“I think when I meet God one day, the first thing he will say to me is: you don’t take me seriously at all. You have no idea how to fear me” – Francis Chan
Nominalism and complacency is so rampant in the Christian church today. We have talked so much about the love of God that it doesn’t even mean anything to us. Before I was a Christian, I was totally unaffected by the thought that God loves me. God loves me; so what? What difference does it make? The love of God can only hit us when we come to an understanding of who we are, and who God is.
We can complacently sin, presuming that God would simply forgive us. We live our lives completely devoid of prayer and worship; we put church life in a totally seperate box and think that we can live our lives in different compartments. We come on a sunday morning as a mere obligation, performed in such a perfunctory manner. We live our lives thinking that we are invincible, and when something tragic happens, when something bad happens; we complain.
We are in a constant need of reminders. God had made us. We are His. He is Lord, and without Him, we are nothing. God is holy, and being holy means that he is completely other. He is a cut above the rest, he is that which is completely alien to us. He is the standard of perfection, without a single stain in sight. He will not tolerate, he cannot tolerate a single act of sin, for it is that which is against His nature. And we humans are by nature afraid of what is alien to us.
The penalty for sin, a single sin, is death. Look unto the ten commandments, and feel your whole body tremble. How many times have we broken these commandments. Haven’t killed anyone? Christ says that the mere thought of hate is equivalent to killing them. Committed adultery? Christ says that the mere lusting after a woman is sin. If we take this seriously, at all, then we should have perished, vaporized from existence and thrown into eternal condemnation a hundred times over in a single day. I’m afraid that words cannot ever come close to fully express the horrifying nature of the wrath of God that reigns in hell. Think. The very same power that sustains and upholds the universe will be the same power that inflicts suffering upon those down there. My description makes His wrath much too light. We truly have gotten so used to His mercy that when justice is done we get shocked. We cannot take sin lightly. Indeed, we ought never to.
Christmas is coming, Christians, but if we have ever thought that Christ was actually born on Christmas day then we are foolishly wrong. Furthermore, if you are a Christian who never goes to church except for Christmas day then you are a fool who spits God in the face, and idolizing a day, instead of truly worshiping the true God. Christmas might be the day where we ponder upon the birth of Christ, but that little baby in a cute little cradle grew up, was beaten, tortured and nailed on a Cross because of our sin. We should never limit the worship of God to a single day of the year. The reverence for God and the awe that we might have for Christ on Christmas day should be the very same reverence and awe that we have for Him every day.
Ultimately, without Christ, man ought to fear God the same way a thief fears a cop. We have broken his commandments, we have disobeyed. We have raised our fists against the Creator through whom all things came to be. We have kicked against the Sustainer of the universe and the very molecules that make up our body. Wake up, O Christian, and smell the fire that could have been your eternal destiny. Open your eyes, Christian, and see the red that has made you clean; the blood that Christ has spilled on the Cross for our sake.
If we can get how deserving we are of death, and how Christ layed down His life for such a great sinner as me; as us, how can we, ever, take His name in vain? How can we come to church with a mere sense of duty and without a sense of humility, joyful reverence and fear? How can we live our lives in utter complacency? How can we neglect such a great Treasure and Grace? How can we not take God seriously?
Let’s think about it, and let’s actually have a merry Christmas for the right reasons.