God’s altar was to be built of uncut stones, so that no trace of human skill or labor would be seen in it. Human wisdom enjoys trimming and arranging the doctrines of the cross into an artificial system more pleasant to the depraved tastes of our fallen nature—but instead of improving the gospel, fleshly wisdom pollutes it until it becomes “a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6), not the truth of God at all. Every alteration and amendment of the Lord’s own Word is a defilement and pollution.
Several things came to mind this peaceful morning. Birds chirping in the distance. Making their voices heard in God's creation. Many voices but every once in a while a single kaw! kaw! overshadows.
This excerpt from Spurgeon was written long ago but still holds true today. The title of this writing about the war of the wills is appropriate. Mankind wants a Gospel that suits them. One where nobody stands condemned. They will take that which God provided and twist and distort to lift up themselves to be equal to God, without any consequences.
None of which will work. Nobody will ever succeed at removing the curse of sin from mankind apart from Jesus.
Telling people they can come to Christ but don't have to give up how they are living is absurd! But, it's what liberal Churches are doing. Telling people that they are alright while they are heading to Hell is a grievously bad thing to do.
Like the Scriptures have said, let people be accursed if they teach a different Gospel than what was given!
There's indeed a war of wills going on. Outside of Christ it's for the soul of the person. In Christ it's the old vs new nature. Outside of Christ there is no war in someone who is in darkness. It's not until the light of Christ comes that they see for the first time at their true condition!
As we have lived where we are, I reflect on what we have experienced. We have seen just what Spurgeon warns about. Bringing tools to try to chisel the Gospel to fit. Working it so that people can be with God on Sunday morning yet live like the world the rest of the time. Notice that I didn't say the rest of the week. Most cases the so-called service wasn't close to mediocre, and people went right back to worldliness before they got in their car.
Jesus didn't tell us to pick n choose what we like n discard the rest. It isn't ala cart Christianity.
Protecting our thoughts takes effort. A lot of effort. We tend to downplay the seriousness and severity of sin so that the problem isn't so bad to us.
Guess what. Jesus saw that coming.
He asked the question, Will the Son of Man find the faith when He returns?
Will Jesus find you being serious about walking with Him when He comes back or find you doing your own thing?
Will there be enough evidence to convict you of being a Christian? Or will the stench of this world be so thick upon you that whatever you think is good enough won't even be noticeable?
To summarize another passage some will get into Heaven by the skin of their teeth. Their works towards Sanctification will not amount to much of anything. They will be people who loved this world more than obeying their God. Saved, yes, but not living it. They are too busy living for themselves. Spending their time, energy and effort on anything but what Jesus wants of them. On sports, travel, hobbies, even people. And what's worse is there are so-called Churches that cater to that mentality. Teaching that it's ok not to take Discipleship seriously. Jesus suffered and died on a cross but no need for you to feel like you owe Him anything in return, like obedience.
There's a war of wills going on within you and around you if you are a Christian. I see it within me and in my encounters with people.
I am also struck by the words concerning the building of that altar. No tools to chisel the stones. No hammers. Use what God provides without making changes to it! No sound of tools was heard in making Solomon's Temple. No sound of tools was heard in Exodus either in the alters that were made.
Paul talked about the war within. The sin nature vs the Spirit. He concluded that we are indeed blessed that Jesus overwhelmingly conquered. Not just barely won. Not won. Not 'given a good pasting'. Overwhelming conquered. The battle was so lopsided that it wasn't fit to be called a battle. If only my mind could remember that at all times.
So consider your motives. Consider your choices. Consider just what you have decided is important. Is it what God says is important? So what if you look ridiculous getting rid of something or someone out of your life that is contrary to what God wants for you. Which do you want to hear? Well done, or Why did you?
Well done because you obeyed. Or Why did you not obey? Why didn't you trust me?
I have to be honest. I have a lot of answering to do myself. Bad choices, wrong decisions. Stubbornness. Irrational behavior. I am my own worst enemy. The silky soft words of compromise are sometimes hards to recognize until it's too late. But realizing it and repenting is what's on us to do. We are to obey.
A war of wills. Who will win today?