Edward Hancock II
The Imperfect Blog
|Posted by EHancock2 on February 15, 2017 at 2:55 PM|
I want you to take a journey with me for a moment. Don't worry. You don't have to leave your couch or your chair or your desk at work or whatever. But, if you're in your car reading this, please close it out until you are safely home, as I do not want to be responsible for your unsafe driving practices.
Now, with that out of the way, we are going to take a journey in our minds. I want you to imagine yourself in a car. Any car. Your car, somebody else's car. A car that you don't own but would like to. The car itself is immaterial. You're just in a car. You're speeding down a highway. You can be the lone car on this highway, or you can be one of two or you can be one of however many cars you want. Let's focus on you, though. As you travel down this road, you see a friend of yours. An acquaintance, really. Maybe a business associate or a customer. Somebody you know, but not anyone you're actually close to. They're holding a sign warning you to stop now because danger lies ahead. You don't really know the person and you can't really be sure if they're telling the truth or not, so you keep going. a little bit further down the road, you see two old friends with whom you've lost touch through the years. Likewise, they're holding up signs, waving furiously, insisting you stop. But you keep going, maybe waving as you pass by. A little further down this road, you see your work friends, your hang out buddies. People you're close to, but not people who really know the innermost workings of your heart. Like the people you've passed by before, they are feverishly waving for you to stop. They've put barrels in the road, which you dodge. One of them runs out into the road, causing you to swerve. You miss them by millimeters. A little further down the road, you see your siblings or other close relatives. They're also trying to stop you, but they've always stood in your way, you think, so they're just trying to keep you from getting to your destination. They don't want you to prosper. Why should you stop, right?
You put them in your rearview mirror just in time to encounter none other than your best friend in the entire world. This friend has a bullhorn and warns you that there's an obstacle further up the road that is going to kill you if you don't stop your car now. You hear them clearly, but you don't stop. You nod, wave. You're honestly grateful for your best friend and begin to contemplate why they would tell you such a thing. They've never stood in the way of your progress before. Why now? Why are they just now standing in the way of something that you really want? Something that makes you endlessly happy? Must be jealous, right? You're making forward progress. Meanwhile they're standing still, trying to prevent you from being happy. That has to be it, right?
So, you keep going. A little further down the road, you encounter your parents. they are standing on the side of the road, next to the sloping beginnings of a wall built to line either side of the road you've been traveling on for so long. You've literally reached a point of no return. Your parents are red-faced. They are screaming at the top of their lungs. Your father seems almost stereotypically angry, disappointed and worried. Your mother is crying. They're begging you to stop. You know that, once you pass them, there's no U-turn. There'll be no room for you to turn the car around. And you can't back up because you don't know who else is coming down this road.
But you've come this far...............................................................
Sounds foolish, doesn't it? What idiot would actally keep driving down this road when so many trusted friends and loved ones are standing there telling you to stop? Well, the truth is a lot of people keep driving down this very road.
In our little scenario, you keep driving down this road. The further down this road you get, the more narrow the lane gets. It gets darker and darker. So dark, even your headlights won't pierce the night. Pretty soon, you reach the point where your driving is the only thing keeping you from crashing into the side walls. Then you see it...
Your friends were right. Your parents were right. Your pastor was right. Your cousins were right. Your 10th grade science teacher was right. Any number of people waiting on the side of that road was, in fact, right when they tried to warn you to stop before it was too late. But, you didn't listen. Maybe you hit the wall, maybe you don't. Let's be nice and say you don't hit the wall. So, you don't die. We've already established you can't reverse. There might be other cars coming. There's insufficient room for other cars to pass on either side. The darkness makes it unsafe, unlikely that they would see you. So, you get out of the car and pray there's enough room for you to walk and not get hit by any cars approaching this same dangerous wall. You walk back. You walk all the way back. You get back to where your parents were. Your father has died waiting on your return. Your mother is a shell of her former self, having lost her husband and believing you had passed away too. A little further back, you find some of your friends still waiting. Others have given up and gone on to other things. Your life will never be the same again, but you are alive.
