Revelation 3:14-22; 21:21
God created this world to be perfect, but Satan and Mankind wanted something more, and Satan knew that selfish human beings would forget that all that glitters is not gold.
But what could be more than perfection?
In reality, there is nothing greater than perfection; it's only the lie that makes us think that there is something better or more exciting than God created or intended.
And in the process of our pursuit of the lie, Satan condemned himself to hell, and we sold our souls to the devil.
We thought we could be like God, instead we fell from grace.
Our perfectly created and immortal bodies began to fall apart so that from the day of our birth, we come ever closer to the day of our death.
This is also why there is so much violence in the world today, and why millions of human beings and billions of other animals suffer and die every year.
We try to deny that sin exists, or we try to find ways to excuse or justify it.
We try to excuse being vindictive, revengeful, and violent.
We say, "If it feels good, I'm going to do it", even when it's against God's commandments.
We try to deny that there is a hell, to which our sins condemn us.
But that doesn't change the fact that we do sin and that hell really exists.
Just because we don't want to believe the truth, doesn't make it any less the truth; all it does is further separate us from God, and makes us more of a child of the devil.
We lie to ourselves and say that God will let us all into heaven, no matter how we live.
If you were our holy and righteous God, why would you let such unrepentant and evil people into heaven?
The simple answer is, you wouldn't, and neither will God.
But God has always given us a way of escape, even through simple belief, as with Abram [Abraham] (Genesis 15:6):
6 Abram believed the LORD, and He credited it to him as righteousness. (NIV)
This is God's grace.
However, it's important to understand that Abram did more than just believe; he did what the Lord wanted him to, which included living a righteous and obedient life.
Today, I hear people tell me that they believe in God or in Jesus Christ, yet most of the things I see in their lives are not Godly or Christ-like.
Their action and lifestyle resemble more the ways of Satan than anything else.
James tells us in 2:19,
19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-- and shudder. (NIV)
Why do they shudder?
Because while they knew the truth, they followed the devil and condemned themselves to hell.
Jesus tells us about the way to heaven in Matthew 7:13-14,
13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (NIV)
In Revelation 21:21, we are told that the streets of God's city are paved in pure gold, a gold so pure that it's like transparent glass.
What Satan does is sprinkle a bunch of gold colored glitter upon his road to destruction, to try to fool people, and he is very successful, for most of the people of this world travel upon it doing what they want and not what God desires.
God's road is simple but beautiful.
Those who travel upon it love God and each other; and they love and protect God's creation - they do no harm.
Those who travel the road to destruction call those who travel upon God's road, fools, when in reality, they are the foolish ones.
And some of these foolish ones are even in our churches.
Listen to what Jesus says to the people of the Laodicean church, for I believe that it represents the Church in this country (Revelation 3:14-22):
14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
16 So, because you are lukewarm-- neither hot nor cold-- I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
17 You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.
22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." (NIV)
Jesus Christ died for us that we might overcome the sin and evilness of this world and have eternal life.
He did not die that we might continue to live in the ways of the world.
He didn't die so that we might hide our faith from the world, because we're embarrassed to show that we believe in Jesus Christ our Lord.
He died that we would be united together with Him in heaven.
Those who say they believe and even come to church, but continue to live in ungodly ways makes the Lord sick to His stomach.
We need to seriously look at ourselves, and the ways we live and act and dress and speak, and repent of the things that are ungodly and unbecoming of a follower of Jesus Christ, and truly seek to walk with Jesus along His road to life.
We need to walk this pathway before others, that they, too, come to see Jesus and his roadway to life.
We need to seek the things of heaven and not the glittering things of this world that entice us away from God.
We need to dress in a manner that would please the Lord, and make Him proud to be with us.
We need to wash the sins from our bodies, so that they don't stain our clothes.
We need to truly open our eyes and ears to see and hear the truth and be able to turn away from the lies.
We need to accept Jesus into our hearts and souls with every part of our being, every moment of our lives.
There is no other way.
Let us pray...
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