Pastor’s Desk November 25th

Scripture Passage:  “The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying, What mean you, that you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?  As I live, says the Lord God, you shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.  Behold all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die.”  Ezekiel 18: 1-4
Dear Friends,
     How did we ever get in the mess we are in?  Common responses of school age children are:  “It is not my fault,” and “I didn’t do anything.”  Teenage responses are more like, “Everybody is doing it,” and “There’s nothing wrong with it,” or “It’s not that bad.”  Adult responses follow whatever logic is acceptable for the day.  “It’s my parents fault because of the way they raised me,” or “I am a product of my environment.”  “The public school system has failed to prepare me to make wise and acceptable decisions,” or my personal favorite, “It is the Republican/Democrats fault.” Whoever is in office at the time is attributed with the responsibility for generations of stupidity.  God spoke with Ezekiel concerning this logic and proclaimed, “Everyone is accountable for themselves and guilty because of the sins they have committed.”
     To reach these conclusions, people have to ignore the Inspired Word of God.  They would rather base their lives on the philosophy of the world and the acceptance of current public opinion than take responsibility for their own actions.  The people of Ezekiel’s day were accusing their parents of sinning and they, the children, having to bear the consequences for it.  They were basically saying they were in a “no win” situation.  They were going to have to suffer because of what the older generation had done.  God spoke through the prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah with the same truth:  God punishes each of us justly for what we do.  (Jeremiah 31:29-30) God is just and fair and whatever discipline we are experiencing is a result of what we have done.  God shows no partiality.  (Deut. 10:17) He is a God of love, but He is also a God of judgment.  He sometimes delays or withholds punishment because he is gracious and merciful.  He gives us time to recognize our sinfulness, admit our guilt before Him, and repent willingly. God will not turn away a broken and contrite heart.  Neither will he ignore our rebellion and disobedience forever.  In the words of the late, great Dr. R.G. Lee there will be a “Payday Someday.”
     What is the excuse you are using to live in willful disobedience to God?  God’s says, “Nope, Try again.”  What is the reason for your total disregard for the Lord’s Day and faithful attendance in His house?  God says, “That doesn’t fly with me.”  Who do you blame for all your shortcomings and flagrant sins in your life?  King David tried to cover his sin and pretend it never happened.  When approached by the man of God and confronted through a parable, he said the man who lives in such total disregard for humanity shall surely die.  Nathan said, “David, you are that man.”  True repentance is agreeing with God about our guilt.  It means  taking responsibility for our actions, and turning away from our sin to follow God.  It means being a man, or woman, and coming clean before God.  The New Covenant that was ushered in with the Coming of Jesus Messiah ends with this promise concerning sin.  “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord:  for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the Lord:  FOR I WILL FORGIVE THEIR INIQUITY, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SIN NO MORE.   (Jeremiah 31:34) He is just waiting to hear from you.
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny