I have not posted here in quite some time (I do not promise to do so regularly now), but I find writing is sometimes helpful in forming and testing my own thoughts. In the past, others have told me they found reading my thoughts helpful to them, so I plan to share here now and then. Feel free to challenge me, question me, and search diligently for the truth. I want to grow. I want to know God, lest, if He is silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.
Over the past several years my thoughts about God and the gospel have changed dramatically. Often, I have found myself face to face with apparent scriptural truths that are jarring and offensive. The natural human response in this situation is to explain away every inconvenient and unpleasant passage, idea, or book (I have often encountered Christians who dismiss the entire book of Ecclesiastes as if it were not God breathed). This is not the way of truth. The way of truth says “I do not understand this, this idea is repulsive to me, and yet I agree and proclaim that it is good because it comes from God, whose thoughts are not my thoughts and whose ways are not my ways.”
If you give yourself to the difficult task of honestly assessing your life in light of the scripture alone, you will find that you have believed many false things about God. You will not chuckle when you read of how the disciples did not understand and the pharisees were offended; you will see that you also do not understand, you also are arrogant and offended. You will see that you need God.
As a fresh start to my blogging, here are a few scriptures I used to get backwards. I think a terrifyingly large portion of the church today makes the same mistake:
“But you do not believe me because you are not My sheep.” -John 10:26
“He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” -John 8:47
“Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” -John 18:37b
In each of these passages, Jesus is speaking. Much of the church thinks that when you believe, you become Jesus’ sheep, but this is clearly false. Jesus says it is the other way around; belief and unbelief correspond to whether or not you are already His sheep. The same principle exists in the other two verses as well. Whether or not you hear God’s words depends on whether you already belong to Him. Whether you hear Jesus’ voice depends on whether you are already of the truth. The statement Jesus makes in John 10 should completely shake everything most of us have believed about God’s nature. If it doesn’t…if you can not hear that word of God which is so plainly stated…it may be because you are not of God to begin with, nor are you of the truth.