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Knowing God

One of the most enlightening passages in all of scripture is found in John 17:3 where Jesus said “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.”

As the Apostle Paul walked through the streets of Athens his spirit was provoked within him as he observed the city full of idols. Preaching to a crowd of intellectuals gathered at Mars Hill, he said that as he was observing their objects of worship he came upon an altar inscribed, “To An Unknown God.” Paul then boldly announced, “I proclaim to you the God you do not know!”

You can know Him! He desires for men to know Him. He wants us to know Him intimately and personally, it is life changing - it is eternal life! In Psalms 98:2, the declaration is clear, “The Lord has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.” Psalms 9:16 says, “The Lord has made Himself known.”

In spite of God's desire to be known, Paul declared Him to be “The Unknown God.” To the church at Corinth Paul said, “the world through its wisdom did not come to know God.” 1 John 3:l says, “the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” Romans 1:18-21 shows us that man can know God and that his lack of knowledge concerning God is inexcusable. Paul wrote, “that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them...they are without excuse!”

What is it that prevents us from knowing Him? In Romans 3:10,11 & 23 Paul reveals the answer to that question. “As it is written, there is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It causes me to wonder, what would Paul have to say to us if he visited our cities and churches? Upon examining our objects of worship would he say the same thing to us that he said to the religious intellectuals in Athens? “I PROCLAIM TO YOU THE GOD YOU DO NOT KNOW!”

In Galatians 4:8-11 Paul reveals the tragedy of a man coming to the knowledge of God and then turning back to the very things that prevented him from knowing God to begin with. “However, at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.” Many people have come to know God and turned back; they allow worthless, elemental things to lead them astray. Many have come to know the Covenant-keeping God, yet have not followed the example of Abraham in driving away the vultures from the Covenant carcass (Genesis 15:11). Paul speaks of this in Romans 1 saying, “even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God...they exchanged the truth of God for a lie!” Throughout the New Testament we are warned not to follow in the same example of disobedience that is recorded for us in the history of the nation of Israel. In Hosea 8:1-3 the Lord said, “Put the trumpet to your lips! Like an eagle, the enemy comes against the house of the Lord; because they have transgressed My Covenant, and rebelled against My law. They cry out to Me, ‘My God, we of Israel know Thee!’ But, Israel has rejected the good; the enemy will pursue him.”

The Lord spoke to Israel through the prophet Isaiah saying in Isaiah 1:2,3, “Sons I have reared and brought up, but they have revolted against Me. An ox knows its owner, and a donkey its master's manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand.” His people are no different today. We have the “practical atheists“ filling churches every Sunday in large numbers. Paul said in Titus 1:16, “they profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.” Just as God warned His people through the mouth of His prophets in the Old Covenant, He is warning His people of the New Covenant. His trumpet is sounding forth today also! Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, “the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

It is an awesome scriptural truth that many walk with Jesus and yet never know Him. They have an awareness of who He is, they know about Him, but never come to know Him. Many have witnessed His miracle-working power and yet have never allowed that power to change their hearts; in fact, many deny the power of God can change their heart. They do not know Him. Paul describes these people in 2 Timothy 3:7 saying they are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” This truth is demonstrated in the life of Phillip, one of the twelve apostles. After ministering with the Lord for over three years and being taught directly by Jesus Himself, on the night of the Lord's arrest he said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus responded with a rebuke, “Have I been so long with you, and yet, you have not come to know me, Phillip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”

There is, on the other hand, that gracious Word of hope! Paul declares in 2 Timothy 1:12, “I know whom I have believed.” GLORY! We can know Him!

The Word of God has much to say on the subject of “Knowing God“ and space will not allow an exhaustive coverage of each point. I encourage you to follow through in your Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you through His Word as you look up each reference.

Knowing God - results in a changed life.

Knowing God is to possess understanding that results in a changed life. 1 John 5:20 teaches that “the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” Verse 11 of that same chapter tells us that the witness of God is this, “that God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son.“

We have known the darkness, but Christ is the light. Paul said in Ephesians 5:8, “you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light.” We must come to the light and allow our hearts to be exposed and purified by it. We have known the lie handed down to us from the garden of Eden, that man can sin and not die. God is still saying to us that “the wages of sin is death,” and the devil is still saying “you surely shall not die.” The result of our believing Satan's lie was death. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:1, “you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you formerly walked.” Life in Christ is freedom from the penalty and power of sin that separated us from Holy God. We can now come to the provision of His victory over sin and be baptized into His death - the death to sin - Romans 6:10. The light becomes brighter and and the glory of our God becomes clearer as the veil is removed from our faces.

