Motives Are Enough to Display Our Guilt
2 Timothy 3:1-5 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
The phrase “Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” catches my eye. The majority of people do not care what is right or wrong these days, they only are concerned with the question, “Is it fun?” We see this in our individualistic, do what I want and desire America. People for the most part are self absorbed and care only to do the right things if it benefits them in some way. Hey, “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Godliness and righteousness are not means for illicit personal gain. God desires people to do the right thing even when it hurts. That is deep seated godliness and commitment there!
Psalm 15:1-5 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless,who does what is righteous,who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile personbut honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts,and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
Notice, a blameless person “keeps an oath even when it hurts,” as well as, “lends money to the poor without interest.” See, their is no gain in that only the satisfaction of giving love to those in need and honoring God by not breaking one’s word.
Yet our culture thrives off of the opposite. The World loves us only when it is reciprocated, shares when convenient, does right when there is rewards involved.
But, Jesus said this in Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Perfect? Yes you heard right, God’s perfect law requires perfect obedience to him and love for our fellow man and woman. The Old Testament Mosaic law said “Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:17-18)
Jesus reiterated in other words, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:21-22)
“But I’m not perfect! No one’s perfect!” One might say, and that is correct, because even if you could you would go through life and never sin once in an action, the sins of a person’s heart would be enough to send you to hell. As we see above even a wrong motive or an evil attitude or hatred toward someone can buy you a ticket to The Cosmic Courtroom.
As you can see, no one can measure up to such a high standard and we are all guilty as charged before a perfectly holy God. I know Im hosed up myself without God’s pity and mercy.
Does God want to condemn a person? Does his heart rejoice at the idea of sending any soul to an awful place of despair for all of eternity? No!
God is love also, but he cannot compromise his standards and principles, it is impossible for him to just let evil slide. So what does he do? He pours out every ounce of his anger toward our sin on Jesus Christ, nailed to the cross and bearing not just the physical agony of death, but the excruciating separation from God, his Father. Jesus took on death, but hell as well. Hell is God’s complete abandonment and withdrawal from ungodly people. God being the source of all good has withdrawn his complete and entire presence from the unholy.
Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, Why has thou forsaken me?”
Christ has dealt with the sins of the world and every single one of us on the cross, and his offer of forgiveness is only available to those who receive it! God will not force anyone to come to Heaven and spend eternity in his presence. Those who don’t want him will receive exactly what they wish, an eternal and irrevocable existence without God in it.