Quick Links Quick Links

“My God” Versus The True God

by Bob Russsell

“My God would never send anyone to hell.”

“I believe in a God who is bigger than all religions.”

“The God I worship is neither Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, nor Christian.  He is a God for all people.”

A number of people today talk as though God is anything they imagine him to be.  But if you treat God like an imaginary childhood friend, you make yourself the ultimate authority — you are your own god, fashioning the Lord in your own image.  That was Satan’s temptation to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  “If you eat of the tree in the middle of the garden you will not die as God said.  Eat of it and you will be like God yourself – and you can establish your own code of good and evil.”

If the Governor of Kentucky notified every citizen of the commonwealth that he was raising taxes, I could respond by saying, “My governor would never increase taxes” and refuse to pay it.  But the Revenue Secretary would eventually scoff at my response because it doesn’t really matter what the governor of my imagination would do; what matters is what the real governor did.  If he raised taxes, I’d end up having to pay taxes regardless of my wishes, because there is a real governor with real authority.  And there are real fines and real prisons.

Psalm 50 reminds us that God is real.  He not a figment of our imagination.  Verse one describes him as “The mighty One, God, the Lord, (who) speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.”

God is the creator and sustainer of the universe.  We don’t manufacture God.  He made us!  He isn’t make-believe.  He designed the massive mountains and the tiny one-celled amoeba.  He is the author and sustainer of life.

God is the ultimate judge.  He has authority over all people.  “He summons the heaven above and the earth, that me may judge his people” (v. 4).  The Bible says one day we are going to stand before this God of the universe and be required to “give an account of the deeds done while in the body whether good or bad.”

God is the owner of all things.  “I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.  I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine.  If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it” (vv. 9-12).  We don’t really own a dime.  We’re just temporary stewards of what ultimately belongs to God.

God is love and seeks to deliver us from our sinsPsalm 50:15 says, “…call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”  All of us are in deep trouble because God is holy and we are horribly polluted by sin.  We are destined for punishment.  But if we reach out to God, He will deliver us from our sins through the grace offered in His Son Jesus.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

God will reject those who reject Him.  “But to the wicked, God says, ‘What right do you have to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips.  You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you’” (vv. 16-17).  If we despise the Bible and disregard its clear commands, we will one day be judged according to the written requirements of God’s Word, not according to whether we have been true to self or to our invented ideas.

I like the way THE MESSAGE paraphrases 21-22.  “I kept a quiet patience while you did these things, you thought I went along with your game.  I’m calling you on the carpet, now, laying your wickedness out in plain sight.  Times up for playing fast and loose with me.”

When we die and stand before the real God on Judgment Day we will either be under His wrath or under His grace.  It will be a fearful thing to be rebuked by the one true God because there is a real hell.  And we will be without excuse.

Dr. James Jauncey wrote, “God never burglarizes the human will.  He may long to come in and heal, but he will never cross the picket line of your unwillingness.”  The wise choice is to quit contriving an imaginary God and believe in the God who has clearly revealed Himself in Creation, in the Bible and in His Son Jesus Christ.

“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23).

The Prophet Isaiah put it another way, “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him, while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.  Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon” (Isa. 55:6-7).
Bob Russell is retired Senior Minister of the Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY

 

From www.bobrussell.org

 




Leave a Reply

If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8