Serving 29 years as a police officer, I certainly made my share of arrests. Most of the criminals arrested were eventually convicted of the crimes they committed, some of them serving lengthy sentences. But, not all of the criminals arrested had to face the charges that were requested by police. Occasionally the charges were reduced to a lesser crime by the District Attorney, dismissed or diverted to a program, such as a first time offender. Those that were charged went on to further court proceedings. Prior to trial, defense attorneys, on behalf of their clients, agreed to various plea bargains often leading to guilty pleas in exchange for less serious charges, a decrease in the District Attorney’s sentence recommendation, or reduced fines. A particularly good defense attorney would take the case to trial and sometimes succeed in having their client exonerated.
As a sinful humanity we are charged with the crime of failing to place our God as foremost in our lives. We continually place our own wants ahead of God’s will for us. We put ourselves in authority of our lives and relegate our Savior to an afterthought. We place our human reasoning, knowledge and experience before the authority of Scripture. Humanity continues to want it their way, ignoring our God’s will and law. As a fallen humanity, we stand convicted by our actions and failures to act on behalf of our God. We commit the gravest crime of all, placing ourselves, our time and our possessions ahead of our God. Placing God secondary to our needs, is nothing more than the worship of ourselves, our identities and our accomplishments. Luke 9:23-25, Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?”
Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, humankind has tried and failed in its’ effort to reconcile with God. Problem is, that humankind insists upon making these attempts without our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Humankind has failed miserably in its’ attempt to obey His law and live a godly life. God’s church has often been more than disastrous in its’ efforts to lead humankind back to God. Even the most enlightened of Biblical scholars fail when they insist upon using human understanding, experience and tradition to try to determine God’s will. As much as we would like to follow in Christ’s footsteps, we more often trip all over ourselves, falling into the traps set by the evil one. We have seen what happens when misguided organizations like the ELCA, UCC and Episcopal Churches, decide to author their own version of Scripture. We see how far man can fall when tolerance, welcoming and social justice supercedes the command to love our God with all our heart, with all our minds, with all our soul and with all our strength. Romans 1:21-27, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. “ Once we rely upon our own understanding, celebrating our intelligence and insight, we demonstrate just how foolish we truly are.
But, even though we are criminals before our God, charged and convicted of the gravest of sins, we have Jesus Christ as our advocate. Because He took the punishment that we justly deserved, we are exonerated of our crimes against our God. Jesus makes certain that believer’s names are prominently written in the Book of Life so that our salvation is secure. 1 John 2:1-2, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” When we truly believe, we have the best defense attorney that not only argues on our behalf, but has already suffered the consequences of our sin.
There are brothers and sisters in Christ that are being led down the path of destruction. The leaders of the ELCA, UCC and Episcopal churches would have them believe a gospel other than the one our Lord and Savior taught. These brothers and sisters must have their hearts and minds opened to the truth. It is our responsibility to expose the heresies of these errant churches, so that none of God’s children, who have accepted His truth, fall away. Pray unceasingly for those trapped in these churches that embrace apostasy, to be brought back to the safety of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.