Anything But Jesus

“And God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the flying creatures of the heavens, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Genesis 1:28


“So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.”  Genesis 9:1


“And Jehovah saw that the evil of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all day long.  And Jehovah regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved to His heart.  And Jehovah said, I will obliterate man whom I have created from off the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and flying creatures of the heavens, for I regret having made them.”  Genesis 6:5-7


“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.”  Luke 17:26-27


Living in Montana certainly has its advantages.  The other day my family went to visit Glacier National Park.  The Going to the Sun road has only been opened for a week, but with a recent rainy day the opportunity seemed perfect to go.  We had to deal with the light rain, but had the advantage of not having to deal with the traffic.  That is exactly how it turned out, while traffic became thicker and slower near the narrow lanes of Logan’s Pass, we finally arrived at the Logan Pass Visitor’s Center.  Glacier National Park has experienced a huge upsurge in visitors and the visitor center was brisk with people all about. 


The amount of people, though light in comparison to a regular nice day, reminded me of my days spent living in the Chicago area.  A steady flow of people walked up and down from the stair to the visitor center.  Inside one had to work their way around the droves of people to see the exhibits.  The gift shop was even more packed with tourists picking up some sort of memorabilia, evidence and a reminder of their trip to the top of the world.  Afterwards we continued on a rural highway, taking a less frequent route, to the city of Browning, that is the principal city of the Blackfeet Nation.  Getting away and finding some peace and quiet is often hard to do, much harder than when I was young.  Even this not so well known highway to Browning had several cars also making their destination. 


“Woe to those who join house to house, laying field to field, until there is no more space for you to dwell alone in the midst of the earth!”  Isaiah 5:8


Traveling back through Marias Pass towards the Flathead Valley, traffic was unsettled.  In one of the more rural passes in the United States, we were pushing the speed limit of 70, navigating turns and making small inclines and declines, with an angry mob of tailgaters, dangerously passing us.  After being passed by one who blew past me, we watched as they suddenly slammed on their brakes and pulled off the road.  A woman opened up the passenger door of their SUV and exited, perhaps a domestic dispute gone wrong?   In one of the most beautiful places in the world, there is rage, hate behind the steering wheel and not just a few.  Sure give me a Bugatti and I would love to likewise rip up the road, leaving behind a trail of dust, but otherwise why the rush amongst sleepy Montana towns that are dotted along the way?  Yet just this influx of people, knowing how often one has to ponder hard of a place to go to relax, away from the multitudes, the behavior of certain individuals, really made me ponder regarding God’s Truth and some of the prophecies in the Bible.


Certainly the earth is full in regards to people, yet not in the sense as some say regarding too many people.  I firmly believe that the earth could support numerous more billions of people, despite the naysayers and their population control efforts.  This modern society, full of people, in which knowledge is increasing is yet another testimony of God’s prophetic truth in the Bible.


“But you, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, to the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”  Daniel 12:4


With this rise of knowledge, shouldn’t it be clear regarding our human origins, the Gospel message and the reality that there is a God?  With such basic precepts, acknowledging God should point people to His Word, to Jesus Christ for Salvation to the ends of the earth.  Yet we live in a world where the reality is that people would rather have anything but Jesus. 


“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Genesis 1:1


“But now the righteousness of God apart from the Law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through the faith of Jesus Christ, to all and upon all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to give evidence of His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to prove at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who is of the faith of Jesus.”  Romans 3:21-26


“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:23


“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  The one believing into Him is not judged; but the one not believing is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But the one doing the truth comes to the Light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been worked in God.”  John 3:16-21


Just like in days of old, where Israel didn’t deny that God existed, they simply chose to walk contrary to Him, nowadays many people do not deny that God exists, but despite believing in Him and His Son Jesus Christ, their hearts are not right before their Creator.


“You believe that God is One. You do well. Even the demons believe, and shudder.”  Jacob (James) 2:19


So people go on living their lives as they please, some acknowledging Jesus, even attending church on a semi-regular basis, yet they have never repented and believed the Gospel.  Others go on living, not sure what they believe, accepting a hodgepodge of ideas, essentially creating their own religion.  As stated before, these idealists could not find a church that would even match their beliefs, they would have to start their own.  All in all most people go through life, whether believing in God, in Jesus, or not, doing what they please. 


