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            The object of living God’s Truth is to be delivered out of the troubles in this life—from sin, sickness, and Satan’s influence.  God sent His Truth to earth; thus Jesus prayed John 17:17 ”Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth,” that we might live a full life; that we would know God personally by trusting Him for everything, and to learn that He is to be the supreme object of our affections, love, and trust.

            Very few people have a correct knowledge of God’s plan and Truth.  Most people think that if they do the best they can, live a reasonably good moral life, belong to a church, and donate to charity, they are sure to go to Heaven.  But that is a false idea of God’s plan, and it is spiritually dangerous, because sincerity and good intentions never saved anyone.

            No matter how sincere and moral we may be, it will never change our fallen nature.  Satan loves to have people think they are okay, because of sincerity and outward morality.  His object is to deceive them, and to keep them in spiritual darkness—until it is too late to be prepared for eternity.

            The death of self; the removal of the sin nature; genuine faith in God, and freedom from all trust in human ways and plans—is not known or understood by the average Christian.  God is just not the supreme object of their love and affection.  They drift along in life and finally end in the flames.  It is why Jesus asked Luke 18:8 ”When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

            And it is why Jesus appeared to the apostle Paul, converted his heart, and commissioned him to take God’s Truth to the Gentiles—to Acts 26:18 ”To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

            Being sanctified by faith in Jesus does not just mean we just believe historical facts of the Bible.  It is to really know what God can do for us today, and then acting as if we really did believe that.  A faith that brings deliverance and victory in this life, is the only faith that counts—anything less is no faith at all.  It would be better to profess no faith, than to have just a form of godliness that most professing Christians have today.

            Jesus warned the Laodiceans about a halfhearted attitude.  Revelation 3:15 ”I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”  Jesus would rather that they were totally committed to Him and His plan of life, or to totally follow the ways of the world—be one or the other.

            The worst thing in religion is to mix the world with God’s Truth.  It is terrible to claim we believe in Jesus, and yet have worldly ways and ideas in matters of obedient trust on God.  Real repentance means really giving up worldly ways, worldly ideas, and all plans of self.  Then we can accept God’s plan of trust in Him alone for everything—regardless of the risk.

            They had idols in the Bible—when people were sick, they prayed to the idol—asking it to deliver them, protect them, and bless them.  Idolatry today has just taken another form—when people are sick, they take a pill or try medication—it is the same idolatry of a different type.  The idols in the Bible were too big to swallow.

            The fact is, if we are as moral as Job or righteous as Cornelius, and yet would depend on anything or anyone else to deliver us from troubles, illness, or any problem, it would nullify any good about us.  The young man who wanted to know how he could inherit eternal life, was told that he lacked one thing, and that needed to be corrected, if he wanted eternal life.  The lack nullified the good of following some of the Commandments.

            The young man said he obeyed the Commandments, but he was not trusting God in finances.  Luke 18:22 ”Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.”  By saying the man lacked one thing, Jesus meant that the man lacked real faith.  He did not love God with all his heart, nor did he love his neighbor as himself.

            This lack of love for God and our neighbor was a critical lack, as evidenced by what Jesus told a Pharisee about divine love.  Matthew 22:36-40 ”Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

            The teaching of the entire Bible has this objective—that we take a right attitude toward God, toward His Word, and toward everyone else.  If we truly loved God with all our heart, we would always trust and obey Him—even at the risk of our life.  If we really loved others, we would never harm them, and we would treat them as we want them to treat us.  Love for God in our heart would compel us to do that for our neighbor.

            Jesus touched the idol in the young ruler’s heart.  This idol was just as serious as if the man worshiped a statue of Buddha—even though the man was attending a synagogue, was living a good moral life, and was an outward example for others.  Jesus revealed the idol Luke 18:22 ”Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.”

            The man’s heart deceived him.  His life and choices showed that he did not really care about God, and he did not care about his fellowman.  What the young ruler had accumulated in life meant everything to him.  When the idol he was depending on, and which he loved more than God, was touched, his true spiritual condition was revealed.

            All Jesus asked him to do, was transfer his bank account from earth to heaven, but he would not agree to do that and walked away—proving that he did not love God with all his heart, and did not love his fellowman either, otherwise he would have gladly shared what he had with them.

            Luke 18:24-25 ”And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!  For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

            That was difficult to accept, but it was the Truth from God.  26-27 ”And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?” to which Jesus responded, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”  Matthew 19:26 “With God all things are possible.”

            Luke 18:28 ”Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.”  They had followed the advice Jesus gave to the young ruler—they had sold what they could depend on, gave it to the poor—placing their money in Heaven, and followed Jesus.

                29-30 ”And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”

            Our repentance and surrender to God is for one purpose—to give up our self will and to accept God’s divine will.  In doing this, we are enrolling ourselves in God’s training school, and asking Him to teach us how to get away from all human dependence, and to deliver us from every worthless idol.  God has promised to do that, if we will let Him.

            Ezekiel 36:25-27 ”Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”

            God not only delivers us from sin and idolatry, but He includes a thorough knowledge of Himself; a true relationship with Him; a perfect love for Him; and a total trust in His Word.  This results in being delivered out of the troubles and problems of this life.  Abraham, Job, Joseph, and all others who were successful in trusting God, were led away from human trust and dependence, and taken to a position of full surrender and divine trust on God.

            The center of all sin is idolatry—trusting some thing instead of trusting God.  When that idol is removed, all other sins are removed with it, because all other sins are just fruits of idolatry.  When the idol is out of the way, faith and trust on God is possible.  Many think it is fanatical to trust God for spiritual, physical, financial, and all other help, but it is only commonsense.

            Jesus said Matthew 28:18 “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.“  To have such Power at our side, and not take advantage of it—that is fanaticism!  How foolish it is to pay someone to try to heal us, when they cannot heal themselves, and when we have the great God of Heaven by our side and ready to heal us for free—in the present moment.

            If we are depending on, or have it hidden in our heart to depend on, anything, anyone, any plan, pill, procedure, or power other than the living God alone for what we need in life—spiritually, physically, financially, and every other faith issue, it is idolatry and must be corrected.

            If we will give our entire heart and life to God without compromise, He will teach us, and will lead us to where we totally trust Him alone for everything.  It will result in a complete knowledge of God, and perfect love for Him. 

            Most importantly, an actual preparation for eternal life is involved and included.  It will eventually prove that God has never changed; that He is no respecter of persons; and anything He did for anyone in the Bible, He will do for us today.  That is the object of God’s Truth.


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