Love the King

What should our attitude be towards God,

‘And now, O (own name), what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.’  Deuteronomy 10:12-13

Jesus emphasized it, 

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all of your strength.’  Mark 12:30

In their 2,000 year selected history recorded in the Old Testament, the Israelites could not obey and observe that command consistently. 

The New Testament reveals the eternal covenant in Christ’s blood.  By His grace Jesus fulfilled the commands perfectly and He was punished for our disobedience.  After Jesus’ ascension God sends the Holy Spirit to be with and in His children to love God through them.  Glory!

The reason why we need to love and obey God is:  God is busy with the establishment of His Kingdom.  When it is finalized it will be an eternal Kingdom.  So God takes every precaution to ensure it will be a success.  History and the Bible reveals how important it is that citizens love their leader.  Nations throughout history have been plagued by the problem of little or no love for the leaders.  That results in unhappy, disgruntled citizens.  They disobey the laws, riot, form opposition or terrorist groups, et cetera – often with the aim of toppling the government.  Then the next cycle of disgruntled citizens begins.    

God’s eternal Kingdom will be a roaring success.  Why?  There will be nobody who does not love Him passionately.  No-one.  God’s Kingdom is eternal.  God does not take chances with anybody who does not love Him.  As said, history demonstrates the logic of the Lord.  An eternal Kingdom requires all the citizens to love the King. 

Confusion about the Old Testament Law

There is a lot of confusion about the Old Testament Law (for example, Law and NTExodus 20-23) and how to apply it today. Atheists love to poke fun at it. One mockingly asked, ‘How much should I charge for my daughter if I want to sell her into slavery?’ How does one answer that?

The Old Testament Law was a special ‘deal,’ or covenant, that God made with the Israelites, to which they agreed. So the question is, why are these ‘obsolete’ laws in the Bible if they don’t apply to us? The reasons are:

  • The history of the Israelites in the Old Testament shows that they couldn’t keep God’s covenant. God proved that people are unable to please Him with laws. Scripture says, ‘Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law…’ 1 [this is very important – see the following point].
  • People could not keep the Law, so God gave His ‘solution,’ namely His Son. Jesus changes people’s hearts, and the Holy Spirit gives the power to live in a relationship with God. 2
  • Thus the function of the Old Testament Law is to show how important Jesus is, ’…No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ 3

Despite that, the Old Testament Law remains controversial. How do we answer the criticisms of God’s enemies, like the stoning of a Sabbath breaker? 4  The answer is to look at the New Testament. If a law is found in both Testaments, we can regard it as binding on Christians today. For example:

  • We are told to love God in Deuteronomy 6:4.  Jesus repeats it: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 5  So Christians are to keep that law today.
  • The Old Testament forbids eating pork.6 The New Testament declares all food clean in the vision that Peter saw.7  To make the message clear, it is repeated three times. So pork is not forbidden today.
  • Both the Old and New Testaments forbid adultery. The Old Testament command remains binding.
  • The Old Testament forbids working on the Sabbath.9 In Colossians 2:16-17 the Sabbath is seen as a shadow of the things to come. The reality is found in Jesus. In addition, the Jerusalem Council did not impose Sabbath keeping on the Gentiles.10 Today we will not kill a person who works on the Sabbath (Saturday).
  • Slavery is a special case. Both Testaments have instructions about it, but common sense will help. Contrary to the times when the Bible was written, slavery has largely disappeared.  The commands about slaves are not applicable.11

Conclusion

When you investigate both Testaments, it is clear which laws still stand. That might help to answer atheists and skeptics who claim every Old Testament law is binding today.

References

  1. Romans 3:20a
  2. Jeremiah 31:31
  3. John 14:6b
  4. Numbers 15:32-36
  5. Mark 12:30
  6. Leviticus 11:7
  7. Acts 10:10-16
  8. Exodus 20:14: Galatians 5:19
  9. Exodus 20:8-11
  10. Acts 15:19-20; see also Romans 14:5
  11. Colossians 3:22-25; 4:1

Why do Christians do bad things?

One of the questions Guy Harrison asks is,1 Why do the ‘Christians’ do such horrible things (which atheists Bad Christians copy

50 Questions

presumably never do)?  To reframe it a bit and make it more understandable, if I claim that I am a multimillionaire, does that mean I am one?  I doubt. Nobody will believe me, unless I can furnish proof. Which of course I can’t.

 

The same applies to some ‘Christians.’ Claiming something doesn’t necessarily make it true. Jesus said it is not enough to praise and worship Him, sit in church and be busy ‘with the Lord’s business.’  He asked, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?'” 2

 

Jesus gave two commands that are very pertinent to the question, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.’ This means, among other things, that we should be like Jesus who gave His life for others.

 

Jesus’ second guideline is, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 4  This means that you will not harm others.  A person who follows these two commands will not hurt others or do bad things like steal, murder, et cetera.

 

This should answer why Christians do bad things? They were not followers of Christ in the first place. Out of expediency, political power, or plain deceit, they claimed to be ‘Christians,’ but they were not. Jesus will separate Christians at His second coming, ‘The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.’

 

Till then we have to accept that there will be people who claim to be Christians but do bad things. Many of us have had some bad experience at the hands of some of them. God will sort it out. We just have to be sure we have forgiven them and pray for them.

 

Real Christians are taught to forgive and not to retaliate. Could it be that somewhere, somehow one of these ‘brothers,’ or ‘sisters’ have done you a bad turn? Have you forgiven? We had to learn through bitter experience the only way to keep one’s sanity and health is to do just that, forgive.

 

References

  1. Kindle location 1177-1235 of 5739
  2. Luke 6:46
  3. Matthew 22:37
  4. Matthew 22:39
  5. Matthew 13:41
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