Looking For The Exit Doors
By: Brian A. Yeager
I am often very aware of my surroundings. I notice things that are out of place, people that are behaving oddly, etc. Because of the environment I was raised in, I often am aware of ways in and out of places I enter. It is not a bad thing, for in the event of emergencies I often have mapped out ways out of buildings without even thinking much about it. Awareness, when it comes to things that threaten our well-being, is a good thing (Matthew 10:17). It is not only good, but expected of us as Christians that we be aware of spiritual threats (Matthew 7:15-20, Matthew 16:11-12, and Colossians 2:8).
Knowing the ways out of bad things is good. For example, we know that for every temptation we face God has equipped us with the ability to overcome it (I Corinthians 10:13). Therefore, there is no reason why we should ignore the exits from the things that tempt us. Sometimes, the exit away from sin is as easy as just avoiding the things that could be tempting to us (Romans 13:13-14 and I Peter 2:11). Sometimes, the way to get out of sinful situations is just about taking the exit from friends that bring us into tempting situations (Psalms 26:4-5, Proverbs 1:10-19, Proverbs 9:6, and I Corinthians 15:33). Knowing the exits from temptation will keep us from sin.
There is a form of looking for the exit out of things that is terrible though. There are people who open their Bibles to see God’s will, but they do so while looking for the way out of God’s expectations. These people read Scriptures and immediately start trying to find ways out of those Scriptures. You cannot open the Bible with any desire to find a way to not do what you are reading. You MUST open the Bible with a lone desire to see the will of God and do it.
You Cannot Approach The Word Of God If You Want To Find Ways Out
Some people do things because they feel they have to. I go to the grocery store, because I have to. If I could find a way to get in and out any faster, I would do so. I don’t want to be there. Some people approach the word of God the same way that I approach grocery stores. They don’t want to be there. They know they have to open that book up, but boy they cannot wait to put it down. This type of person does read the Scriptures. However, they are not sincere in doing so. While reading those Scriptures they are looking for ways out of them, instead of ways to obey them. What do you think the result of half-hearted Bible study will be?
Do you know what the root of Rehoboam’s problems were? Notice: “So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD” (II Chronicles 12:13-14). If you or I approach the Bible without preparing our hearts to seek the Lord’s will, we will end up erring just like Rehoboam.
There are people who read commands such as to be perfect (Deuteronomy 18:13, Matthew 5:48, II Corinthians 7:1, and II Corinthians 13:11). Just as soon as they read any verse that says to be perfect, they start looking for the exits. When they cannot find the exit, they start making up their own. People twist verses like Romans 3:23 (which contextually teaches that the Jews and Gentiles of the past were all sinners) to find a way out of living pure lives. Then, they read commands such as to be holy as God is holy (I Peter 1:13-16) and again, they find themselves looking for the exits. They don’t want to live pure, perfect lives. They have to find a way out. Instead of looking for ways to live aright, they just seek to leave the truth through inventing paths out of God’s word. You can take just about any biblical subject and you’ll find that there are people who look for the exits as soon as that subject arises in public or privates studies of the Scriptures.
The word of God does not allow for us to take what we want and leave what we don’t want behind. God expects doers of His will (Romans 2:13 and James 1:18-25). Good results will not come from someone half-heartedly studying the word of God (Hosea 10:1-2). God wants an all in seeker (Jeremiah 29:13).
The Need For A Come And Stay Mindset
God’s will is that we fear Him and keep ALL of His commandments at all times (Deuteronomy 5:29, Deuteronomy 11:1, Psalms 119:1-3, and Luke 11:28). It is a terrible idea for someone to begin doing the will of the Lord and then to seek a way out. In fact, it would be better to have never entered into the Lord than to enter and leave (II Peter 2:20-22).
As Bible students we have to acknowledge that there will be times when the truth is hard to hear (John 6:60). There will be times when we have to accept truths that don’t always sit well (Revelation 10:10). However, if you are going to name the name of our Lord, you have to accept and do all that He requires of you (Luke 6:46, John 14:21-23, I John 5:2-3, and Revelation 22:14).
If you want to spend eternity in Heaven, rather than in Hell, you have to accept and correctly do what God says (Matthew 7:21-23). There is no point wherein you can take an exit and think that you’ll still receive the reward (Matthew 10:22, John 8:31, John 12:24-25, Colossians 1:23, II Timothy 4:6-8, Hebrews 10:35-39, and Revelation 2:10).
Ask yourself this question: “When I study the word of God, do I ever have any other mindset outside of fully obeying whatever I rightly divide as God’s will?” You and I must be the people who truly study the word of God with a pure heart and a pure mind (cf. I Peter 2:1-2). We are the people who should delight to do the will of God (Psalms 40:8), rather than seeking ways out of doing His will. The truth is though, only you and God know if you approach your Bible studies with an “all in” mindset. If you’re looking for ways out of doing God’s will, you’ll find them. The problem with that is, that exit door leads directly to Hell!
Volume 14 – Issue 35 - May 18th, 2014