Between the Ends: June 28, 2016

” TOO MANY COMPROMISES… TOO MANY RETREATS. THE LINE MUST BE DRAWN HERE, THIS FAR AND NO FURTHER.”

Good dialogue but so much more…
That quote comes from Star Trek’s Captain Jean Luke Picard, as he realized that the aggressive behavior of the Borg required an answer from those who would remain faithful to the principles of freedom in the universe.  I thought of this, when my wife sent me a great piece from the folks at truth for life and Alistair Begg. In it he writes: “If you are really the chosen of God, and beloved by Him, do not allow all this lavish treasure of grace to be wasted on you. Pursue holiness; it is the Christian’s crown and glory. An unholy church is useless to the world and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, hell’s laughter, heaven’s abhorrence. The worst evils that have ever come upon the world have been brought upon her by an unholy church.”
 

Now, think with me of Peter’s response to the reality of the world’s future as it rejects the gracious work of God, and pursues its own selfish course of destruction. The Apostle writes, ‚ÄúSince all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.” 2 Peter 3:10

God’s calling for all of us is to pursue holiness. It has always been the pinnacle of God’s desire for his people. It was the subject of Jesus’ teaching on the Sermon on the Mount and the burden of Paul’s treatise on Romans, and yet with each year that passes, we fall further back.

  • The advance of the homosexual movement threatens us and so we fall back, and soften our position, not merely to love all people, but to condone the unholy “choice” of sinful behavior.
  • When prospective couples come to me for premarital counseling for their wedding, they increasingly cannot testify that they have remained morally pure,and so we fall back, and in many cases proceed almost undeterred. In fact, I’ve witnessed a reaction that questions why I would even dare to ask if they have been intimate with each other.
  • When churches seek leaders,they increasingly find the candidates to be soft in their desire for holy living and unconcerned about the purity in relationships with a spouse and other acquaintances, and so we fall back.
  • Churches often have outward rules, even standards for outward behavior but lack in its people a willingness to become vulnerable or accountable for their own sins of pride, bitterness, or a spirit of criticism; and so we fall back.

Over 200 years ago, Jonathan Edwards challenged his people to pursue holiness in spite of the many allurements of the world; which might surprise you to discover are the same we find today: greed, wanton sensuality, and the many distractions offed up as privileges in worldly living. It was the subject of countless sermons, the focus in his personal diary, and the capstone of his research in his “Miscellanies.”

And it should be the driving compulsion of our own lives, for anyone as Begg notes,”Having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2 Peter 1:4

The challenge remains for all of us; maybe it is high time to draw the line in the sand, and fall back no further…

MJC