We have a mass service on Sunday at Singapore Indoor Stadium for an English combine service as by the grace of God, the church is growing in an amazing speed, estimated to be at least fourteen thousand believers. Pastor preach about the secret to receive miracles, in short, believe in your heart, confess with your mouth & All things will come to a past!
He re-enforce the promises in Deuteronomy 28 where we are Bless with our basket , Bless shall we be when we come in, & Blessed shall we be when we go out. The Lord shall cause our enemies who rise up against us to be defeated before us; they will come out against us one way & will flee before us seven ways. We shall lend but not borrow. The Lord will make us the head & not the tail, & we only will be above, & will not be underneath! Amen?!
Let's talk about computers, our gateway to Internet access that leads us globally. Computers are a legalist, impersonal pragmatists. Push a button & get a response. Learn the system & get the printout. Blow the system & get ready for a long night. Computers are heartless creatures. Don't expect any compassion from your laptop. They don't call it a had disk for nothing. Some folks have a computer theology when it comes to understand God. God is the ultimate desktop. The Bible is the maintenance manual, the Holy Spirit is the CD & Jesus is the 1800- service number.
Call it computerized Christianity. Push the right buttons, enter the right code, insert the correct data & bingo, print out your own salvation. It's professional religion. We do our part & the Divine Computer does his. No need to pray . No emotional attachment necessary. And worship?. No kneeling. No weeping. No gratitude. No emotion. It's great-unless you make a mistake. Unless you err. Unless we enter then wrong data or forgot to save the manuscript. Unless we're caught on the wrong data or forget to save the manuscript. Unless we're caught on the wrong side of power surge. And then...tough luck, buddy, we're on our own.
Religion by computer. That's what happen when we replace the living God with a cold system; we replace inestimable love with pro-form budget; we replace the ultimate sacrifice of Christ with the puny achievements of man. When we view God as a computer & the Christian as a number-crunching, cursor-commanding, button pusher...that is religion by the computer. God hates it. It crushes His people. It contaminates His leaders, it corrupts His children. How do I know? He said so. Jesus condemns religion by the rules. With eyes blazing & pistols firing. Jesus rips hole after hole in the hot-air balloon of the Pharisees...
A person is made right with God through...Being good. A person is made right with God through goodness. Pay our taxes. Give sandwiches to the poor. Don't drive too fast or drink too much or drink at all. Christian conduct-that's the secret. Suffering. There's the answer. That's how to be made right with God-suffer. Sleep on dirt floors. Stalk through dank jungles. Malaria. Poverty. Cold days. Night-ling vigils. Vows of chastity. Saved heads, bare feet. The greater the pain, the greater the Saint...
No, no, no. The way to made right with God? All of above are tried. All are taught. All are demonstrated. But none are from God. In fact, that is our problem. None from God. All are from people. Think about it. Who is the major force in the above examples? Humankind or God? Who does the saving we or Him? If we are saved by good works, we don't need God-weekly reminders of the do's & don'ts will get us to heaven. If we are saved by suffering, we certainly don't need God. All we need is a whip & a chain & the gospel of guilt. If we are saved by doctrine then, for heaven's sake, let's study! We don't need God, we need a lexicon. Weigh the issues. Explore the options. Decipher the truth...
But be careful, student. For if we are saved by having exact doctrine, then one mistake would be fatal. That goes for those who believe we are made right with God through deeds. I hope the temptation is never greater than the strength. If it is, a bad fall could be a bad omen. And those we think we are saved by suffering, take caution as well, for we never know how much suffering is required. In fact, if we are saving yourself, you never know for sure about anything. We never know if we've hurt enough, wept enough or learned enough. Such is the result of computerized religion: fear, insecurity, instability. And most ironically, arrogance, making ourselves righteous without God.
That's right-arrogance. The insecure boast the most. Those who are trying to save themselves promote themselves. Those saved by work display works. Those saved by suffering unveil scars. Those saved by emotion flash their feelings. Dare we stand before God & ask Him to save us because of our suffering or sacrifice or our tears or our study? I dare not. "A person is made right with God through faith." Romance 3:28 Not through good works, suffering or study. All these may be the result of salvation but they are not the cause of it. How will we escape from God's judgment? Only one way. Through faith in God's sacrifice, His only beloved son, Jesus Christ. It's not what we do; it's what He did.
A personal computer would be different. In fact it wouldn't be a computer; it would be a friend. A friend who gives us what we need instead of what we request. A friend who knows more about us that we do. A friend who doesn't have to be turned off at night & on in the morning. A computer like that? Too much to ask, I know. A God like that? Still too much to ask. But that's what He is. Why else do you think He is known as our personal Savior?