This week we are going to take the “churchy” sound out of this phrase and reduce it to practice. “It ain’t easy!”
Opposites That Do NOT Attract
Understanding This Spiritual Law Will Profoundly Change Your Life
You may (or may not) recall from science and chemistry classes how the phrase “Opposites attract” was derived. That principle helps things move, open or close, and even causes certain chemical compounds to form, like salt.
However moving from the physical laws of science and chemistry to God’s spiritual laws taught in His holy Word, we encounter a most amazing discovery. Not only do opposites not attract, they represent stark contrasts between how our lives, as biblical Christian men, should look to those who are lost—deny Christ thereby living apart from any relationship with God.
Following are two sets of opposites that clearly do not attract (chosen from many) that are simple, straightforward, and appear throughout the Bible straight from the mouth of God or Jesus. They serve to teach, correct, reprove, rebuke when required, and training (2 Timothy 3:16). My goal is to encourage you to examine your heart and life before Christ with a close eye or, if necessary, the higher power of magnifying glass to see what the evidence suggests.
Hot and Cold
HOT – The Bible often uses fire as a means of expressing the presence and power of God. Here are a few examples:
God’s presence before Moses was in a burning bush. When He had Moses’ attention, God spoke to him through the fire as the bush burned but was not consumed. (Exodus 3: 1-4)
“The angel of the LORD appeared to (Moses) in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.”
We read in Leviticus about burnt offerings God demanded from His people. We know that “fire came out from the presence of God” and consumed the offerings. (Leviticus 9: 24)
We also learn another key point that has been the text of many sermons over the years. In Leviticus 6:13, God instructed them to NEVER let the fire go out. We will come back to that.
COLD – The Bible uses the word cold in some contexts we do today, e.g., temperature. However the analogies move to a more foreboding application when find the word used to describe that heart of man. It is particularly troubling when applied to someone who once had a fiery love for Jesus that has grown cold. Breaks the heart of God to when cares, concerns, bad things that happen, or even demonic attacks from our fierce enemy, cause that love to diminish and, in some hearts, grow altogether cold.
Jesus spoke on this subject, noting that as the end of time approaches it will become more prevalent and evident.
“And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24: 12-13
Pretenders and cultural Christians will fall away and grow cold toward God because of all that happens around them. Many desert Him now as they did in the before and during His crucifixion. True believers endure to the end.
The “Why does a good God allow bad things to happen” question will cloud their minds and chill hearts toward a Father Who loves them through it all. We see this today every time a natural or man-made disaster occurs and God does not act as people think He should.
As blood-bought, born-again, biblical Christian men, we know and cling to the truth of God’s Word. In the OT, God supplied the fire He never wanted to see extinguished—a sign that His people must always recognize and confess our sins to stand and walk before Him.
In the NT, Jesus did the same by sending the Holy Spirit (fire). He supplies the never-ending fire – fuel, power, energy – we need to live and love like Christ all the way Home. Without Him, we only exist, and our lives are powerless and fruitless. Let Him have His way in your life and I promise the fire – though it wanes or flickers – will never go out. Rest in that and be at peace.
Light and Dark
This duo is the easiest couplet to comprehend for most people—saved or lost. Before any other sense are experienced in life, we are pushed or pulled from the security of our mothers’ wombs into the (sometimes) bright lights of the delivery room—that and someone whacking our buttocks for no apparent reason make for a rude awakening and arrival in this world.
Going back to science class, we learned darkness is the absence of light. (The converse is not true, by the way.) Light and dark cannot co-exist. We may argue we are able to see to some degree at night or in a dark room, but that is not real darkness. Partial darkness exists in that sense, but not in the Word of God. And that darkness is intolerable.
The Apostle John used this analogy on numerous occasions as well as quoting Jesus. In John 9:5, Jesus proclaimed what seemed bold and bodacious to those listening.
“While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”
The crowd must have thought He was incredibly arrogant or a lunatic. The religious leaders knew what He meant and hated Him for it. Nowhere in the Bible is this analogy better explained or made clearer than in John’s first letter.
“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1: 5-6 (NASB)
To walk in darkness meant then what it does now—the person is lost and without hope. If you have ever been enclosed in a room of complete darkness where you cannot see your hand in front of your face, you know it can be very scary. Some even have panic attacks. Jesus talked about those who die apart from Him being cast into Hell and utter darkness for eternity.
Jesus’ words were meant to literally ”scare the Hell out of people”. Worked about as well then as it does now. Some listen receive Christ. Many mock Him and His words as they march right into such an ending.
Passing the Torch. In this verse, Jesus changed the narrative away from He is the Light of the world to you and me as biblical Christian men.
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5: 14
This could read, We are light to the world to show others the way to the Cross of Christ.
My dear brothers, remember Whose you are and, therefore, who you are.
The Apostle Peter said it best.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2: 9
I close this discussion with one more vital lesson concerning light and darkness clearly expounded in God’s Word and so important to read, receive, and apply in our lives.
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6: 14 (NIV)
The answer to this rhetorical question is clear—NONE! There are many arguments over this verse and its application in marriage (and some business relationships). We can clearly cite the ridiculously sad and disturbingly high divorce rate as a reason this verse is irrelevant today. Some will also note the successes of many marriages and other relationships between people who are not believers, and the very popular trend of living together among many millennials.
Gigi and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary this week. We both held this verse closely before we became seriously involved and taught our children to do the same. You may argue the above all you like, but one thing I can say with certainty. There is never any downside to obedience to Christ and His Word.
Missionary and Minister to Men
Secret Sins (Part Three)
Secret Sins (Part Two)