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Playing With Fire

Tuesday, May 02, 2023 @ 09:47 AM Playing With Fire Dr. Ray Rooney, Jr. Digital Media Editor MORE

Nearing the end of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus issued a dire prediction about a lot of people who claim to be His followers:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’ (Matthew 7:21-23).

Apparently, calling Jesus "Lord, Lord" doesn't guarantee He is pleased with you. That’s pretty much what religious progressives are saying isn’t it? They march with #BlackLivesMatter because “God is love.”  They advocate homosexuality as ordained of God and stand with those who believe gender is a feeling rather than a biological reality because “God is love.”  They believe in taking the fruit of one man’s labor to give to another who hasn’t labored because “God is love.”  They believe any means justifies the end because “God is love.”

Authentic Christians have been saying for millennia that God loves sinners and calls His people to love and interact with them (because “such were some of you” 1 Corinthians 6:11).  However, progressives in the church are saying that the embrace of sin itself is the will of God because…”God is love.” That is quite different. And even though they have managed to sell themselves on it and can even sell many of their neighbors on it…they won’t be able to slip it by Jesus.

[Y]ou workers of lawlessness.” 

That last word is interesting. The Greek word ανομια(anomia) intones a dark picture of one who acts intentionally contrary to the law. In other words, a person who happily flaunts and promotes acts that are deemed unrighteous. Three times in the above passage, Jesus predicted these people would insist that what they had been doing (prophesying, casting out demons, and mighty works) had been done “in your name.” That is, with His permission and approval. Each one of those endeavors could easily be seen as being engaged in an act of love. Yet Jesus said, “I never knew you…workers of lawlessness.” 

Granted, we are all law breakers when it comes to faithfully and perfectly obeying the will of God. So there must be something more to this horrifying admonition in the Sermon on the Mount as it concerns these particular “workers of lawlessness.” The admonition to “depart from me” can only mean one final and eternal thing.

First, to common sense. Someone who goes 40 mph in a 30 mph speed zone is in fact a law breaker but not to the degree of one who advocates and promotes anarchy towards the government. A worker of lawlessness superimposes his or her own standards over another whereas a law breaker simply fails to meet the standards he or she acknowledges and agrees to live by. The law breaker offends the morality of the law while the worker of lawlessness replaces the law’s morality with their own. Quite a difference.

Second, consider the Matthew 12:22-32 passage which culminates in the unveiling of the unforgiveable sin (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit). While there is no time for an in depth Bible study here it can be pointed out that the context (attributing the miracles of Jesus to the Devil) suggests that ascribing what God has done to be an act of evil is a full frontal assault on the very holiness of God (the Holy Spirit). It is, in fact, the ultimate act of lawlessness for which one “will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:32). 

So, when the religious progressives embrace gender fluidity, self-identification of something apart from biological reality, and promote same-sex marriage, they are not merely advocating the normalization and legitimization of that which God identifies as sin, but are also calling the revealed will of God concerning human sexuality to be a work of evil. The idea that “God created man in his own image…male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27) and “a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife” (Genesis 2:23) and then to have Jesus affirm it (Matthew 19:4-6) becomes anathema. Evil becomes good and good becomes evil (Isaiah 5:20) and God pronounces His “woe” (through Isaiah and Jesus). 

Religious progressives are playing with a fire that will burn far more than the superficiality of their flesh. The old idiom that you can have too much of a good thing will be the progressives eternal undoing. The good thing?  “God is love.” 

There are two visions of God recorded in the Bible that have angelic beings crying out in the divine presence about a particular attribute of God. One is Isaiah 6:3 and the other is Revelation 4:8. What overwhelms these beings about God more than anything else?  It is not His love. Nor is it His power. Or, His wisdom. Or, His generosity. Rather their unending eternal song of joy is

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord…

God is a lot of things (not least of which is truth). But all that ultimately matters when you stand before Him is if you led a life that indicated you absolutely believed…He is holy. In both passages, His holiness was manifested in unprecedented sights, sounds, and shakings. The great prophet Isaiah screamed “Woe is me!” (Isaiah 6:5) while the 24 elders in John’s apocalyptic vision fall on their faces to worship Him. 

A loving God embraces us despite our sins. A holy God can never accommodate us in our sin(s).  God’s love can never ever ever blind His holiness. The answer to that dilemma is that “now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13). God’s love delivered up His Son to die in our place so that we could stand before Him wrapped in the holiness of the blood of the Lamb. 

It is absolute idolatrous blasphemy that suggests God’s affirmation of two genders and heterosexual marriage is somehow “narrow minded bigotry.” That is, in essence, identifying the work and will of God as rooted in evil. 

It’s one thing to question a person's motives and integrity. I’m sure I need (and deserve) that from time to time. It is, however, something completely different to impugn God with impure motives or lacking integrity just because you think your views on human gender and sexuality are more relevant than His. 

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