I once met a man who said that he had tried to read the Bible but became lost within the first few pages and gave up. When I first accepted Christ and began to read the Bible I was a teenager and viewed it in the same way I’d viewed school textbooks. I remember carrying it around a lot but reading it very little. It was only after I’d been to hundreds of church sermons and listened to hundreds of scriptures being quoted that I began to read it for myself. I, too, remember being frustrated and confused. Since then, I have heard it is recommended for people to begin reading with the book of John in the New Testament. But, for those who want to begin with some kind of basic understanding of the general point, or gist of the whole thing I have narrowed it down to three main points derived from three scriptures that I would like to share with you below. I hope you find them helpful in your journey into the Bible.
I know it sounds impossible but let me try and convince you that the main driving focus for the entire bible can be summed up in just three scriptures. No, they aren’t forty-seven verses long. No, they aren’t also called, “The Old Testament” and “The New Testament” or “The Testament according to Janet”. Two of these scriptures lie in the beginning of the book of Genesis.
For the longest time, I read the bible without any frame of reference. I didn’t understand why the bible was written or what the point of all the seemingly meandering, random stories were all about. It wasn’t until about 20 years ago that I came across these first two scriptures and then the entire bible came into much better focus. After reading these, I could see what the core or overall point was that God was trying to make.
The first is Genesis 3:6, “ When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it had a pleasing appearance and that the tree was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her; and he ate.” (Complete Jewish Bible)
And the second is Genesis 4:6-7, “And the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you so angry? And why do you look annoyed? 7 If you do well [believing Me and doing what is acceptable and pleasing to Me], will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well [but ignore My instruction], sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you [to overpower you], but you must master it.”” (Amplified Bible)
I think these two scriptures sum up the two of the three main points that God tries to get through to every human in that He is offering a relationship. I think the first scripture speaks to what God sees as the biggest problem that faces us. It is the desire to try to get whatever one wants to get outside of God’s providing hand. Eve desired the fruit that was forbidden. The more she looked at it and the tree it was on the more she wanted it. Basically, she sold her soul out for a piece of fruit (and we still don’t know what kind of fruit it was). Desiring and pursuing the thing that God did not provide for you, where God will not go with you, and will not bless you on your way to obtaining it are at the core of every human’s struggle with God. It has put a wedge between us and God. That is what sin is, it is a wedge that has come between a human or a nation and God. It is a wedge of self-serving, rebelliousness and self-sufficiency. That wedge keeps us from hearing Him. We become lost and trapped in our own self-delusions that God will accept anything we want because He must have given us the desire for that thing in the first place. It feels empowering and exhilarating when we receive the thing that we really wanted until it starts to turn very sour. Then we either cry out to God to help us or we shake our fist at God in anger.
WE’RE ALL STUCK IN THE MUCK OF SIN, IN DENIAL THAT WE AREN’T.
The second scripture was the story of Adam and Eve’s son, Cain. He had already determined in his mind that he was going to kill Abel when God decided to reach out to him first. This may be why God doesn’t reach out to us first when we plot and plan to do some scheme. God spoke to Cain and reminded him that if he does well he’ll be accepted by God and everyone else. But, if he chooses poorly and follows through on his plan that sin is crouching at his door and that it is Cain’s job to master sin before it master’s him. I think that by this time sin was already crouching at Cain’s door. I think God could already see sin crouching at Cain’s door and God was pointing out that its desire was to devour Cain. While Adam and Eve became the first people to sin, Cain went a step further. Cain became the first person of God’s special creation to knowingly and willfully do pure evil.
Despite the fact that God loved Adam and Eve over every other living being and life form on earth, He still evicted them from Eden. Despite the fact that God loved Cain so much that He would warn Cain of impending doom that didn’t stop God from stamping Cain with a mark so that everyone would be able to see it and quickly identify him as “the guy who killed his brother”.
IT IS A COMMON MISCONCEPTION THAT BECAUSE A PERSON CAN FEEL GOD’S LOVE FOR THEM THAT THEY ARE IMPERVIOUS TO HELL, CORRUPTION OR DEATH. IT IS THE FEELING OF “CAN’T TOUCH ME!” THAT COMES OVER PEOPLE. WE LIVE IN A CLOUD OF DENIAL.
When God told Cain about sin crouching at his door, Cain went to Abel and told him what God had said. I don’t doubt that there was some part of Cain that thought God’s message wasn’t for him or for him only and that he felt sure that God wanted him to warn Abel of his impending doom.
