Definitely Not Casual

It has been awhile since I’ve posted to Casual Theology. Today I read the last two chapters of Revelation. While it is incredibly exciting for the believer, the warnings should make us sit up and take notice.

Chapter 21 in the English Standard Version warns that the following eight types of people will not be able to enter heaven: “cowardly…faithless…detestable…murderers…sexually immoral…sorcerers…idolaters…liars…”

Last Thursday evening at Growth Group, we were discussing the marks of genuine believers in Jesus Christ. I mentioned that the disciples didn’t ask, “Is it him?” when Jesus said that one of His followers would betray Him. They asked, “Is it me?”

As it says in Matthew 7:3 of the ESV, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” First, we must examine ourselves to see if we’re guilty. If we are and we’re still breathing, it isn’t too late to ask for forgiveness.

I was amazed that “cowardly” topped this particular list. Lord, may I boldly follow the path You lay before me.

Next is “faithless.” Too often, my life is filled with good intentions rather than good actions. Lord, I know I do not enter heaven on my own merit or become faithful in my own strength. However, I pray that You will strengthen me and clearly direct my steps, that I may be faithful to live as You desire.

“Detestable” is a tough one. If we want to know what is detestable to God, we must do a word study of the Scriptures. This is something I plan to do in the near future, but until then…Lord, cleanse me of any detestable thing, I pray.

Whew! I’m not a murderer. Oh, but wait! What did Jesus say in Matthew 5:21-22? “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment…” (ESV)

Oh, my! I have definitely been angry with others. Lord, I lived a life of anger for years. Thank You for delivering me. May I never go backward in this–or any other area.

Sexually immorality…This is another area of which it may be easy to say, “Oh, no, that doesn’t apply to me.” However, just like murder, God’s definition and ours are worlds apart. Have I ever had an impure thought or spoken inappropriately in this area? Sadly, the answer is yes. Lord, please cleanse me of any remaining stain and help me to live a pure life.

While I am not involved in sorcery, it is too easy to make light of it. Lord, may this never be the case.

The next one is the one that pulls me up short every time. Do I have statues around the house that I bow down to? Of course not…but wait! Do I grab one of my many books or magazines before I think of opening the Word. Do I flip on the TV when I could be praying or reaching out in love? Do my own desires overshadow those God clearly lays out in His Word? Idolatry is something we have to be on guard against. Lord, if anyone or anything tries to take Your rightful place in my life, please show me and help me overcome this tendency.

I talk big about valuing the truth–and I do. However, as a talker, I find it easy to jump into just about any conversation. As someone who doesn’t like confrontation and–to be honest–prefers to encourage rather than challenge, too often the words I speak border on untruth. When my kids were little, I told them, “To make someone believe something that is untrue is the same as lying.” Of this, I am guilty. Lord, forgive me.

If we first look at how the Scriptures apply to our own lives, it will be much easier to see how they apply to others. If we love as we should, we will “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the above list.

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