There are many religious people in our world. But take heed! People who act religiously and talk religiously are not necessarily people who follow God. They are simply religious people, or to be politically correct, one might say they are spiritual people. Many of them look Christian and may claim to be so. But, as I said, Beware! 😦 “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.”1
As people search for meaning in their lives, they may stumble upon God, accept some of his truths, but not all of them, and then devise their own version of God. In fact, they “suppress the truth”2 and then “exchange the truth about God for a lie”3 and thereby create their own religious way of living. Their religion is then accepted as another “truth.” It’s a Burger King mentality: Have it your way! 😀 and embraces the individual’s desires that satisfy everyone. It’s very appealing! Sadly, many are deceived by this, and Paul says “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”2
Wait. What? 😯 God still pours out his wrath? That sounds very “Old Testament-like.” 🤨 This is serious business—suppressing the truth and deceiving others by doing so, for “they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”4 But does this deserve God’s wrath, really? 🤨 So, the next question is what does God’s wrath look like? Does he curse the unrighteous and cause them to fail? Does he smite them with disease or disaster? Does he torture them and throw them into hell? No. None of the above. Here is Paul’s picture of God’s wrath: “God gave them up.”5 In other words (to borrow Burger King’s phrase), God says: Have it your way!
Hmm. 🤔 That’s interesting. You see, God will never force his way into our lives. Nor will he compromise on the irrefutable fact that he is “the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.”6 And we are not—God, that is. In other words, we are not in charge. So, when we act as if we are God and amend his rules (truths), we are in effect saying he is not. And he is!
It’s the never-ending struggle, and it started with Eve questioning what God told her she could and could not do. Instead of listening to God, she listened to Satan who deceived her with his twisted version of truth.
So, here’s what happens when we choose to not listen to God: We get what we want! 🙂 Which sounds good . . . until . . . until we realize that in doing so, we do not get what God wants 😯—which is waayy better! “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”7
C.S. Lewis, in his book The Great Divorce, wrote this: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it.”
1 Romans 1:21-22 2Romans 1:18 3Romans 1:25 4Romans 1:32 5Romans 1:24 6Isaiah 40:28 7Isaiah 55:9