Madeline Crabb
Obedience to Christ is NOT an option! Part five
By Madeline Crabb
April 26, 2017

"Salvation apart from obedience is unknown in the sacred Scriptures...Apart from obedience there can be no salvation, for salvation without obedience is a self-contradictory impossibility." (A. W. Tozer)

For weeks we have been discussing an essential part of Christianity: obedience to God and His Word. We have discussed many of God's commands, and examples of how staggering numbers of so-called Christians live lives in almost open defiance to these commands. We have talked about some of the "here and now" consequences of our disobedience and sins, but there are future consequences that must be addressed. The most important point we have considered is that obedience to Christ is NOT an option!

Over the years I have heard scores of excuses given by so-called Christians for not abiding by God's commands. Now there are many pastors and teachers who say the Bible is outdated, old-fashioned, and irrelevant for today's culture. Blasphemy! The Bible says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."(Heb. 13:8 NIV) God tells us, "I the LORD do not change." (Mal. 3: 6 NIV) Therefore, if these biblical proclamations are true, then doesn't it stand to reason that God's Word means exactly what it meant when it was given? Of course it does. If we say God didn't really mean the instructions He gave to us through the prophets – that in 2017 He has suddenly changed His mind about our sins – then He is a liar since God proclaims He does not change. Yet Scripture explains, "God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind." (Num. 23:19 NIV)

However, we are humans who want what we want when we want it. We are a fickle people who can believe something one moment, and believe exactly the opposite the next moment. Yes, even within the Church. Because of this, we change the rules, words, and definitions. For example, years ago, CNN mogul Ted Turner said that the Ten Commandments were really suggestions. God didn't really mean...

Or consider that despite God's commandment that we shall not murder (Ex. 20: 13), it is now accepted as "settled law" that women can murder the babies they carry in their wombs. Besides, it's not a baby, just a fetus or blob of tissues, so it's okay to dispose of it. God didn't really mean... Or how about the fact that God calls homosexuality an abomination? (Lev. 20: 13) However there now are all sorts of laws to protect homosexuals from any kind of discrimination, or truth being spoken about the sin. God didn't really mean... Newsflash: God's laws still trump man's laws!

All of our re-defining of words and rules, even the changing of God's Word are manipulative techniques that have been used since the days of Adam and Eve when the serpent (Satan) asked the question of Eve: "Did God really say..." (Gen. 3: 1) The rebellion against God is so great that we elect evil people to represent us in government who will then use the force of law to decimate God's Law. We don't want any reminders that God is holy and has called us to live holy lives. In our churches we now are more inclined to have "hirelings" in the pulpit because we need our ears tickled. Again, we want to have things our way, just like spoiled little children. Because of our bent towards evil, we don't want truly holy men preaching in our pulpits. The end consequences are serious – rampant disobedience and sin within the Church.

The following words spoken by the Lord Jesus should be enough to jolt us into reality:
    Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.

    Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name and driven out demons in Your Name and done many mighty works in Your Name.

    And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly (disregarding My commands.) (Matt. 7: 22-23 AMP)

So, many professing Christians don't want to be told they are in sin. Not wanting their noses rubbed in it, they reject sound counsel and truth, sometimes condemning the truth teller. Isn't it better to be told now about our sins than to be told one day by Jesus Himself to depart from Him, that He doesn't even know us?

We've touched on this before, but the subject deserves further discussion. There is a cycle of sin described in Romans. We know who God is, but refuse to acknowledge and honor Him. We then begin to think up foolish ideas of what God is like, which is when our minds become dark and confused. (Rom. 1:21) Pastor David Johnston of Nothing But the Truth Ministries explains that every time we sin there is a change in our emotional condition and mental attitude, followed by a gradual and severe impairment in our thinking. We begin to think we are wiser than God, and replace and worship gods/idols made in our own image, or like birds and animals. (vv. 22-23) We are now self-delusional. Pastor Johnston explains that at this point we can no longer evaluate life or others in an accurate way because of the "contamination and infiltration of evil/wrong that we have endorsed or approved of in our lives." (See previous articles in this series for examples of this contamination.) God will now let us go our own way. Even though we know the truth, we deliberately choose to believe lies. (vv. 24-26) Finally, God abandons us to our evil ways. (vs. 26)

Deliberate, habitual, defiant behavior towards God and His Word is sin. All the behaviors practiced by so-called Christians we have been discussing these past weeks are indeed sin. Perhaps many of these people have already been abandoned by God? According to Scripture, isn't this possible?

If we are Christians, God will cause His Holy Spirit to repeatedly nudge, prompt, and convict us of our sins. But each time we ignore the voice of the Spirit, it becomes more difficult to hear that still, small voice. Remember the words from Romans about our minds and the thinking process? We actually go from futile thinking, to depraved and reprobate minds. Again, this applies to Christians when we sin.

Our opening quote says that apart from obedience there can be no salvation. Then of course there is Scripture that tells us, "Whoever says, I know Him (I perceive, recognize, understand, and am acquainted with Him) but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth (of the Gospel) is not in him." (1 Jn. 2:4 AMP)

We who claim to be Christians need to stop playing games with God and His Word. We may think we are getting by with something just because nobody has the intestinal fortitude to show us how we are sinning. But God has given us His written Word, and the Holy Spirit to help us live holy lives. Just because the church we attend teaches Gospel-lite, or no Gospel at all, doesn't mean we are not going to be held accountable for our every word and action. Quite simply, if we don't obey God, according to Jesus, we will not see heaven when we die. Again, Scripture states, "Don't you know that those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers – none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 6:9 NLT) If we sin, we are contaminated and our Holy God cannot allow contamination in heaven. Remember, Lucifer, along with a third of the angels, was kicked out of heaven for sinning against God.

Just as President Trump is employing extreme vetting for people wanting to come to America, God has His own extreme vetting plan. President Trump wants assurance that people coming to America want to adopt our values as their own; are willing to speak our language and abide by our laws; will be contributors to our society, not just seekers of the benefits, welfare system, etc. Likewise, God wants us to adopt only His values; He wants us to speak His language and abide by, and obey His laws; He wants us to be contributors to His kingdom, and not just seekers of the benefits of heaven like mansions prepared for us by Jesus, or even just to escape hell. Sounds fair enough, doesn't it? God's house, God's rules.

If we are deliberately sinning, Scripture says we don't even know God. Since obedience to Christ is NOT an option, don't we want to immediately get right with Him? Shouldn't we be abstaining from every kind of evil? ( 1 Th. 5:22) To anyone willing to hear....

© Madeline Crabb


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Madeline Crabb

Madeline Crabb is a Christian, a Constitutional Conservative, and a patriot. Holding a degree in journalism and public relations, and training from the Leadership Institute, she has been a columnist since 2000, and has written for various Christian newspapers around the country. As a “watchwoman” on the wall (Is.62:67), Madeline calls all citizens to awaken, arise, and act in restoring one nation under God.


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