By James W. Crumpton
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May 2, 1997 (David W. Cloud, Fundamental Baptist News Service, 1701 N. Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277) - The following article is by James W. Crumpton, Pastor, Westside Baptist Church, Editor, Maranatha!!!!, P.O. Drawer 1425, Natchez, MS 39121-1425 --
GOD IS NOT A LONG GRAY-BEARDED SENTIMENTAL GRANDFATHER! Some of the casual, light, childish, ignorant, and crude ways of referring to God these days should cause us to take note. There are those things that are said and written about Him that make God's people tremble and shudder.
Often when folk die who have refused Jesus Christ as Saviour and lived a wicked life, people are prone to say (even church people), "There was something good about him, and I believe God will let him into Heaven!" God is not that kind of God. We either get prepared for Heaven according to His Plan, or we do not go to Heaven. He does not wink at or excuse sin. He deals with it. He is not some sentimental pushover.
GOD IS NOT A HARD-UP MERCHANT RUNNING BARGAIN DAYS! Many times when folk faced serious danger in war, mountains, forest, desert, etc., or difficulties, heartaches, bereavements, frustrations, etc., they said, "I told God if He would get me out of trouble, I would become a Christian and live for Him." God does not bargain like that. He may in grace and mercy get you out of a hard place but not because He bargains like some merchant at a dollar-day sale.
One man said to me that God had blessed him so much that he wanted to pay Him back. We cannot pay God back. How could you ever pay for the least of His blessings? In saving us, He does not leave us with some debt to pay. If He did, we would not be saved by grace. Sometimes sinners will say, "I will be saved, if God will not require me to be baptized or turn from some of my sins." God never saves anybody that way. You do not bargain with God. You come His way as a bankrupt sinner, or you do not get saved. God never said baptism is necessary for salvation. He commands all saved folk to be baptized. Yet, He never saves anybody who comes to be saved with reservations as to what they will or will not do. People do not make anything a point of issue with God in getting saved. If they try, He will not save them! Salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing and minus nothing in Jesus Christ.
GOD IS NOT THE "MAN UPSTAIRS!" There are those who lightly refer to Him in this way. He is not some glorified man or celestial bellhop. Some theologians seek to humanize God and deify man. When I think of folk who do things like this I am reminded of the fact that the second Psalm says that God will sit in His heavens and laugh. Man's stupidity does not change the facts about God.
GOD IS NOT THAT "CAT WHO IS NEAT AND GROOVY!" Some movie star who professes to be a Christian reportedly said, when asked if she were saved and knew Jesus Christ personally, "Sure I know that Cat; I talk to Him every night." This is little short of blasphemy, if it is short. The tendency in this generation to debunk everything of the so-called establishment and that which is revered and sacred is dangerous indeed when it comes to such attitudes and talk about God.
GOD IS NOT A GOOD LUCK CHARM! Football coaches are superstitious about sweaters; baseball players refuse to change sweat shirts during a winning streak; baseball pitchers sometimes refuse to pick up the ball on the mound -- it must be thrown to them, and millions of Americans have the same opinion about God. You would think that God is a bag of powders to frighten away evil spirits, or a ghostly presence to be summoned by incense and incantation. He is not a charm bracelet to be worn casually and inconspicuously around your wrist.
GOD IS NOT AN OUTMODED TRADITION! Some sophisticated moderns speak condescendingly of God as though He were an invention of some ignoramus from the dark ages. The virgin birth, deity of Christ, bodily resurrection, and personal second coming of Christ are treated as harmless fables.
GOD IS NOT AN AMBULANCE CHASER found best in hospital emergency rooms or outside the door of the intensive care unit! He does not dwell within the walls of the funeral homes or cemeteries. He is a very present help in time of trouble, but He can be found before and beyond trouble.
GOD IS NOT AN IMPERSONAL COSMIC FORCE! There are those pseudo scientists who would say that referring to God is the layman's way of referring to some cosmic force that is back of revealed things. Many use the word fate, mother nature, etc.; this is a cowardly way of denying God's existence. How foolish do we have to become to deny that a person planned and brought the universe into being?
GOD IS NOT NATURE IN THE PLANT AND ANIMAL KINGDOM! Some so called theologians and scientists have said, "It is easier to believe in evolution than the Bible story of a bungling God." You see, they claim that a one celled animal was so intelligent and diligent that it went through all the stages of the lower animals to become a man. If this were the case there would be monkeys in the zoos becoming human beings real often. Their theories are as absurd as it would be to look at your watch and say that no one made it - the materials were all so intelligent and diligent they just got together of their own accord and volition. Or again, their theories are as sensible as it would be to say that some nicely printed and well-bound book was the result of an explosion in a print shop. It is far easier to believe the Bible account of creation than the evolutionist's wild dream.
We praise Him that there is another side to this picture. I have been saying a lot about What God is Not!
But let us look on the other hand at what
GOD IS THE OMNIPOTENT, OMNIPRESENT, AND OMNISCIENT CREATOR! Yes, He is all powerful, all present, and the all knowing One Who created and made all we have in the universe, the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, and the human kingdom. No wonder the Psalmist could say, "...I am fear-fully and wonderfully made...'9 (Psalms 139:14). Yes, God is God, not a mere ornament of some man's imagination.
GOD IS A REAL, KNOWABLE PERSON! Our hearts go out to those who have not discovered that He is a Wonderful Person -- One Whom we can know, One Who cares for us, One Who loves and One with Whom we can fellowship. Yes, He purposes to make Himself known to all mankind. What blindness it is that keeps men shut off from Him!
GOD IS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER! And what a contrast He is to those who picture Him as an angry tyrant desiring to destroy us. All that a good earthly father is to us as human beings is but a mere shadow of His perfections as our Heavenly Father,
GOD IS THE HOLY SPIRIT! Our wonderful God is One Who is three distinct Persons. One of these Persons is our Heavenly Father. Another of these Persons is the Holy Spirit. Some erroneously refer to Him as it. What shame! He is the blessed Person Who convicts us, regenerates us, and lives in us who are the children of God.
GOD IS LIGHT! And we should add and in Him is no darkness at all. Darkness stands for Satan, his kingdom, sin, iniquity, wickedness, etc. Light stands for God, righteousness, holiness, purity, justice, and faithfulness. God is the absolutely perfect and sinless One.
GOD IS LOVE! As we think of His Holiness, Wrath, Justice, and Perfection, we rejoice that He is also Love. Love as thus described in His Word: "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth..." (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8). "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). He loves sinners and wants to save them.
God is the Giver of every good and perfect gift! He cannot be tempted with sin and He does not tempt us. He tests us many, many times. He does us good all the days of our lives.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17).
God is our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of sinners! God came to earth in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and arose again that we could be saved. He did not come to condemn but to save. Our sins had already condemned us. Praise His Name; He came to be condemned, damned, judged in our stead. And that is exactly what happened at Calvary. Repent that you are a sinner, trust His finished work for you, and be saved today. God is our Saviour! God is our Lord Jesus Christ! How wonderful and precious!!!!
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