Ignoring the Grace of God
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. (Hebrews 12:15-17)
THE BIBLE TELLS US HOW TO GET TO HEAVEN and how to live on our way to Heaven. I keep saying that. People get mixed up in reading the Bible because they do not distinguish these two things.
THE OLD TESTAMENT DWELLS MORE ABOUT LIVING IN ISRAEL than in getting ready for Heaven. It sets the stage for the Promised One who is coming in the New Testament. Other nations are occasionally brought into the picture, but Israel is front and center.
THE NEW TESTAMENT TALKS MORE ABOUT HEAVEN and the individual being ready for Heaven. The Bible was all written by Jewish writers. The Old Testament does not mention the church of the Promised One who was coming. So, we have the nation of Israel in the Old Testament and we have the Church of the Jewish Promised One in the New Testament. Israel is not the Church and the Church is not Israel. They will one day be joined together.
GOD HAS NOT DISCARDEDD THE NATION OF ISRAEL but will complete His plan for them as a nation. Jesus will return to earth and reign as the Jewish king upon the Throne of David in the city of Jerusalem and we will reign with Him─for a thousand years. Then will come a new earth and the space around it that is called “heaven.” The Holy City that we call Heaven, will descend down and hover over the new earth. In this new city, there will dwell righteousness.
MEANTIME, GOD'S CHURCH WHICH IS MADE UP OF JEW AND GENTILE, is God’s plan for gathering Jew and Gentile from the world’s population into His kingdom. When the last person has repented and turned to Jesus as Savior and Lord, the church age as we know it, will be over. There will be no more gathering of lost souls into God’s Kingdom. The Body of Christ, the Church, will be finished and no one else will be added to it.
WE RECENTLY LOOKED AT THIS VERSE: Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (Hebrews 12:14) Following after peace with all men and following after holiness is a characteristic of all of the people who know the Lord in saving faith. We vary greatly in the success of carrying it out, but it is a new drive that is built within us and is guided by the Holy Spirit as we are submissive to Him.
ANOTHER CHARACTERISTIC OF ALL SAVED PEOPLE is a behavior similar to a child: …Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3) Jesus did not mince words about this. Being born again is more than a figure of speech; it is a living reality, a work of the Holy Spirit in reshaping a fallen sinner.
FOLLOWING V. 14 WE ARE TOLD TO LOOK DILIGENTLY, lest we fail of the grace of God. Does this mean that we didn’t quite make it into salvation or that we barely got into salvation and then come up short of salvation? No, not at all. It means that when we are saved, we may not always take advantage of the grace of God that is available to us and we fall short of measuring up to the full stature God wants us to be. This is not saving grace. This is living grace as a child of God.
WHEN I WAS ABOUT TWELVE, I HEARD THE STORY OF A MAN who bought a ticket on an ocean liner to cross the ocean. Every night he heard the commotion outside his door as people left their rooms to go down to the dining room on the ship. He waited until everyone was gone and then he would pull a sack out from under his bed and cut himself a piece of cheese to go with his crackers out of a box in his suitcase.
WHEN THEY REACHED THEIR DESTINATION, he discovered that his ticket had covered his meals and that he could have had dinner with all the other people. Instead, he had subsisted on crackers and cheese that was beginning to turn green with mold. He had failed to take advantage of the provisions of his ticket. And, so it is, that as Christians we may fail to take advantage of the grace of God and settle for moldy cheese.
THE WRITER OF HEBREWS WARNED CHRISTIANS THAT IF THEY ALLOW a root of bitterness to grow in them that they may begin to fail to partake of the grace of God that is afforded them in living the Christian life. Others may fall into sins of the flesh and through that avenue fail to partake of the grace of God that is offered to them.
TO SHOW THE ABSURDITY OF SELLING OUT THE GRACE OF GOD for a cheap trinket, we are reminded about Esau who sold his birthright for one bowl of soup. He later tried to find a way to undo it but once it was gone: it was gone for good.
A MAN STUMBLED OUT OF A SALOON AND STAGGERED OVER TO THE railroad track and sat down. He soon fell asleep and lay down beside the railroad track. But, he left one leg lying over the rail and his foot on a crosstie between the rails. He fell sound asleep and the approaching train did not awaken him. The train passed by and cut off his leg. A man nearby tied his own belt around the stump of his leg and stopped the bleeding.
AFTER HIS LEG HAD HEALED, THE MAN WISHED MANY TIMES he had not been so foolish. But he could not recall that night and do it differently. He was sorry. He got right with God. But the grace of God did not give him back his leg. He had failed of the grace of God that he could have had.
WE ARE WARNED IN OUR TEXT TO DILIGENTLY LOOK AT OUR CIRCUMSTANCES. It’s not enough to “sort of” think about it. Diligently look! The Bible warns us many times about taking heed and being careful how we approach out decision making. If it’s a matter of being eternally saved, we need to realize that eternity is a long time to be in the wrong place, and there IS a place called: Hell. You don’t want to go there. Get saved! Think! Make your plans to go to Heaven and get it settled with God this very day. TODAY!
IF IT'S SAVING GRACE OR IF IT'S LIVING GRACE, do not ignore it. Do not fail to take advantage of what the grace of God will do for you. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
JULY 5, 2018 – THURSDAY
A.M. Job 31-32 P.M. Acts 13:1-23
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.) If you are behind in reading, read the passage for today and then go back.
●Good Memory Verse:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1Corinthians 10:13) (Write verse on scrap of paper and put in your pocket to memorize.)
●Song for Today:
Peace, Wonderful Peace (2:23) (Calvary Male Trio)
The fundamentals: It’s usually not what we do in one day that makes the difference. Sometimes our greatest need is to be reminded of what we already know. Like: drink plenty of good water today. Sugar. The science is in. It will do a number on you. Salt. It’s addictive and will load up inside the cells of your body. It doesn’t belong there. To help counter salt, take in potassium. (Most fruit.) Move. Sitting will kill you! Lean heavily toward a plant-based diet. That’s where the fiber is and it’s much cheaper.
Eat plants of color. Load up on them. Easy on the bread. Eat as much raw food as you can. As we age, our digestion and elimination weaken. Change the diet to accommodate these changes. A thousand-pound bull did not build a big protein body on Big-Macs. He got big on green. Green is full of protein. God made a big variety of green. Go for it.! On every visit to our eye doctor he says: “Are you eating your greens? They’re the best protection we have against macular degeneration, the number one thing that’s destroying our eyes.” “Yes sir, we’re eating more greens.”