Flattering God

December 10, 2013

Compliments and honor to those who deserve it are good and appropriate. Not only do they encourage the hearers to go forward in the righteous and kind works they are doing, but they are also a way to extend thanks. However, flattery, a type of honor that is insincere and given with wrong motives, is evil.

Apparently, flattery, and not true praise, is that which is often given unto God. “O our God, we acknowledge You!” (Ho. 8:2) they say. “We love You, Jesus, and praise Your awesome Name!” But their love and feigned devotion to the Lord is like the early dew that disappears. (6:4) Rebelling against God’s clear directives, they break the Covenant they’ve made with their Redeemer. (8:1) Going forward with decisions void of God’s consent (v. 4), and idolizing whatever they choose (same verse), these unfaithful people bring about their own demise. (same verse)

“Oh, God, help us!” they then cry. For do people not turn to God when they are at their wits’ end? (Ps. 107:27,28) Therefore He may again still the storm (v. 29), for time after time He is merciful. (78:38) But He may not. If they continue to put Him to the test (v. 56), God will abandon them and reject them completely. (v. 59,60)

This warning is for everyone, even those under the New Covenant. (1 Cor. 10:11) Again: Those who keep sinning, regardless of their claim to know God or to be sanctified by the blood of the covenant, will have their salvation cancelled. (1 Cor. 3:16,17 // Titus 1:16 // Heb. 10:26-31) Sinful actions are a disowning of Christ (Titus 1:16), and whoever does so will be disowned. (Mt. 10:33 // 2 Tim. 2:12)

“I will follow You, Lord, but first…” (Luke 9:61) Were these people saying this not part of the crowd who were walking along the road with Jesus (v. 57), listening to His teachings, and believing what they heard? They were. They were offering to covenant with Him, to dedicate their lives to Him –well, after they took care of their own interests first. Flattery. Feigned dedication. “I will follow You wherever You go, and do whatever You command,” was the promise. “After I attend to my own affairs.”

Does Jesus tolerate this attitude? He does not. He tells us to follow Him now, to let the spiritually dead attend to those concerns (Luke 9:60), and that we are to go out proclaiming God’s Kingdom right when He orders us to do so. (same verse) With rebuke in His voice, the Lord informs us that those who step up to join His service, but who then look back, are those who reveal that they are not fit to serve Him. (v. 62)

Oh, how many join this worthless group! Wretched will be the day when they will hear their Master say, “You wicked, lazy servant!” (Mt. 25:26) “Your worthlessness has condemned you!” (See v. 30)

“But, but, but,” they will stammer. “We ate and drank with You, You taught us, we read Your Word, we went to seminary, we did the soup kitchen thing, we even preached Your Name and cast out demons!” (Mt. 7:22 // Luke 13:26)

What will Christ, the King, say? He tells us plainly what He will say: “Get away from Me, you evildoers!” (Luke 13:27) “There has been no genuine relationship between you and Me, for you are full of sin.” (See same verse and Mt. 7:21 & 10:32,33) “Incapable of purity [Ho. 8:5], you have flattered Me with your mouths, lied to Me with your tongues [see Ps. 78:36], your hearts have been disloyal to Me, and you have been unfaithful to My Covenant.” (See v. 37)

And they will be banished from the Lord’s presence forever. (2 Thes. 1:9) “Where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Mt. 25:30)

with love,

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