This World is not our Home Series
In the World, But Not of It Series
MISC Related Posts
In this 3 Part series (so far at least) Dr. Tom Nettles, uses his over 40 years experience as a historical theologian to look at the current cultural trend of the “Cancel Culture.” He does so from a Biblical and SBC point of view, I feel pointing out the unbiblical and dangerous path this is leading the Nation and many evangelical down. – Mike
The suggestion has been made that we should say farewell to Jonathan Edwards in light of his having purchased a slave named Venus. A serious call also has been issued to remove memorabilia of James P. Boyce and the three men who helped found the first Southern Baptist Seminary. Those suggestions prompted a line of thought about our aptitude to dismiss the value of brothers and sisters in Christ.
It is not very easy—in fact, it is not possible—to say “farewell” to any person in the history of the world. God has created them all and each will have an eternity immediately proceeding from God’s judgment—his perfectly impartial, absolutely just judgment in which every mouth will be stopped and the whole world held guilty before God (Romans 3:19, 23). Only those who by faith have been united with Jesus Christ in his perfect righteousness culminating in his propitiatory death will be granted, by grace, eternal life. The rest will depart into eternal torment with the devil and his angels. Seeing that an eternity awaits every person in which each will be a vessel of glory either of justice and wrath or justice and grace, we cannot wish them away. Seeing that in sin there is no difference, we cannot point to others and imply by our attempt to dismiss them, “I am better than they.”…
There are two types of “Christians” in the world, one hears God’s Word and says that’s nice let me sleep on it, the other says that’s great let me take action because of it.
Are you a DHaggiaoer or Couch Potato Christian (CPC)
First I must admit I was a little surprised at the amount of content I found when I googled “Couch Potato Christian.” There are many articles and even a few books on the subject.
So today instead of focusing on one text I am going to use two to explain what I mean by “Couch Potato Christian” and why God does not look favorably upon said people.
Haggai begins with the Lord speaking to Haggai and asking a simple question; ‘how is it you people live so comfortably yet my temple is in ruins? ‘ The chapter goes on to say that the Israelites have lived a life of excesses but have nothing to show for it. They are lazy and indulgent.
Compare them to what James says a true believer should be:
James makes it clear a true hearer of God’s Word, consistently and actively proves his love and obedience by actively pursuing or doing what they have heard. They go about having God work through them for His glory. In other words, no CPC’s here, they, no matter their limitations (Physical, mental, financial, etc.) will be about God’s work.
Spiritual Couch Potato Christian’s (SCPC’s) will always take the easy way out:
They will be silent on important issues: Abortion, LGBT, Religious Freedom, to name a few yielding to the popular (worldly) thought of the day
Play the Swiss Card (Neutrality) trying to claim Jesus never took sides: Of course they have not read the Bible, or skipped the GOSPELS when Jesus cleanses the temple, curses (Woe unto you) the Pharisees and Scribes, and so on.
They are Unwilling to fight the “Good Fight” Somewhere online I saw the term Spiritual Pacifists and it makes sense, those unwilling to Armor Up daily and get in the fight, are just that pacifist and pretty much useless in God’s Army.
The Doer Christian: Can never be silenced:
Refuses to be silent on important issues: Will always Obey God rather than man.
Follows Jesus example of Good Works no matter the consequence: We were saved to with a Holy calling not to sit idly by and let the world happen around us.
Shares the Good News: Man’s first duty is to Love God and Glorify Him forever. Inherent in that is obedience to God’s commands none of which is more important than the spreading of the Gospel this is never a burden for a true Christian.
We are not calling into question here anyone’s “salvation” although the bible certainly does say we will know you by your fruit. Granted it is specifically speaking of false teachers and the like, but bearing fruit is applicable to all “Christians.”
One who cheers from the comfort of your comfortable couch?
Or an Fruit Bearing “Christian” not afraid to put your Faith in Action
This may seem like an ugly devotional to start the week but sometimes life is ugly and better to be forewarned than forlorn.
In v.1-17 Paul expounds upon the excellency of the Gospel to the church at Rome. Culminating in his final two sentences (verses) that explain the Gospel; “…is the power of God for salvation…)”
Paul having described the greatness and Glory of the “Good News” changes themes to the darker side and reminds folks the reason God had to send His only begotten Son as a sacrificial lamb, to die on a cross for everyone’s sin.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; – God is Holy and as such can not overlook sin. His wrath, His complete and utter disgust against all unrighteousness has been revealed from the beginning.