We have known the errors of unprincipled men, the philosophies and empty deceptions according to the tradition of men, the wisdom that comes not from above but that which is earthly, natural and demonic, and we were enslaved by it. But In Christ there is the wisdom that comes from above that is pure, peaceable, gentle, full of mercy - the truth that liberates - “You shall KNOW THE TRUTH, and THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.” It frees us to know Him! We have known the gods of this world, the gods of our own making that we've bowed down to. Rather than knowing the One True God, like Israel we have “sacrificed to demons who were not God, to gods whom they have not known, new gods who came lately, whom your fathers did not know” Deuteronomy 32:17. But the law of God thunders in our ears saying, “You shall have NO OTHER GODS besides Me;” and so we come to Christ who has the preeminence and He leads us to the eternal, loving, caring Father! “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God be glory and honor both now and forever, Amen!” 1 Timothy 1:17.

We have known the deception of self-improvement, the success motivation syndrome that promotes the very flesh God condemned on the cross. Now we've come to understand through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus that “in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.” Self-improvement is an affront to God's Word and a sin against the Savior, for man at his best is still worthy only of the cross! Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “for to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” - that hasn't changed even in our affluent, educated, modern world.

We have known selfishness and self-centeredness, but knowing Him is to deny ones' self, take up the cross and follow Him. Paul exhorts us in Philippians 2:3,4 to “do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Jesus became our example of this selfless life. Paul continues in verses 5-8 saying, “have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death.“

We have known what it means to hoard - God gives. We take notice of His love for us and we learn of His heart, His nature, and character. He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. His character is to give extravagantly and sacrificially. Jesus related this aspect of the Father in Matthew 7:11, saying, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” As we learn of the Father's heart to give our hearts begin to take on the very same desire. Paul writes of the first century churches in Asia saying, “they gave of their own accord, begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints” 2 Corinthians 8:3,4. The principle of hard work to provide our own basic needs and to share in the needs of others is revealed throughout the Scriptures. In Ephesians 4:28 Paul tells us to “labor, performing with (our) own hands what is good, in order that (we) may have something to share with him who has need.” God loves a generous, cheerful giver!

We have known the ways that seem right to us but always end in death, but there is another way, God's Way, the Ancient Path. Isaiah speaks of that ancient path as the Highway of Holiness - “A highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it.” Moses cried out to the Lord in Exodus 33:13, “Now therefore, I pray Thee if I have found favor in Thy sight (and through the blood of Jesus we have found favor with God), let me know Thy ways that I may Know Thee.”

Knowing God - is not only discerning His ways, but also walking in them.

In Hebrews 3:10 the Lord reveals His problem with His people Israel, saying, “Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their hearts, and did not know My ways.’” In Amos 3:3 we are asked how two can walk together unless they are in agreement? Enoch is an example for us of a man who walked in agreement with God, and the Scripture simply says, “he was no more, for God took him up.” Why? According to Hebrews 11:5, “for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God!” He committed himself to walk in the ways of God and his life so pleased God that God wanted his continual fellowship. That is His desire for each of us.

We have known compromise - a divided heart - trying to walk with Jesus and be a friend of the world at the same time. James warns us that “whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” He calls this kind of person a “double-minded” man and says, “let not that man expect he will receive anything from the Lord.” Knowing God is knowing Him as Lord, as Master, as Ruler of my heart - He is either Lord of all or not Lord at all!

Knowing God - is through the life-flow of the Holy Spirit.

Knowing God is through the life-flow of the Holy Spirit and not simply an acknowledgement and assent to certain historical facts and doctrines. 1 John 4:12 says, “No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” Paul tells us that the natural mind cannot accept the things of the Spirit of God because they are spiritually appraised. In Romans 8 he tells us that the Spirit of God bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and that all who are being led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. Knowing God is life in His Spirit! (See also 1 Corinthians 2:1-16, Gal. 5:13-25)

Knowing God - comes through a heart that seeks to know the truth.