“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many entering in through it.  Because narrow is the gate and distressing is the way which leads unto life, and there are few who find it.  Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.  You will know them from their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?  Even so, every good tree produces excellent fruit, but a corrupt tree produces evil fruit.  A good tree is not able to produce evil fruit, nor is a corrupt tree able to produce excellent fruit.  Every tree that does not produce excellent fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Therefore from their fruits you will know them.  Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven.”  Matthew 7:13-21


The oddity of it all, is men and women will spend a great deal of time, money and effort to try and make this world work for them.  While they certainly like the aspect of going to Heaven and want to be assured in their hearts that the loved ones who have already passed away have already went there, they are unwilling to yield, unwilling to repent.  While they might proclaim the name of Christ, the reality is they want anything but Jesus, at least not the true Savior, of whom those who are Believers know and are known by Him.  The Jesus they serve is not the Jesus of the Bible, but rather one that caters to their needs and allows them to live as they please.


In all reality people have set before them other priorities.  They prioritize the American Dream, they prioritize partying and the gambling joints, they prioritize lewd lifestyles. 


They spend their lives buying and buying, trying to get things ‘just right’ but yet they are never satisfied.  These homes, cars, trinkets and other garbage, are the focus of their lives.  They count these thing more worthy than their Creator, whom they refuse to yield to, they want anything but Jesus.


“Sheol and Abaddon are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”  Proverbs 27:20


“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves dig through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not dig through and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  No one is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. It is not possible to serve God and mammon.”  Matthew 6:19-24


“For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is clearly recognized by them, for God has revealed it to them.  For ever since the creation of the world the unseen things of Him are clearly perceived, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they know God, they do not glorify Him as God, nor are thankful, but become vain in their reasonings, and their stupid hearts are darkened.  Professing to be wise, they become foolish, and change the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.  Therefore God also gives them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who change the truth of God into the lie, and fear and serve the created things more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  For this reason God gives them up to vile passions. For even their women change the natural use for what is contrary to nature.  Likewise also the men, abandoning the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men with men performing what is shameful, and receiving the retribution within themselves, the penalty which is fitting for their error.  And even as they do not like to have God in their full true knowledge, God gives them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with every unrighteousness, sexual perversion, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, depravity; whisperers, defamers, haters of God, insolent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do them, but also approve of those who practice them.  Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judges, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.  But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth upon those who practice such things.  And do you think this, O man, you who judges those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?  Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?  But according to your hardness and impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each one according to his works: eternal life to those who steadfastly doing good, seek for glory, honor, and incorruptibility; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness; anger and wrath, trouble and anguish, on every soul of man who produces evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For there is no partiality with God.”  Romans 1:18-2:11


Things aren’t going to change.  Even during the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7), better known as the Tribulation, men are going to still refuse to repent.  Just because they may acknowledge God, doesn’t men that they will yield to their Creator. 


“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who leads the whole world astray; he was cast out onto the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”  Revelation 12:9


“But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not do homage to demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which are not able to see nor hear nor walk.  And they did not repent of their murders nor their sorceries nor their sexual perversions nor their thefts.”  Revelation 9:20-21


People grow old and during that process, eventually they come to death.  Some will spend quite a bit of effort to try and postpone the inevitable, often utilizing medical intervention, some being temporarily successful, while others will not.  Yet when death is known and at the door, people will often in a flash be willing to give everything they own in order to try and continue on.  The question with this is point blank, why will they do anything to extend their lives, anything but Jesus?!  They worry and want to live longer on this earth but have no regard to their eternal soul!


“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”  Matthew 16:25-26


This has been stated before, that most people would not give their eyes for a million dollars, but these same people will refuse to repent and by faith believe into Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, that they might be Saved!  As men gather around the casket of one who has just died, they speak words of encouragement, they tell of how that person is now with Christ, unless that person was truly a born-again Christian, they tell lies, they foolishly comfort one another with fables, further perpetuating the deception to the hearts of all of the listeners.  For just like the body being lowered into the ground they are willfully ignorant towards the reality of this world that God Created and the Salvation provided by a loving God through His Son Jesus Christ who died on the Cross for our sins, that through Him we might have eternal life.


“And as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, without sin, unto salvation.”  Hebrews 9:27-28


“Who knows the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth?”  Ecclesiastes 3:21


“And many of those sleeping in the earth’s dust shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproach and everlasting abhorrence.”  Daniel 12:2


“For of this they are willfully ignorant: 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 destruction of ungodly men.  But, beloved, do not be unaware of 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 slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is longsuffering toward us, not purposing 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 loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with intense burning; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, of what sort ought you to be in holy behavior and godliness, looking for and earnestly hastening unto the coming of the Day of God, through which the heavens will be dissolved, being set on fire, and the elements will melt with intense burning?”  2nd Peter 3:5-12


“In this the love of God was revealed in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  1st John 4:9-10


“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  2nd Corinthians 5:21


“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men that is required for us to be saved.”  Acts 4:12