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. – God puts the truth in all men, even those who deny Him.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: – The day will come for all men to stand before their creator and at that time the maximum effective range of their excuses will be ZERO METERS! God will say I gave you plenty of opportunities and you continued to deny me. God’s attributes, His power in creation, His wisdom, goodness, mercy (the list goes on) being continually on display and available for all to see and know.
Far to often today God’s wrath is downplayed or takes a back burner so to speak in churches. But with more than 600 references in the bible one would think the opposite would be true.
I do not often quote C.S. Lewis but this is a good one:
“God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies. Some talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger–according the way you react to it. And we have reacted the wrong way.”
Folks seem to think that God’s wrath and anger (the second holds such a negative connotation in modern times) are similar, they are not! Anger in the modern sense usually refers to sudden uncontrolled outbursts. God’s Wrath in the biblical sense refers to the Righteous Punishment for a Crime (Sin).
Everyone (at least most everyone) has heard or read Romans 3:23 ‘all have sinned and fell short of God’s glory’ God has to deal with His Righteous Wrath towards our wayward (sinful) actions. Hence Christ’s propitiation at Calvary and the Gospel.
In yesterday’s devotional I used a verse from the book of Ezra (10:4) to expound on the differences between the worldly “Just Do It” and the Godly “Do It” callings.
Today in our text we are going to look at another verse, this time from the New Testament that requires people to “Do It!”
Our text closes out Chapter 4 of the Epistle of James. Depending on what version/translation you have there may be a heading describing the theme of the closing verses (v.13-17) like:
CSB: Our Will and God’s Will
ESV: Boasting About Tomorrow
NKJV: Do Not Boast About Tomorrow
AMP: Things to Avoid (Note title for whole chapter)
The AMP version title is a good overview of the Chapter that consists of differences between worldly sinful knowledge/wisdom and heavenly/Godly knowledge/wisdom.
In verses 13-16 we I think a combination of the CSB and either the ESV or NKJV titles work best. A simplified breakdown shows that James is using the example of lethargic lazy people v.13, who will gladly put off today that which can be done tomorrow. He points out that in our finite minds we do not know the future v.14, What is your life? calling life nothing more than a mist or vapor.
Verse 15 maybe one of the greatest advice lines ever written: Instead [of being that lethargic lazy fool] you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” Instead v.16 you boast in your self glory.
So – A very powerful directive two letter word. Meaning considering all I have said before this, the only logical conclusion we can draw from it is…
whoever knows – while some will argue this is applicable only to believers I must whole heartily disagree. I would look to Romans 1:18-20 that declares all mankind is without excuses
the right thing to do – man knows that which is right he chooses that which is evil. Romans 1:32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. This is not passive religiosity or spirituality, Christianity forbids and abhors that. God requires His chosen to be passionate and active in their faith.
Earlier in James 1:22 we see this also But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
and fails to do it, – “Do It,” I hope by now it is clear that the “It” is any actionable “good” that can be done, that we are called to do for the glory of God. James also makes it clear that Failing to Do It has serious consequences…
for him it is sin. – Sin, for the unbeliever it is the rejection of the Gospel. For the believer it is the toe hold, Satan needs to keep you from carrying out the Great Commission to share the Good News of Christ. Failing to be doers of the word, being Sunday Pew Christians shows God how much you value His son’s sacrifice for your sins. That is why James says knowing and not acting is sin. Of course we all know the consequence or wages for sin (Romans 6:23) is eternal death.
It is far to simple to be that nod your head in the pew on Sunday believer and go back to being in the world Monday through Saturday person. The problem is Christ never called us to a life of ease, He called us to a life of servitude. It is not good enough to know what is and hate what is evil and bad in the world. We are obligated and have a responsibility to do what we know is good.
What are you doing for the Kingdom today?
It should be clear by now that unchecked anxiety isn’t good for you. It’s a sin expressly forbidden by the Lord, so there is the spiritual cost to consider. But it’s also harmful to your health, your productivity, and your relationships. It wreaks havoc throughout your life, and as we saw yesterday, it strangles your mind.
Here are the rest of the articles in the series in ascending order: