Will the Real God Please Step Forward?
“To Tell the Truth was a television game show you just might not remember; on the air from 1956-1968 and syndicated in reruns thereafter. There were three contestants, one of whom was committed to tell the truth. The other two could lie as much as they desired to throw four guest celebrities each week off the track of which of the three contestants was telling the truth about him or herself. These four would ask questions of each of the three to be answered by a yes or no answer. The intent was to discover the “real McCoy, the one of the three who was telling the truth. The guest celebrities and the television audience would find out the answer when at the end of the show the host would say, “Will the real (name of the true person) please step forward?
In a sense this is the very same “game being played throughout the world with regard to God; the God who is the One True God who will not give His glory to another. The two lying contestants are symbolic of the many false witnesses and sources of errant information in every corner of the globe. For millenniums millions have dichotomized between a God of the Old Testament Scriptures and a God of the New. Of course, the God of the Old Testament was often in their eyes an ogre. In fact, we find such a dichotomy described as far back as the late first century by a Bible critic named Marcion (80-160 AD) who convinced a great many followers he was right. In recent years there have been some bestselling atheist authors who have espoused much the same fiction as Marcion. One of these writers, Richard Dawkins, in his book The God Delusion wrote: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. One of his like-minded authors, Christopher Hitchens who wrote, God is not Great; How Religion Poisons Everything, recently met the “not great God face to face when cancer delivered him into the presence of the real God a few months ago. What must his first words have been when he realized the folly which characterized his life? (Read Psalm 73 and Luke 16:19-31 for a glimpse) Or the responsibility he bore in leading so many down a destructive path?
Your answer to the question, “Who is God? impacts your life in every tiny detail, if indeed there is such a thing as a “tiny detail when it comes to your life and the nature of its future. In fact you really do not truly understand who you are apart from knowing who God is. Until you can knowledgeably say with the Psalmist, “This God is my God, forever and ever; He will be my guide even unto death, you are ignorant of your true self as well as the true God. Knowing God is compiling all the truths of His person as it is spread on the pages of His word from Genesis to Revelation, and illustrated in the creation which He has brought into being and sustains from day to day. And this requires the integration and non-contradictory assimilation of those truths into the same Triune God who is always the same yesterday, today, and forever. The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New, and the God of the New is the God of the Old, and is NOT one of the many false gods who litter the pages of history down to the present! This is the claim of the Scriptures throughout and is repeatedly confirmed by the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth. Those who read differently, do so not on the written record communicated by the Holy Spirit, but in their own disbelief and willful twisting of the plain word to their own ends
Nevertheless, it is required of each of us that we “Study the Scriptures, to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of truth.(II Timothy 2:15) You will not know Him without diligent study and personal apprehension. Too many professing Christians simply do not know their God, and a few questions often expose the ignorance! One thing that ought to characterize every believer from now until he dies is the study of God’s Word for the purpose that he or she might know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. There is no greater work; no higher calling; no better use of time. Those who pursue it as a continuous activity in 2012 and beyond will have no cause for shame when the great Day comes. No matter how you look at it, the Word says that Day is soon. In other words, tomorrow is not too soon to get after it. What plan of study have you laid out for yourself in 2012?
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