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Glorifying God in an Ungodly Culture

by Victor Knowles

from the Knowlesletter October 2020

  C.S. Lewis said, “A man can no more dimmish God’s Glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the Word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his Cell.

      To "glorify" someone means to bestow honor, praise or admiration on them. In our present culture people tend to glorify celebrities, athletes or even politicians. Yet many of  them are unworthy of such honor because of their ungodly lives.  In ancient Rome the people exchanged the glory of God for images made to look like mortal men or even animals (Rom. 1:22). They also exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped created things rather than the Creator (v. 25). Corinth was another wicked city, filled with sexual immorality. Paul found it necessary to remind the Christians in that city, “You are not your own for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (I Cor. 6:20 ESV.  Some translations add “and in your spirit.”

      A sinful and ungodly culture refuses to glorify God. C.S. Lewis said, ''A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing  to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on
the walls of his cell:' It is left to the people of God to bring Him glory in times like these, even when it looks like complete lunacy is on the loose. If we don't glorify God, no one else will. David prayed, "Plead my cause against an ungodly nation" (Psa. 43:1 NKJV).

     What is the chief end of man? That was the first question in a series of questions set forth to young people in 1642 when a document called the Westminster Shorter Catechism was put together.
The answer was: "To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever:' Long before this question was asked, David said, "I give thanks to you, o Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever" (Psa. 86:12). In fact, David foretold a time when "All the nations you have made shall come and worship

before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God" (vv. 9-10). Only God and His Son Jesus are worthy of such glorification and praise (John 17:1).

     When God sent Jesus to save the world, angels sang: "Glory to God in the highest!" (Luke 2:14). Some shepherds near Bethlehem, after seeing for themselves the long-awaited Messiah, "returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen" (v. 20). Jesus healed many people, causing them to glorify God (Luke 5:25-26; 7:16; 13:13; 18:43 NASB). The one exception was when Jesus healed ten lepers but only one "returned to glorify God with a loud voice" (17:15). I wonder if that same percent-
age holds true today? I'm still stunned when I read that when the seven bowls of God's wrath were poured out on the land, people continued to curse the name of God and refused to repent of their sins and glorify Him (Rev. 16:9). This shows how stiff-necked and bull-headed sinful man really is.

      However, our good behavior can actually cause some to give glory to God! Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:16 NKJV). People are watching and listening to see how we react to the times in which we live. Peter said, "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us" (1 Pet. 2:12 ESV). Peter also said, "Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name" (4:16 ESV). These are words to remember in times like these.

      From Rome to wherever you call home, "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our - Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 14:5-6 NIV).

Victor Knowles is president of Peace on Earth Ministries. He resides in Joplin, Missouri and has been a preacher of the Gospel for many years. He preaches in various churches as he is requested to do so.    www.poeministries.org  

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