Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Useless Religion (Part 2 of 2)

Others have said, “But they are only words, words that men have made up, words are not sinful”. But what did Jesus say? “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36, 37)

Could it be said any clearer? Many will be damned forever based upon the words they used! Will you glibly contradict such a clear statement of scripture and say “they are only words, no big deal”?

So why are words so important? Why would we be justified (declared guiltless) or condemned (declared guilty) by mere words? The answer lies in Matthew 12:34 were it says, “....out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. The real problem is the heart! Wicked words spew out of a wicked heart. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All of these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:21-23)

“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can understand it?”(Jeremiah 17:9). Has your heart told you that your “religion” is good and useful, even though you cannot “bridle” your tongue? Then do not listen to it “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool....” (Proverbs 28:26) 

You are in desperate need of a new heart and only the Lord can create such a thing. “Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart” (Jeremiah 24:7) “....And I will put a new spirit within them, and take away the stony heart out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11:19)

You must have a new heart! Your old heart of stone must be removed and you must be born again (John 3:1-8), this time with a heart of flesh.  Only Almighty God could perform such a surgery.  Cry out to Him, call upon His name! Repent of the wickedness of your heart, repent of trusting in lies, repent of blaspheming God with your mouth, repent of not using it for its created purpose and turn to Jesus Christ as the only one able to save you from your sins. Turn to Jesus Christ for there is no “salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) 

Psalm 50 tells us about a mistake of long ago that many in our own day continue to make.  It speaks of people who claim to be God’s children (they take God’s covenant in their mouths verse 16) but at the same time they live in disobedience to Him, love sin and misuse their mouths (verses 17-20).  And because God keeps silent and graciously does not judge them immediately they mistakenly think that God is just like them and winks at their sin (verse 21).

Dear reader, please do not make this same grave mistake; God threatens terrible things against such people (verse 22)! Do not think that God accepts you and your foul mouth simply because your conscience does not bother you.  You cannot willfully break God’s law with your mouth and expect to escape God’s punishment of lawbreakers!  Your mouth is filthy because your heart is yet filthy, they both need to cleansed from sin and only Jesus Christ can clean them.  He alone can wash you from your sins, “in His own blood.” (Revelation 1:5) He alone can give you the new heart that will change the very words of your mouth.  And He alone can make you into a new creation with a new mouth. (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands you sinners
and purify your hearts, you double minded. Lament and mourn and weep!

Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
James 4:8-10

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