A Loving War, A Need For Jesus
Before you ever believed in, knew of, or encountered God, you were at war with Him. The thought is daunting. We are all born rebellious beings. Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, humans have been in a perpetual state of rebellion against God. Not because we hate Him, although some do, but because we are sinners. We are born sinful and even the most precious newborn babies have a God sized-void built into them (Romans 5:12.) Sin is the very thing that drives a wedge between the Creator of the Universe and us, His creation (Isaiah 59:2) because “all have sinned and fallen short of the of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23.)
The war going on is not a physical one, for it would be foolish to ever try and “fight” God, but it is an emotional one — a spiritual war is taking place between God, Satan, Angels, Demons, and you (Ephesians 6:12). You are constantly being fought over — your very soul is being fought over right now — and there can only be one winner. Spiritual warfare is real — it is the reason we feel fearful, angry, and in some cases miserable and depressed. These emotions, at the root, are due to sin. You are not depressed because you are a sinner — depression is a byproduct of sin. Adam and Eve decided to put their trust in the Devil — who cannot be trusted because, as Jesus perfectly stated, he is the father of lies and there is no truth in him (John 8:44) — instead of the One who is truthful and does not lie (Titus 1:2.)
That is how sin, sickness, disease, and death, all came into this world — as Christians this is non-disputable. Ever since the fall, God has been putting a plan in motion that can ultimately link us back to Him. Consider it a rescue mission of sorts. Some say a loving God would not have let mankind fall into its own selfish and sinful desires — but true love does not force itself on anyone — it gives the recipient a choice. Love is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4.) If God forced us to worship Him, He would not be loving, because worshipping God is a personal decision. True, perfect, love does not and cannot force others to submit. This is a concept that our human minds will probably never fully understand. Job 11:7 states:
“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?”
I cannot, and I am at peace with this conclusion. His ways are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:9) and He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. For me, that is enough. Our finite minds do not have the capacity to understand why an infinite God operates as He does.
But this I do know, even amongst all the wickedness, deceitfulness, evilness, and horrific things we as humans do, God still loves us. That is the very definition of a gracious and merciful God. Grace is when God bestows us with blessings that we do not deserve. Mercy is when God withholds His wrath which we deserve.
A calming voice
There is a war going on — one for your soul — but during the battle, there is a calming voice. There is a safe place of refuge (Psalm 17:8; Psalm 61:3.) God will not forsake those who put their trust in Him (Psalm 94:14.) Nothing is greater than accepting life and having your heart radically transformed. What does this cost you? Other than to put your guard down and embrace this gift; nothing. It costs you nothing to accept the gift of life that only Jesus can offer. That doesn’t mean that you will be able to walk around scratch-free. The war is still ongoing, you are just on the winning side. You will be attacked, disappointed, you will shed tears, relationships will crumble, and at times you may be on the verge of giving up. Do not quit. You have a God who will sustain you (Psalm 55:22) who fights on your behalf (Deuteronomy 20:4; Romans 8:31; Joshua 1:9) and who has promised us victory over death (1 John 5:4.)
My Mother often says that you can be sure of nothing in this life. You cannot make decisions and fully know the outcome of those decisions. But there is one decision you can make, and the outcome is clear — and that is where you choose to spend eternity. This is not some threat, or a means to guilt trip unbelievers into believing — the choice is yours. On the flip side, Christians, if we are to truly walk with Jesus — there must be a sense of “apocalyptic urgency” as Pastor Brian Jones states in his book, Hell Is Real (But I Hate To Admit It) when discussing the reality of Hell.
The book of Revelation speaks on the outcome of the war. The Devil will lose and will be tormented for all eternity along with his demons (Revelation 20:10.) And those who chose to reject life will suffer in eternal destruction and be shut out from the presence of God for all eternity (2 Thessalonians 1:8–9). Those who embrace life and accept the Gospel — only offered through Jesus — will rejoice in Heaven with the Lord God Almighty (John 5:24). Scripture does not contradict itself. Many of us pick and choose which parts of the Bible we want to believe in. While there is no monopoly on which denomination is correct or on theology itself, there are Biblical truths that we simply cannot ignore. Especially when they make us uncomfortable or challenge our previously held beliefs.
The war taking place today is one that many do not even notice. Hopefully, our spiritual eyes can be opened and we can continue to fight the good fight — and thus be rewarded with a crown of life (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10.) As Christians, we should exemplify Christ in grace, in love, in humility, but also in truth. The truth is that a spiritual war is ongoing. Today I encourage you to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11) and stand strong in the faith. Be an example to your unbelieving neighbor, schoolmate, office buddy, or even the person in front of you at Target who is taking forever. Let us embrace life and share the very same gift we received with everyone around us.
God will never force Himself onto us, He may knock on our heart’s door, but only we can answer it. To those who have answered and allowed Him in — you are now victorious in Christ Jesus — now let us go out and do our part in sharing that victory (Matthew 28:16–20) with others. There is no limit on the number of people who can go to Heaven but there is only one way to make it there (John 14:6). Pastor Brian Jones says it this way, “The world does not need to know it is going to Hell, it needs to know how it can get to Heaven.” The answer is Jesus. The answer will always be Jesus. He is our victor (1 Corinthians 15:57) Jesus offers us the bread of life (John 6:48) during our real-life hunger games. This offer is not exclusive, but inclusive, it extends to everybody — you’ve just got to accept it.