Knowing God is through a heart that loves and seeks to know the truth of God through His servants and through His Word. Paul tells Timothy that the church is to be “the pillar and support of the truth.” John tells us in I John 4:6 how to discern the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. “We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” In 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 Paul warns us about the destruction that will come upon those who “did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved...who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.” A love for the truth will bring with it a discernment to recognize God's servants. Malachi 3:18 tells us that there will come again a time when “you will distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.” John the Baptist reveals a key identifying mark of God's servants, “for He whom God has sent speaks the words of God” John 3:34. In Jeremiah 23:22 the Lord proclaimed to Israel, “if they had stood in My council, then they would have announced my words to My people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds.” There is no life in man's opinions or rationalizations about the Word. The Lord goes on to say in Jeremiah 23, “what does straw (man's words) have in common with grain (God's Word).” It is His Word that is spirit and life. (See also James 1:18-25; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13; Acts 17:11; 1 Peter 1:23-25)

Knowing God - comes through New Covenant living.

Hebrews 8:11 says, “they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord’ for they shall all know me, from the least to the greatest of them.” If we seek to understand the fulfillment of that verse by the context in which it was written, we find in verses 6-10 that it is through the new and better covenant between the Lord and His people which was instituted by the blood of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 9:11-14 & 26 tells us it is the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ that opens spiritually blind eyes to see and know God! It was by the sacrifice of Himself. There is no greater truth that will bring us to the knowledge and understanding of God than God having proved His love for us “in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!” Glory! (See also Ephesians 1:7-9; 2:12,13; Revelation 5:5-14;)

Knowing God - is to REST in His ability.

In 2 Tim. 2:12 Paul proclaims “I Know that He is Able!” We must come to the understanding that He is Sovereign; it is He who causes us to be born again, it is He who saves us, it is He who changes us. “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” We must know with Paul, that “it is God who is at work within you both to will and to work His good pleasure.”

There is the reality of examining ourselves as Paul instructs in 2 Corinthians 13:5, but eyes that are fixed only on self in morbid introspection will never come to fullness of victory. Instead of continual self examination, Hebrews tells us to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

He is Able!

* Able to deliver - Daniel 3:17,18
* Able to cause dead stones to become His children - Luke 3:8
* Able to fulfill every promise - Romans 4:19-21
* Able to make grace abound - 2 Corinthians 9:8
* Able to do above all we ask or think - Ephesians 3:20
* Able to subdue all things - Philippians 3:21
* Able to guard what I've entrusted to Him - 2 Timothy 1:12
* Able to save to the uttermost - Hebrews 7:25
* Able to keep you from falling - Jude 24

Knowing God - is possessing my vessel for His honor.

Knowing God is to possess my vessel for His honor and praise, “not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God,” but in “sanctification and honor.” “This is the will of God, your sanctification” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5. (See also Ephesians 5:1-10) In 2 Timothy 2:19-26 we find what it means to possess our vessel (our life). Some vessels are vessels of honor and others are vessels of dishonor. My life may possess earthly things that defile, or as Paul states, “if a man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master.” Because I want to honor Him, I cleanse my life by forsaking that which does not honor my Lord. (See also Hebrews 12:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Romans 6:19-23)

According to Daniel 11:32 “the people who know their God will display strength and take action!” That is 3-fold:

* The strength and action of occupying - Luke 19:13
* The strength and action of overcoming - Revelation 2:1-7
* The strength and action of offering - 2 Corinthians 2:14 & 3:6

Jesus instructs us in Matthew 5:13-16 that we are “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.” What does it mean that we are to occupy? Very simply, we demonstrate our faith in the Lord by the way we live our lives in this world. Our lives are to be lights in the midst of darkness. Jesus explains this in verse 16, “let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” We also see this in Paul's comments concerning our witness to the natural Jews. In Romans 11:11-14 he says that “salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.” But have we? Have we so demonstrated the power and presence of Almighty God that they cannot help but recognize that He is in our midst? Are our lives causing the world to take notice of our God?

