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366 devotional readings that will unlock the secret power to Abiding In Christ

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Reimar A.C. Schultze

Past Issues of the Call To Obedience

In Search of Ministerial Standards

"An Earnest Appeal for Religious Passion"

by Pastor Reimar A. C. Schultze

A woman once described her weight loss battle to her husband.  He calmly responded, “You will never lose your fat and keep it off until you hate it with a passion.”  There are things in our lives that we will not get rid of until we hate them with a passion.

You must hate sin with a passion.  You must hate it as God hates it.  You must see that God’s hate for sin was not just some cool-tempered negative attitude, but a hot, passionate, burning zeal against it. Jesus came to destroy sin.  Will you cooperate with Him to get the job done in your life?

In Psalm 2 we read about kings of the earth coming against our dear Lord Jesus.  Then God tells Jesus: “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (verse 9). Are you getting this? Is there any expression, even the slightest hint, of the doctrine of “God’s love for sinners” here? Tell me, be honest about it.  Stop fishing for something here of the “love of God” that is not there.

This indeed is a lost fact to many a modern Christian: God loves the saint and the sinner alike. But He loves the saint everlastingly, while the sinner only has access to God’s love till his cup of iniquity is full.  Every man or woman who has rejected the blood sacrifice of our Lord Jesus as his/her atonement will face God at the Judgment after death. Because of his sin, he will be hated by God forever with a passion equal to that with which God loved him before he died.  “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.  And again, The Lord shall judge his people.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God” (Heb. 10:30, 31). No, there is no love left here.  At the Judgment that pure love turns into pure wrath, to deliver the sinner to everlasting punishment “where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44, 46, 48). Friend, you must hate sin with a passion or you will end up in that awful place of no return. 

Because Jesus paid the ultimate price to save us and to keep us from sin, those who refuse His great salvation will receive the ultimate, unimaginable punishment.  I hear it said, “Pastor, this little sin is not so bad, is it?  My answer is: friend, it is much worse than you think. We must be delivered from this awful indifferent attitude towards sin May every sin become the most awful stench to your nostrils. Paul instructs us to even “abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thes. 5:22).

Mark that there is total balance in the economy of spiritual physics: the negative always equals the positive in value. Infinite love on one side is balanced by infinite wrath on the other. The eternity of heaven is balanced with the eternity of hell.  Some people want to believe in a short-term, temporary hell.  What nonsense! If sinners are not bad enough to be in hell a million years, then saints might not be good enough to be in heaven a million years. God has everything balanced.  All His laws speak of balance.  There is no lopsidedness with God. 

 “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” This is a word picture of total violence. The potter is Jesus, the rod is His judgment.  The vessel is anyone who loves sin and rejects the Anointed One. A potter does not have to use a rod to break a vessel. He could just shove it unobtrusively off the table. He could use a stick, giving it one small stroke. But no, here he chooses a hard metal rod to hit the vessel over and over again with all his might, beating it into splinters. Are you getting the spirit, the passion of this? We must hate evil with a similar violent passion. 

The degree to which we love God is the degree to which we hate evil. “And Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27) equals the converse also: hating sin with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. If you tolerate sin in your life, you do not love God. 

It is interesting to observe that the rod of iron shows up again in Revelation 2:27. Here, like Jesus, those who overcome sin and self have rods of iron, punishing evil with the same passion as our Lord! Like servant, like Master.

 Let us now observe how fury against sin played itself out in the lives of several Bible characters.  First notice how Jesus cast out the moneychangers in John 2:13-17. There are easier ways of doing it than what is described here. Why did Jesus not give advance notice to the temple guards to have the moneychangers moved out? Wouldn’t that have been the way of love, goodwill and decent manners?  Isn’t there a place for a diplomatic touch in such awkward situations?  When it comes to sin, the answer is simply: No! When it comes to dealing with iniquity, all laws of courtesy must fly out the window.  “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise” (John 2:15,16).  When this was said and done, Jesus’ disciples quoted Psalms 69:9, “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”  Yes, the zeal of the Lord against evil had eaten Him up. It consumed all His energies.  Friend, what is eating you up? What is consuming you?

Now look at Moses.  Do you remember that while he was on the mountain receiving the Law of God, down below the children of Israel made a golden calf to worship? What was Moses’ response? Here it is, “And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it” (Ex. 32:20). He had no tinge or hint of mercy in this situation.  Could not Moses, the meekest man on the face of the earth, just have broken the golden calf? After melting it why couldn’t he have reused the gold? We see the same radical spirit Jesus had at the temple in the heart of Moses. Indeed, God’s anger went even further than that of Moses.  God went beyond wanting to make them drink the dust of gold, He was planning to kill them altogether (Deut. 9:14)! 

How do you feel about sin in your heart of hearts? Are there some sins that you secretly coddle in your heart? A modern parallel to the golden calf might be your television set.  If it has become an idol to you, Moses would have you take it, burn it, grind it to powder, put it in a jar of water and drink it.

A third example is the godly king Josiah. He stamped out every vestige of corruption in his day.  At age 20 he cleaned up Jerusalem and Judah . “And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, … he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strewed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.  And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem (2 Chr. 34: 4, 5). He not only forbade idolatry, he broke down altars, groves, high places and images. He made dust of them and strewed it over the graves of the idolaters.  He even went so far as to dig up the bones of the idolatrous priests and burn them, to dishonor their memories.

 Are you willing to take your sins, to break their strengths, to grind them to powder, to beat them into dust?  I know it takes the blood of Jesus to provide grace to succeed, but I'm talking about an attitude that we need.  I'm talking about a passion, a zeal that we need that is like that of our Lord. Oh my friend, it was said of Jesus that the zeal of the Lord ate Him up.  “He put on righteousness as a breastplatehe put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak” (Isa. 59:17). Your love of God is no greater than your hate of sin.