“THE SCRIPTURES ABOUT BECOMING MORALLY UPRIGHT AND LIVING TO PLEASE GOD DON’T APPLY TO ME BECAUSE I KNOW I ALREADY PLEASE GOD AND LIVE A MORALLY CLEAN LIFE.”
And we go on our way assuming God is right there with us, when He may not be.
It was Eve’s sinning that puffed the Devil up the very first time. He quickly realized that if Eve was willing to sell her spiritual Bread of Heaven and Living Water for a piece of fruit that he was on easy street. These stupid humans were willing to give up real spiritual food for non-lasting junk. And every time they did the Devil got bigger and stronger because he was getting heavenly, spiritual food. Soon, he was powerful enough that he could have his demon slaves do the work for him. We all feed them by coming into willful agreement with them that they can provide us what we really want which is something God is failing to give us Himself.
This is why Jesus had to come. Our sins became so massive that only One sacrifice for all people could cut through the sin that separated us from God and kept us dependent on the Devil.
Now, 6,000 years later we are in a pickle. All of our collective sin has fed the Devil and his Demons to the point that their power is so great that mankind can no longer resist his schemes. Even as a collective group, even if all the people on earth collectively resisted the Devil all at the same moment we cannot conquer him. This is why Jesus is coming back because Jesus and His heavenly Angel armies will do just that.
While Jesus has indeed forgiven us of our sins and our sins no longer bind us who are in Christ, that doesn’t mean that the consequences of our sins still isn’t in full play. That consequence is that we still made the Devil and his Demons stronger than ever before. Our sins fed them.
IF WE WANT TO KNOW WHY THERE IS EVIL ON THIS EARTH WE MUST LOOK TO OURSELVES AS THE DIRECT CAUSE AND ROOT. IT IS SO EASY TO DENY THAT WE, PERSONALLY, COULD HAVE HAD ANY PART IN THE UPBUILDING OF EVIL ON THIS PLANET.
I recently heard a Pastor on TV state that he believes the rapture of the living in Christ and the dead in Christ will take place after the tribulation. At first, I thought this had to be wrong. I’d always heard of either pre-tribulation rapture and mid-tribulation rapture. The rapture being when Jesus comes back for those who are His and rescues us from this declining, evil world. But, the more I thought about it the more I began to see that we made this mess by our willfulness to sin and now God was expecting our help to defend Him while cleaning up the mess. There’s no early release from this world even if you are Jesus’ bosom buddy here on earth. So, that’s not a way out of this mess. There is no hedging your bets or covering your bases. There is no accepting Jesus only on a whim to ensure that you will be safe in the afterlife. Nope, we’re all going to be in this final struggle together and by whomever you side with in the fight, God will see it and remember at the judgment. dependent
So, there you have it. In a nutshell, (1) being special to God won’t get you around the consequences of your sin. (2) Desire is something you have to master as well as the temptation to sin. (3) Being loved by God and God finding you acceptable to live for an eternity with him are two very different things. (4) God sees your ulterior motives at trying to sneak into heaven on a technicality or by trying to hedge your bets.
HE SEE’S RIGHT THROUGH ALL OF US.
Eventually, you will have to decide for yourself. This will not be a group thing. God will eventually ask you one simple question. “Did you receive Jesus’ gracious gift of His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead or did you reject His offer?”
Your actions here on earth will have decided your fate, and God won’t need to “send” you anywhere. The choice is still open to you today. If you have not accepted Jesus’ sin removing offer of His death on the Cross and his resurrection from the dead, will you do so today?
“Jesus, I am sure that my sins have bound me. I cannot see any way to be free of them. I have heard that You will free me from the darkness that has kept me a prisoner of sin. I ask that in Your name I would be free to walk in newness of life with You, Jesus, in charge. I freely submit to You and ask You into my heart to be my Savior and Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
You are on the right track. Get into a good Bible based Church, read your Bible and don’t let this last prayer be your last prayer. Keep on praying and God will show you amazing things, blinking-in-sunlight kinds of things that leave you in awe of Your Creator.
So, what’s the third scripture? John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)
KEEP ON CHOOSING GOD, FOR HIM TO KEEP ON CHOOSING YOU!
…..BLIS.BLOG…..by Janet Williams…..A BLOG TO SEE!…..