The Christian Atheist

Sunday’s sermon was so powerful and convicting. It was one of those fire and brimstone, digs down deep into the matters of your heart kind. I was moved, convicted, and repentant. I hardly wrote anything down on my outline, afraid to look down at the page for fear that I would miss something. Have you ever experienced that? It was GOOD! So good, that I have to share it. It won’t be as good, since I’m not Pastor Scott, but you’ll get the gist of it.

He starts out with this statement. I believe in God, but I don’t fear Him.

Yes, God is good, we have heard that. But God is also a just God, mighty, omniscient, omnipotent, fierce, jealous, terrifying, cunning God too. Do you fear Him? He holds your eternity in His hands. Fear Him now? Noah did. If God asked me to build an ark today, would I start the project or ask lots of questions? Abraham feared God, and was obedient. He was willing to sacrifice his son, and God stopped him when He saw that obedience. He later sacrificed His own Son. Do you fear Him?

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power. 2Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV) Wow! What a powerful passage that clearly describes things we can relate to as seeing in ourselves or someone we know. You’re calling me out now, and I can feel the heat! I’ll just go through some of them that were screaming at me from the page.   Forgiveness is a big struggle for me, and I wrestle with God many times before I can finally let go and give Him control of it. So that one jumped out at me. I don’t really think of myself as an ungrateful person, but I know that at times I ask for His blessing and He never receives a Thank you. That is ungrateful! And here is the big one, the one monster in my closet if you will. A couple weeks ago at the race track, my son was getting some bad calls. In the grand scheme of life, I know that it’s no big deal. But that Friday night it was. I lacked self-control and acted in an unholy manner. I knew it at the time the words came out of my mouth, but I was so angry, and had let satan grab hold so tightly, that I could not stop. Physically, I could not stop. I was sorry that I yelled at that corner worker that way, and ashamed of my behavior. I apologized to the people around me, and deleted the video that I was recording. Yeah, I was that bad. I had my younger son right beside me, and apologized to him, saying that mommy should not have said those things. Over and over I apologized, but I never let go of it. I never felt released from it. It was ugly!

Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all. In their blind conceit, they cannot see how wicked they really are. Psalm 36:1-2 (NLT)

When you fear God, you will serve Him wholeheartedly without any conditions. I’ll serve You Lord, but don’t ask me to give anything up. I’ll take Your blessings, but don’t expect me to be thankful or use them the way You want me to. We make God into our image, and that’s not what Abraham did. We need to be fully committed. For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the eart to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. 2Chron. 16:9 (NIV)

Fear of God is reverent Awe. Experience Divine Wow.

When you fear God, you will be forever ruined. You will never be the same again. Your priorities will change. He will bring you to the end of yourself. God will convict you, He will appear to you, and heal you. The power of God restores and renews us.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, hight and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”  Isaiah 6:1-8 (NIV)

So at the end, there was an altar call while the worship band was playing. The prayer benches were up front, and we were encouraged to use them if we felt the need. Of course, I felt the need. The whole incident at the track had not left the forefront of my mind, I had unclean lips. Let me tell you that I knelt at that prayer bench and felt God’s love on me. It washed over me. I cried, I repented and asked for forgiveness, and received healing and love. My guilt was taken away and my sin atoned for. I don’t want to be a Christian Atheist. I don’t want to be one of those Christians that non Christ followers point to and call a hypocrite. I want to be a light. A good example to others, especially my kids.

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