Now, let me ask you a question. At any point in that journey would you think any of those people were judging your driving? Possibly. I left that option open, didn't I? But, in reality, that would seem stupid wouldn't it? If they're holding a sign telling you there's a dead end that you're going to crash into, that's not a reflection on your driving. That's a desire to save someone they love, right? If your mom jumps out in front of the car or somebody else puts up an obstacle to stop you from colliding with the dangerous wall, most rational people would be grateful that they did that, I would wager. Sure you might think, as in this scenario, that somebody was jealous. You are moving somewhere. Moving forward. They are standing still, raving like a "mad man." But, common sense, and hindsight, (and the benefit of wisdom hindsight brings) tells us that, in fact, they were trying to stop you from hurting yourself or dying. I think we can all agree on that, right?
So, here's my question. If you call yourself a Christian, but you are not trying to stop someone you love from sinning, are you really doing them a favor? If you have a relative that's homosexual or kleptomaniac or chronic liar, are you doing them a favor by saying "well, I won't judge you. I will just love you and God will work it out"? Conversely, if you are the sinner (and we are ALL sinners who fall short of the Glory of God.... that's biblical) are you doing YOURSELF any favors by angrily ignoring somebody who is trying to keep you from hitting that wall at the end of this road you're on? See, all roads lead to God. One way or the other, all roads lead to God. One day, each man and woman will stand before God Almighty and account for his or her life. You will account for the choices you made and I will account for the decisions that have shaped my life. I will account for every "car" I stood in front of, or tried to stop. And I will account for every "car" I let crash into that wall. The wall in this scenario is a sinful outcome to your life. What does the Bible say? "The wages of sin is death. That "death" of which the Bible speaks is eternal Hell.
If a person stops you from hitting that wall and being a red stain on 6 foot thick steel-reinforced concrete, it's not because they hate you, is it? If a person jumps in front of a bullet to keep you from getting shot, it can't be because they hate you. If a person pulls you off a ledge from which you are trying to jump to your death, the person pulling you back is not your enemy. They are many things. Enemy is not among them.
So, if you call yourself a believing Christian, but you have a sin-filled life, and a brother in Christ is trying to talk you out of that, WHY would you respond "only God can judge me"? It's a given that God judges. Yeah, God will be your final judge. But if that doesn't scare the sin out of you, that doesn't make your Christian brother judgmental. It makes you prideful and desiring to continue down that road, toward that towering concrete death that awaits you.
We are all gonna meet God one day. We are all going to be JUDGED by God one day. And I will not be judged by your lies, your adultery or your homosexuality or your arson or your murder or your whatever. You will not be judged by my sins, past or present. BUT, remember James 5:20 which says, "remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins."
There's also this verse:
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin
Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
In the interests of space, I'll share a link to this next verse. you can check it out at your leisure. Matthew 7:16-29: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7%3A16-&version=ESV
Folks, sin is sin. It's going to be sin til the LORD calls us all home. We need to stop excusing our sinful choices and stop pushing away loving people in our desires to feed the flesh. Remember the Bible says the Flesh and the Spirit are at war. We need to feed the SPIRIT with what will nourish it. And we need to deny the flesh that which will give it prominence over the SPIRIT. More than that, we need to stop prideful lies from being promulgated. It is not judgment to stand in the way of a loved one headed toward a dangerous eternity. It is not judgment to want the best for our children, our parents, our siblings, our loved ones and friends. It is not judgment to stop a car from speeding into a brick wall and it's not not judgment to toss a life preserver to a poor swimmer about to drown, so how can it be judgment to toss a spiritual life preserver (or to BE one) to a person drowning in sin?
We need to step out of the secular application of sacred principles and apply the Bible without "SON screen." Hey, that's pretty good. I need to write that down.
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the flawed letters W, E and H and by the sinner saved by grace number 2.