What is it that they should be seeing in us that will cause them to want what we have? It is the overcoming life, the fruit of His Spirit. Throughout the Scriptures we have the testimony of mighty men of God that the world had to take notice of. There is Joseph, who despite his unfavorable circumstances in life, remained faithful to God's ways. He was exalted to the number two position of power in the Egyptian empire. There is Daniel, who remained faithful to God's ways and whose abilities were so far superior to his contemporaries that he became a ruler in Babylon. Did either compromise God's ways to attain positions of prominence? Hardly, both suffered greatly and yet remained steadfast in faith. The fruit of our lives, the development of our God-given abilities for His glory, our homes, families and churches should be causing the world to take notice that we have been with Jesus.

The offering is our life - presented as a living sacrifice, holy and blameless before God. As we do this, the Spirit of God consumes the sacrifice and as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 2:14, “the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him” manifests through us for others to see.

Knowing God - is to know and apply the Love of Christ in daily living.

Paul says in Ephesians 3:17-19 that we are to be “rooted and grounded in know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” It is a love that produces single-minded devotion to Him. In 1 John 2:4-6 we see the kind of life that this devotion produces. John says, “The one who says, ‘I have come to know him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar,and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” How did He walk? Totally devoted to the Father in love!(See also John 8:28-29; 5:19, 30, 20-29; Luke 2:51,52; Hebrews 5:7-9; 1 Samuel 15:22,23)

Knowing God - is as an union of man and woman in marriage.

Knowing God is pictured for us as the union between a man and woman in marriage. In Hosea 2:19-20 the Lord says, “And I will betroth you to me forever: Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and compassion. And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, then you will know the Lord.” Scripture reveals that His love for us is like the love shared between a husband and wife on their wedding day. Our love for Him is to be filled with the excitement and joy and devotion of a bride that has made herself ready for her husband, adorned with beauty - and our beauty is to be the beauty of holiness. Marriage symbolizes the deep love shared between the Lord and His people, the intimacy that is shared between lovers. When the Lord was crucified and buried, Mary Magdalene was at the grave to mourn His death. As she stood at the tomb weeping, two angels appeared to her and asked why she was weeping. Mary responds, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” John 20:14 says that “when she had said this, she turned around, and beheld Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.” She saw Him, but thought He was the gardener. Then Jesus spoke to her and she heard - she heard in a way she never heard before. Something eternally dramatic happened! I don't know all that took place, but I know that Mary knew Him in a way she had never known Him before. It may be what Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:16, “Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.”

This same thing happened to Job who, although he knew the Lord as His Redeemer, was able to say to the Lord “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees Thee; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” This is the promise that God has for His people. The Lord said in Jeremiah 24:7 “I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with their whole heart.” That's what it means to have the intimate relationship with Him depicted in the symbol of marriage - to know Him, to love Him with a whole heart.

Betrothed - in Spirit, not the flesh! Promised unto Him as a pure virgin and not as a bride with a dirty wedding gown! Engaged to Him on the grounds of heavenly living not worldly compromises! He says the betrothal is “in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, (it is) in faithfulness.” How many people today know Him only according to the flesh? Their knowledge of Him consists only of accumulated facts about His life on this earth, yet beyond that they do not perceive or understand that He is alive today! He is the Reigning King of Kings and Lord or Lords! In 2 Corinthians 11:2,3 Paul warns us “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy: for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and the purity of devotion to Christ.” This marriage relationship is one of purity and deep devotion. In Revelation 17:14 we find who is with the Lamb in the heavenly places as He wages war against the enemy - they are the called, the chosen and the faithful.

Knowing God - is to press on until the promise becomes reality.

Knowing God is pressing on until the preciousness of the promise becomes a permanent reality. What is the promise? He has promised to change us - that we will be like Him, conformed to His image. In 1 John 3:1-4 we are told that “when He appears we shall be like Him...and everyone who has this hope fixed on Him, purifies himself, just as He is pure.” Our blessed hope is not only the bodily return of Jesus to this earth, it is that those “whom God foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.” In 2 Corinthians 3:18 Paul says that as we come to the mirror of God's word and behold the glory of the Lord, we “are being transformed into the very same image.”

It is this process of change that has been promised to every disciple that must be kept before us as a goal, not content with anything less than conformity to Him. Paul speaks of groaning over our present condition, buffeting our body and making it our slave. In Philippians 3:12-14 he describes this walk of pressing on, saying, “not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus...forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward for what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Hosea tells us “let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and, He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.” (See also Hosea 6:4-6)

That is the Christian Life - pressing on to know the Lord and He will come to us! Jesus promised that very thing in John 14:21,23. “He who has My Commandments and keeps them, he it is he who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make our abode with him.”

