we are born with a sin nature and that man is inherently good. There is a very simple rebuttal to this touchy-feely response: “Did you ever know of a child that had to be taught how to be bad?” Of course not, they come by it…wait for it…naturally. It is in the nature…their sin nature.
It is through the Law, God’s Word, that we get a guilty conscience and come to realize our need for Jesus. Commenting on our passage from Galatians 3, Warren Wiersbe writes:
“A good example of the purpose of the Law is in the account of the rich young ruler (Matt.19:16f). This young man had everything anybody could desire, but he was not satisfied. He had tried to keep the commandments all his life, but still something was missing. But these commandments brought Him to Christ! This is one of the purposes of the Law, to create in lost sinners a sense of guilt and need. The sad thing is that the young man was not honest as he looked into the mirror of the Law, for the last commandment (“Thou shall not covet”) escaped him; and he went away without eternal life.”
Is that you dear reader? Have you looked at the Truth of God’s Word, realized you have broken at least one of God’s commandments, seen your need for Jesus, and yet walked away unsaved, unredeemed, and destined for Hell? The fact that you are reading this devotional right now means you have another chance.
You have another chance to acknowledge your sins, that Jesus paid the ultimate price for your sins, repent of those sins, and that if you will believe in your heart that Christ died for your sins, and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, that same Word of God promises that you will be saved:
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)
A guilty conscience is a gift from God, not something to be avoided at all cost. That is Hell and Christ has already paid that cost.
Won’t you come to Him today?
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Copyright © 2013 David Jeffers