That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life...
Philippians 2:15-16a

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What Matters to God

"When everything is said and done and we are standing before Christ at the judgement seat, I don't think it will really matter what kind of music we listened to, how we dressed, or what denomination of church we belonged to.  What Jesus will be concerned about is how we treated people, and how we loved those around us."

Someone said this to me once.  I was a little taken aback by the statement.  First, there is some truth in it.  Emphasis on the word SOME.  Second, there's absolutely no biblical basis to believe that it doesn't matter to the Lord what music we listen to, or what kind of clothes we wear, or what church we go to.  In fact, each of these things absolutely matter to God, and it's obvious the person who said this had no clue what the Bible actually teaches.  Third, this is a really dumb excuse not to read the Bible and find out if maybe these things do matter to God.

Here's the thing.  A lot of Christians want a one-dimensional, fit-nicely-in-my-box type of God, all the while claiming that they are letting God "out" of the proverbial "box".  They want God to be all about love.  Or all about peace.  Or all about blessings.  God is about each of those things, but He is not exclusive to any of them.  God is more than you or I or any theologian or preacher will ever comprehend. I totally agree with many young, up-and-coming Christians that we need to stop limiting God.  They just don't realize that they are the ones limiting God, usually by saying He's all about love, and leaving out the fact that He's also just, hates sin, and will punish those who don't receive the free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus.  

Let's get one thing straight.  God loves every single human being that ever was and ever will be born!  NO ONE is denying that!

For God so loved the world... John 3:16.

So, what's up with using God's love to excuse EVERYTHING else we do as Christians?  Isn't God concerned about more than just me loving people?  I mean, if He doesn't care about my music and my clothes, does He care about anything else that I do?  Does He care if I swear, dress sleezy, drink, smoke, party, watch dirty movies..??  Does He care that I'm sick, or that someone close to me is going through a major trial, or that my best friend just lost her job, or...??  

Do you see how statements like the one I opened with can lead to all sorts of other misconceptions about God? Once we begin to doubt God's interest in one area of our lives, that opens up doubt, anxiety, and worry about other areas of our lives.  What's important enough for God to be concerned with and what's not?  Then we spend all our time trying to figure out what matters to God and what doesn't and wondering if God really is there for us like He promised He would be.

The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
...for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. I Peter 5:7

God cares about the smallest, most insignificant details of our lives.  He cares what we wear.  In fact, He cares about it so much that He's even given us instructions in His Word on how to dress.  He cares what kind of music we listen too.  He's given many principles and guidelines in the Bible to help us to choose good, godly music.  He cares what church we go to.  I'm amazed at how many times the Bible warns against false teaching and false doctrine.  The Bible even commands us to forsake not the assembling of ourselves together.

Sadly, a lot of Christians want a God that fits their idea of what God should be, instead of changing their idea of God to what He really is!  That's how people come to actually believe statements like the one I wrote above.  They don't read their Bibles, so they don't realize that God is concerned with so much more than just how we love people.  They go to churches where this idea is popular, and they've never been taught properly from the Scriptures a clear and true concept of Who God is.  

So, the question is, what will matter to God that day when we, as Christians, stand before Him either after our death or at the Rapture?  I'm not sure that question can be answered in a simple statement.  I do know that it all starts with learning about Who God is, and that starts by studying His Word!  Everything we need is in the pages of the Scriptures, and if we really want to live pleasing to the Lord, we'll just read the Bible and obey it.  

1 comment:

  1. Jesus said "If ye love me keep my commandments".
    It's more important that we love God before we love others. In fact it is the only way we can truly love others. Any other way is just loving people in our own power and the world does that all the time - even better than many Christians.