"THE WAYS OF GOD"
I. THE ACCUSATION AGAINST GOD. "THE WAYS OF THE LORD ARE NOT EQUAL." OR GOD IS NOT FAIR.
A. There was a proverb that was being repeated very often that declared "The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge." This same proverb was being used also in Jerusalem for we find Jeremiah chiding the people for this same proverb.
1. What they were basically saying is that we are being punished for the sins of our fathers.
2. Our fathers sinned, and we are the ones who have been taken captive to Babylon.
3. How unwilling we are to accept the blame for the things that we have done.
a. Have you ever met people who when you talk to them about a situation or problem, it is always the other guys fault.
b. If you listen to them, they have never done a wrong thing in their whole life. Their troubles always stem from the other person.
B. God responded to the people that their ways were not equal. The fault did not lie with God but with them.
1. God said, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."
2. The fathers will not be punished for the sins of their children nor will the children be punished for the sins of their fathers. Each man will be punished for his own sin.
C. This proverb that sought to blame the fathers for their problems has been taken up for the most part by the psychologists today.
1. It is not your fault that you are what you are, your parents did not raise you right.
2. You were emotionally abused as a child, they yelled at you when you spilled your milk for the third time at the same meal. They accused you of being messy, and that is why you have an aversion to fixing meals for your family but send them off to In and Out every night for a hamburger.
II. THE CALL OF GOD TO THE PEOPLE. REPENT, AND TURN FROM YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS.
A. Every man will be judged for his ways.
1. Like it or not, you are responsible for what you are, and what you have done.
2. When you stand before God to be judged, you will only answer for one person, and that is you.
3. You see, God has offered salvation to every man, He has promised that if you will accept Jesus Christ that you can be a new person, that old things pass away, and all things become new.
4. Through the help of God and the power of the Holy Spirit you can overcome the past.
B. So sin will not be your ruin.
1. Sin will ruin your life, and everything that is worthwhile.
2. God wants you to have the best life possible.
a. He has listed the things that ruin or destroy a person, and He prohibits your doing them.
b. He has also listed the things that will enhance your life and make it beautiful and fulfilling, and He commands you to do them.
c. To follow the laws of the Lord will lead to a happy, rich, and fulfilling life.
d. God has not forbidden you from doing one decent worthwhile thing.
e. They are classified as sin because they destroy and ruin a person's life. That's what makes them sinful.
3. God has prohibited;
a. All forms of promiscuity. Sexual activity is a joy and thrill that is reserved for married couples only. Look at how many lives have been ruined by violating God's laws on sex.
1. All of the sexually transmitted diseases.
2. All of the broken homes because of unfaithfulness.
b. Drug abuse.
c. Hatred, it leads to strifes and murder.
d. Drunkenness and wild partying.
e. All of these things will have a ruinous effect upon your life.
4. God has commanded us to love one another.
a. To be generous toward those in need.
b. To be forgiving, and compassionate.
c. To be pure.
d. Do you have a problem with that?
C. God said to them to cast away all transgressions.
1. Get rid of those things that are ruining your life.
2. There is an urgency to the words, cast away. Its like picking up a burning coal, the longer you hold on to it, the more it is going to hurt you.
3. God always points to the urgency of the hour. Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.
D. He promises to make them and new heart and a new spirit.
1. God has given to us the freedom of choice, and He will not violate that.
2. He will not force Himself upon you. You must willingly turn to Him.
a. In so doing, you then open the gate for Him to do all of those things that He has been desiring to do for your benefit and good.
b. Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock."
c. The next move is yours, "If any man will hear My voice and open the door." The latch is on the inside. He will never force the door open.
3. He loves you and desires to demonstrate that love. By your opening the door, you allow Him to do those things in you that will bring you to a rich fulfilling fellowship with Him.
III. THE QUESTION OF GOD, "FOR WHY WILL YOU DIE?"
A. This is spiritual death. We are all going to die a physical death, it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment. We are told that at the judgment those whose names were not found written in the Lamb's Book of Life were cast into Gehenna, this was the second death. The first death is physical death, the second death is spiritual death. They do not always come in that sequence. Some of you are spiritually dead already. He that has not the Son has not life. Jude speaks of people being twice dead.
1. Jesus spoke of the necessity of having a spiritual birth beyond your physical birth.
2. He talked about being born again.
3. If you are born only once, you will die twice, if you are born twice, you will only die once.
B. God declared that He has no pleasure in death.
1. It does not please God that you should be spiritually dead.
2. God wants you to turn from your sin and receive a new heart and spirit and live in fellowship with Him.