Wednesday, October 01, 2014

BILDERBACK: God will receive you back

By DAVID BILDERBACK, Special to The Ottawa Herald | 8/2/2013

Is it possible for a believer to wander so far from Christ he or she could be lost forever? That’s a question I suppose everyone has considered at some point in their spiritual journey. Not a day goes by that I am not disappointed in myself over something that happened. I do not take this necessarily as a bad sign. If a person is truly converted, they will have times like this because we live in a world that is orientated against God and toward sin.

Sin may be defined as breaking the law of God, or failing to conform to it, in any aspect of life, whether thought, word or deed. In Christian conversion, there is an illumination, regeneration and transformation of the will. The will is turned away from worldliness to Godliness. What is important to understand is that a Christian might fall into sin, but he or she will not stay there.

Is it possible for a believer to wander so far from Christ he or she could be lost forever? That’s a question I suppose everyone has considered at some point in their spiritual journey. Not a day goes by that I am not disappointed in myself over something that happened. I do not take this necessarily as a bad sign. If a person is truly converted, they will have times like this because we live in a world that is orientated against God and toward sin.

Sin may be defined as breaking the law of God, or failing to conform to it, in any aspect of life, whether thought, word or deed. In Christian conversion, there is an illumination, regeneration and transformation of the will. The will is turned away from worldliness to Godliness. What is important to understand is that a Christian might fall into sin, but he or she will not stay there.

In Luke 15, we read the account of the prodigal son who took his inheritance and left for the far country where he squandered all his property on reckless living. A famine came and he began to be in need, but no one would give him anything. All of his friends abandoned him when his resources ran out. So he hired himself out to a farmer to feed the farmer’s pigs. It was a supreme insult for a Jew to do anything with swine. When he became so hungry he could eat the pods he was feeding the pigs, he came to his senses and returned to his father.

The father, who watched daily hoping for the return of the boy, rushed out to greet him when he came into view, and took the initiative to restore the relationship. This parable points to the sovereign love of God who seeks out his own and is willing to receive his wandering children back. There are, however, consequences for wandering from Christ. God would not be a just God if he did not punish sin just as a court judge would not be a just judge if he did not punish crime.

Jesus makes a clear statement in John 14:23-24, saying, “If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words are not my own but belong to the Father who sent me.”

It is such a comfort to know the God of the universe will live within your and my heart if we will allow Him.

 David Bilderback is a Greeley resident.

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