Monday, March 19, 2012

Playing Chicken With God is Dumb

I remember at the end of one of the late George Carlin's comedy shows he stood before the audience and challenged God to strike him dead to prove His existence.  He played chicken with God and unless he repented of his atheism before he died, he is learning that he lost.  You can not play chicken with God and win and what we mistake as evidence of nonexistence, impotence, or apathy, is really evidence of His amazing grace.  I am sure out of those who read this blog, there are some who are very thankful that God did not take them up on a similar offer.  What we saw in George Carlin is something we are seeing in the world today.  Yes, society is playing chicken with God and it is a dangerous game that the world will ultimately lose. Today's opening text is one that both shows the impending judgement and the great patience of God.
But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites [is] not yet complete. Genesis 15:16 NKJV
This is what God said to Abraham regarding the Promised Land.  As we know, in the future, those who lived in Canaan were ordered to be wiped out by God.  That was several hundred years later.  The point I am making here is that the only reason that God has not judged the world yet is that our sin is not yet full.  For hundreds of years, the people of Canaan lived in their sin never taking any time to repent and never taking time to consider that their time to repent was slowly counting down.  They were puffed up in their pride and arrogance living life as they pleased.  This is much like our world is today.  Our world lives as it desires, growing each day more and more into sin and further and further from any hope of redemption.

One evidence of this is the growing support of homosexual marriage.  This is merely on issue of many, but it represents a good example.  What was once roundly rejected even just a few years ago by the majority of society is now becoming largely supported.  In fact, in some places it has even reached majority support.  This is done by the media lambasting anyone who disagrees with gay marriage as an extremist (even though they still technically hold the majority view) and constant positive PR being put out by homosexuals and their supporters.  One argument given often in response to the Christian view is that homosexual marriage is allowed in other parts of the world and nothing terrible has happened yet.  They have a good point.  In fact, the world is abounding in sin and false religion where in many parts it is not even legal to be a Christian. 

Does this mean that they are right and God either does not care or is not there to begin with?  If you could, you should ask that same question to the Canaanites.  All that this means is that the sin of the world is not yet full.  When God returns, He is not coming to judge America or some other country.  God is coming to judge the world.  Each country that heads full on into sin only serves to bring the ultimate day of judgement that much sooner.  America allowing homosexual marriage probably will not be the precipitating event that brings forth judgement, but it will certainly bring us that much closer.  What we are doing is playing chicken with God.  We allow sin and say "See! nothing happened! Peace and safety!"  Someday, though, something will happen and when it does there will be no warning and no relenting. 
For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.  1 Thessalonians 5:3-4 NKJV
Sadly, the world has developed some kind of aversion to the idea of the judgement of God.  Whenever some great calamity befalls our nation, they refuse to see it as something sent by God to get our attention.  In fact, they universally and harshly condemn anyone who would even suggest such a thing.  Think about it though, if not sent or allowed by God to get our attention, then why have such things as Katrina or 9/11 happened?  Either God was taking a nap that day or God allowed (or even sent) those things to let us know that He is watching.  There is precedence in Scripture where God will send evil to punish even His own people (for example the Babylonians), why do we think that God would not to the same for us?  The fact is that God is coming to judge the world in a way we can not even understand.  Just imagine the Japanese earthquake and ensuing nuclear disaster, the Thailand Tsunami, the Haiti earthquake, 9/11, and Katrina all happening at the same time and around the whole world.  Then imagine that kind of destruction happening again the next day.  Then imagine that kind of Hell on earth lasting several years.  That is what is coming for this world once our sin is full.  There is no avoiding the day, there is only coming to Jesus Christ and repenting of our wicked ways to not get swept away by it. 

Please don't play chicken with God.  Just because He does not send lightning bolts at your challenge or judge a nation whenever we move further into sin, it does not mean that judgement will never come.  It is a game you will only lose and the ironic tragedy is that you will learn that Him not acting was out of mercy.  You are not playing a game that God did not see coming.  In fact, your very actions in questioning God and His return are only a fulfillment of Scripture written about 2000 years before you made your challenge.  Your rejection and challenge of God only makes you a fulfillment of God's prophesy.  Instead of sitting smug in God's lack of direct action, take this time God has given you to turn from your evil ways and accept the grace offered through Jesus Christ before He returns and accepts your challenge.  Take heed the promise given in the Scripture that will close this post.
Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in [both of] which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of creation." For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world [that] then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth [which] are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day [is] as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 2 Peter 3:1-10 NKJV

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