Sunday, November 6, 2011

THE CONSEQUENCES OF REBELLION!


1 Samuel 15:22-24

King James Version (KJV)
 22"And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
 23For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
 24And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice."                                                              

Exodus 22:18
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

We've just come through another Halloween season. Whether you take part or not is not what we are here to discuss today. What is an irrefutable fact, however, is that- all in all- it is a very demonic and evil holiday. It is represented by monsters and ghouls, vampires and werewolves, and witches. 

Most of us today- those who call ourselves Christians- wouldn't even think of getting involved in witchcraft. We understand that it is evil, demonic, and an abomination in the eyes of God. 

There are many forms of witchcraft. From Satanism to Wicca there are terrible false religions based upon it. There's astrology (Chinese or otherwise, it doesn't matter), Ouija boards (presented as a game), tarot cards, TV shows, Movies (Harry Potter is a great example of the glorification of witchcraft), etc. 


We are told that there is both good and bad witchcraft. This is a lie. God is very clear on his opinion of witchcraft in all forms. "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." Witchcraft, in the eyes of God, is a sin worthy of the death penalty- period! No such thing as a good witch!  


I know. I can hear you saying, "But we live under Grace now. God doesn't enforce that any longer." My response to you is "Yes and No." 


Yes, we live under Grace. We are all given ample time to get things right between us and God before we have to meet him on judgement day. 


No, your wrong about God not enforcing the penalty. While it is true that we are not to kill witches any longer, it doesn't change God's view of it. It also doesn't mean God has forgotten his own penalty. The price will be paid. It's a delayed penalty. Delayed, in case the wrong doer should decide to be born again and have this and other sins washed under his blood. But, for those who insist on continuing, hell will be very hot.


However, there is another form of witchcraft today that is alive and well. It is more dangerous than open witchcraft because it is so smooth that most don't notice it. Though most people don't go around casting spells, there are many that fall into this sin because it seems so natural to us. 


We live in the "land of the free". We have been taught that we can do anything we doggone well please. We scoff at constrictive laws that limit what we can do. We are free to chose how we will live and what we will do. Unfortunately, our freedom- as blessed as we are- has given birth to a much more dangerous sin than divination or necromancy. It's called REBELLION. 


Rebellion, in the eyes of God is a very serious thing, indeed. So much so that he tells us that there is no difference between witchcraft and rebellion. A witch, in the law, is to be stoned. But what about a rebel? 


Being from the south, the term rebel is a term of endearment to us. We revel in our rebellion. We're proud of it. Yet, how does God see rebellion against him? 


The first sin was actually not in the Garden of Eden. The first sin was done by an Archangel named Lucifer. 


Isaiah 14:12"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
 13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High". 


The first sin was rebellion! What was the result?


Ezekiel 28:13"Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
 14Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire (the stars).
 15Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
 16By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
 17Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
 18Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee".     


He lost out with God and lost his position. HE became the center of the universe in his own mind. HE looked at his own talents, beauty, and abilities and decided that he had the right to do what he wanted. Who cares what God thinks? He's an old fuddy-duddy anyway! He just doesn't want me to have fun! I deserve to be exalted- not him! These others should lift ME up and worship me! 


One thought at a time. One little bit of pride on top of another led to conceit. This conceit led to rebellion. His rebellion led to he and 1/3rd of the Angels that followed him ending up cast out on their ears. They also have a future date with a lake of fire that will torment them forever. All because of rebellion! 


In humans, rebellion brings sin, as well as is sin. It leads to drug addiction, sexual sin, alcoholism, divorces, illegitimate children, self-centeredness, murder, abortion, and stealing. It destroys relationships, breaks up homes, and brings chaos in society. Worse, our attitude towards others ("Who do they think they are? They can't tell me what to do!") translates into our attitude towards God ("Who does he think he is? He can't tell me what to do!") 


In our honest moments, we realize that we truly can't make it on our own. When we're truthful, we realize that the best we can do is make a mess of things. When we reach that point of honesty, we are left with two choices. 


1) We can dive off into entertainment, drugs, alcohol, and illicit sex. This begins a seemingly endless cycle. We do what makes us temporarily feel good. Then, when we come down off that "high", the sin makes us feel even worse about ourselves. We see ourselves for the wretch that we are. Then, we dive off into more of the same (or worse), in a vain effort to try and make ourselves feel better about ourselves. 


We truly will do anything to try and cover our own sins. But, in the end, it doesn't work. If a person stays on this road, they will wind up dead. All they will have to leave behind as a legacy is a wasted life and a trail of tears- with no good eternal future to look forward to.


2) We can turn to God in honest repentance! We can go where the masses refuse to go. We can put down our pride. Stop our rebellion. And throw ourselves on the mercy of the judge! When we do, we will find something amazing happens! 


MERCY! A new lease on life! A new chance! We can obediently follow Acts 2:38 and be born again! ALL of our past sins washed in his blood! All of our weaknesses given to him. Our future will then be in the hands of the master, the creator, the author and finisher of our faith! 


He will take away the addictions. He will transform our lives into something beautiful. He will make us into a useful member of the kingdom of God. 


But, the choice is ours. What do we do with it? Do we submit to him and stay submitted to him, and be on our way to eternity with him? Or, do we refuse him and keep on destroying our lives? Does the rebellion end in Grace? Or does the rebellion end in hell? One way or the other the rebellion will end. Which way will yours?