Moving from compromise to repentance and restoration

It’s such a blessing to me when I see people who call themselves Christians actually live it out despite their flaws. I also feel disappointed and somewhat amused when I see those who claim to be Christian (mostly in liberal congregations) who criticize the Jews for not living up to what God chose them to be and automatically write them off as if God has no more purpose for them. Ironically, they are falling into the same traps ancient Israel did even as they criticize the Jews for the same or similar sins they commit themselves.

Latino male staring out window--creative commonsWhile I don’t excuse Israel’s sins, past or present, I do choose to look at them in light of God’s prophecies knowing they will play an important role in God’s plans. Back in Deuteronomy 4:26-31, God warned Israel about their future sins, but also gave them a message of hope that are lessons for the Church even today:

26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.

27 And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you.

28 And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.

29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;

31 (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

Lesson 1 (v. 26): Crossing over from the world into Christ is no guarantee God will always preserve certain blessings if we are disobedient.

Lesson 2 (v. 27): Yes, persecution of Christians will automatically come for being in Christ, but it often comes because God is chastening us for disobedience. While persecution can diminish our numbers in lost lives, our numbers may also diminish when persecution reveals that certain people among us may not have been genuine Christians and they forsake the Church (1 John 2:19).

Lesson 3 (v. 28): God’s chastening can reveal if we are truly worshiping him or if we are caught up in idolatry, worshiping the works, products, or ideas of humans. For example, are our possessions more important than God or people? Do we incorporate pagan principles into our worship?

Lesson 4 (v. 29): If we find ourselves in a bad, disobedient place as Christians, all we have to do is seek God with all our being and find him in repentance.

Lesson 5 (v. 30-31): We can experience brand new and restored mercies as Christians from our merciful God in the midst of our troubles when we turn back to him in obedience simply because our covenant with him never ends and will always be in effect. He will bring this to pass even in the latter days when it seems all hope is lost or in the latter days right before he unleashes his wrath on the whole earth.

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