The Bible says that those in darkness don’t like the light. That you can’t see the Kingdom of God unless you are born again. That the heart, apart from God’s grace renewing it, is wicked. So people not liking God or what He really and truly loves, what He says through Jesus and His prophets to do, isn’t that much of a surprise, really. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
But I think different generations have different forms of hating what God loves. Of rebelling against what He commands for our good and His glory. Adam and Eve believed Satan when he questioned what God said. They rebelled in the first sense, and the rest of us do it after. But the ways can look different, and a good number of Americans my age seem to do it in this way:
“Who are you, who is anybody, to tell me why to do? To tell me what I have to believe?”
We’re going through 1 Corinthians as a church. Time and time again in that letter, God through His Apostle tells the Corinthian Christians about His standard. About His Gospel message. About the way His Church and Body should operate. In chapter 15, when Paul says to the Corinthian oddballs claiming that the dead won’t ever be raised that they’re wrong because that would mean Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead and there’d be no Gospel and no forgiveness of sins, he doesn’t leave it up for interpretation. It isn’t an opinion. It isn’t Paul’s best guess.
It is God’s description of what He’s done, commanded, and why.
My generation and culture seem to rebel against this, disbelieve the New Testament or think God wouldn’t speak so emphatically, in that entitled, arrogant way: “Don’t tell me what to do.”
“That’s just your interpretation.”
“What about people who don’t believe it?”
Instead of grabbing onto Truth like a life preserver and reaching out a hand to help others to it, they look around at those not grabbing the preserver, those drowning, and say “They can’t all be wrong.”
Final authority, ultimate reality, and truth aren’t things we can change. We can’t alter God’s nature. He’s not a pot we are molding. It’s the other way around. We don’t get to debate away the resurrection anymore than the assassination of Abraham Lincoln or the capital of North Dakota or the speed of light.
God raised the Jesus who claimed to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life from the dead. He raised that Man up. Jesus, God and the Son of God, claimed to be the only salvation and the final standard and was resurrected by His Father.
We don’t get to undo that. And we don’t get to undo what He said. What He commands.
There is beauty in this. I realize we hate kings in this country because we are a democratic republic and because of cultural confusion which tells us things like kings are icky and abusive and the worst kind of maleness (which somehow became a bad thing at some point). But we have a good, pure, righteous, holy King who we were meant, designed, Authored to submit to. We were, in the words of Colossians, made for Him and through Him.
We will, before all is told and finished, bend our knees to Him with either tears of joy or tears of regret.
He is the one the New Testament says will kill death, kill the evil one, destroy all other authority and have it under His feet, give the Kingdom He has taken to His Father…
Who is He to tell us what to do? The best and most gracious King of all.
He is the only One worth giving up everything to serve, because He is the greatest prize and the fullest love.
If you are a Christian, you have a duty to show our culture that God’s authority is final and non-negotiable, but not only that. You also have a responsibility to show them, through the fruit of your joy and hope, that His authority is wonderful..
When the world shouts to any part of the message of Christ, “Don’t tell me what to do, or what to believe,” let our response be:
“Why not? Don’t you see how much better it is than what you’re doing now? What you’re believing now?”
The people we hope to reach need to see the beauty of the King of Kings. Because we are only given one lifetime to see it willingly.
He commands only good things. It is our hearts that have the problem.
And we hope to bring others to the King who will gladly heal those hearts.