Sunday, March 10, 2013

Say to this Mountain

Mark 11:22-23, "Have faith in God," Jesus answered.  "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him."

About a month ago I met a man on the streets of Colorado Springs.  He is a veteran of the war, and he is also a brother in Christ.  He, in the past, has received Jesus as his Savior and became a child of God and was given the sure hope of eternal life.

During the course of our conversation I discovered a mountain of deception that had been placed before him.  During his time in the Middle East he had to kill.  Having experienced this trauma, he was led to believe that God would not forgive him.  "Doesn't God say to not murder?" he asked me.

"Yes, God does say to not murder," I told him.  But I went on to say that what he did in war was in defense of our country, our families, our freedoms, and his family.  There is a difference.  I think his concern was that he may have not always had the right motives in killing.  I suppose there could have been times of killing that was done out of fear, sometimes out of anger, sometimes out of wrong motives, I suppose there could have been acts that would be considered murder, or there could be times of just having an overactive consciense. 

But Jesus said something that I believe covers all of these.  Mark 3:28, "I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them."  What did he say?  All the sins.  That means all.

Some of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been to war and have had to kill may think they have gone to far.  Don't some teach that even though God will never leave us, that we may leave him?  I know in Romans chapter 8 we are told that nothing can seperate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Some have told me, "Except us."  Well, I have news for them.  It doesn't say that there.  What it does say is that nothing can. 

I read something recently that greatly encouraged me, and I believe will encourage you as well.  I will copy and paste his web address, and I will also copy and paste that which so encouraged me:

So He says, “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” He puts no conditions around that promise, “They shall never perish.” The word “perish” is in the middle voice, so that if rendered literally in English, you would have to make two words of it, because we do not have a middle voice. The words “perish” and “destroy” are the same in Greek. “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never destroy themselves.”

God will not let you destroy yourself.

So, what is this mountain in your life?  You went to war, you saw and experienced the trauma of war, perhaps you were led into the deception that God has walked away from you.  Either God walked away from you and won't forgive you, or you went too far and destroyed your hope. 

That's a lie from the evil one.

You were God's child before you went to war, he was with you during your time there, he is with you now.  He never left.  You are forgiven, you are cleansed, you are a child of God sealed by the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of your inheritance in Christ, and God has never left you.

Choose the truth of God's word and speak to the mountain of deception.  You are a child of God and he has never walked away.

And for those who have come back from the war and have never asked Jesus to save you from judgement, there is only one difference between you and those you fought next to:  You are not children of God.  But you can be. And you can have the same sure hope that they have.  John 1:12, "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God." 

We have all at one time by nature been objects of wrath from a just and holy God.  But Jesus paid the penalty for you sin and is waiting to clothe you in His righteousness and put you in right standing with God.  Ask Him to do that for you now, and He will not refuse you.  He will forgive all your sin and give you eternal life.  You will belong to Him forever.  He will never let you go.  And He will not let you destroy yourself.

God is good.

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