Knowing God - is following the Shepherd wherever He leads.

Knowing God is following the Shepherd wherever He leads because we know His voice. Rev. 14:4 tells us of those who are worshipping the Lamb before His throne, and they are “the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” In John 10 the Lord describes Himself as the Good Shepherd who “puts forth all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.” In verse 27 he continues, saying, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” In Matthew 7 Jesus reveals a wise man and a foolish man by saying that the wise man hears His words and acts upon them, but the foolish man hears His words and does not act upon them. It is not enough just to hear His voice. Many people today assume that because they hear good preaching or because they study the Bible that they are His sheep, but notice how Jesus defined His sheep: 1) My sheep hear my voice and 2) they follow Me.

Sadly the message spoken to God's people through Zephaniah is as relevant today as when it was first spoken. In chapter 3:1,2 he cried out, “Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the tyrannical city! She heeded no voice; she accepted no instruction. She did not trust in the Lord; she did not draw near to her God.” (Read on through Verse 17) We find in the New Testament that the Lord visits a church that has closed its doors to Him and Jesus says to that church, in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and I will dine with him, and he with Me.”

He desires to speak to us, to personally instruct us in His ways, to lead us in the paths of righteousness. He is that Shepherd of Psalm 23 who promises peace in the midst of the storm for those who follow after Him. He tells us in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (See also Hebrews 3:6-8; Acts 26:14; Psalm 29; Psalm 68:33; 81:8-16; 103:17-21; Isaiah 6:8; 30:30; 40:3-8; 66:1-6; Jeremiah 7:23-28; John 18:33-37

Knowing God - is to know He is a God of judgment.

Knowing God is being fully aware that our God is a God of judgment - He is a consuming fire and the wicked will not go unpunished. Hebrews 10:30 reminds us “we know Him who said ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay.’ And again, The Lord will judge His people.” He does not want His people to forget that it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Peter tells us that judgment begins “with the household of God.” There has never been a time during God's dealings with mankind that He has ever tolerated, hidden His eyes from, or allowed wickedness to go unpunished even in His own people. In 1 Peter 4:18 we gain an insight to the seriousness of God's judgment when Peter says, “if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?” Jude reminds us in verse 5, “that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe (obey).” Peter reminds us of God's impartial judgment upon sin throughout the history of mankind, saying that “He did not spare the angels when they sinned.” And “He did not spare the ancient world...(but) brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly,” He also “condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter.” Peter's point is that in remembering all of these events, we must keep in mind that “the Lord knows how to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment.” (See also Romans 2:2-11; Luke 19:12-27; Joshua 23:8-16; James 4:4-10)

Knowing God - is knowing that God is for me.

David said in Psalm 56:9 “This I know that God is for me!” Are you aware that there are many church members today who do not understand that God is for them? How do I know that? I was one of them even as a pastor for over twelve years! During the summer of 1973 I was with a group of 16 pastors at a conference in Georgia. I didn't know what was happening in my life, everything was coming apart inside of me and I needed help, I needed Him! In a glorious moment the presence of the Lord filled that circle of pastors and I withdrew from that circle cringing at the thought of Holy God seeing my unholy life. For the first time in my life I felt His Holy touch, His Holy hug. His presence took me into His loving arms and said “Farrell Fisher, I am for you! It's going to be alright. Together we'll come to VICTORY!” I found out that although I had known about Him, I didn't know Him.

If only you'll hear His voice saying to you “I AM FOR YOU!” We must know with certainty what Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:4 that God “desires all men (including you) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Peter tells us that He “is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” In Ezekiel 18:23, God asks “Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked...NO...rather that he should turn from his ways and live!” Then in verses 30-32 our Lord asks “For why will you die, oh house of Israel?” Today He is asking us, “Why will you die, oh insecure one...why will you die oh lonely one...why will you die oh one who thinks no one cares...I CARE.” He does! Do you really know the God who proved His love for you in that while you were a sinner Christ died in your behalf?


Used with permission -
Published by Macedonian Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 210304
Bedford, TX 76095-7304