Tuesday, September 25, 2012

God's Movie Theater

God’s Movie Theater


Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.” – 1 Corinthians 4:5

I was raised to fear God.  I learned at an early age that God wasn’t amused by our sins, but does in fact seek our complete obedience to the depths of correction and punishment.  But one of the earliest sermons I remember about this has to do with secrets.
We all have them, and keep them.  They’re those things we think and dare not say.  They’re the “little” sins that we keep hidden from everyone else.  They’re the feelings we have that we don’t talk about.  These secrets will one day be revealed to all.  My pastor as a child gave the example of God having His own movie theater, and displaying our most secret sins on a big movie screen for all to see.  Oh, I’ll never forget how it felt to hear that!

1 Corinthians 4:5 says that he will “bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsel of the hearts”. Much the same, Mark 4:22 says “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.  The almost same words are used in Luke 12:2, and verse 3 is added saying, “Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
Wow. Considering how we seem to love to see each other’s dirty laundry aired, that’ll be a block buster hit! 

One of the most common sins we have is that of simply being fake.  It’s a lie just like any other because it is rooted in deceit.  We’re asked “Hi, How are you?”, and we say “Fine” when we’re not.  It’s accepted not because it’s not a lie, but because we’ve become numb to the fact that it’s sin. 
If there’s ever a place where this should not be done, would it not be church?  Why do we feel the need to go to church with a smile on that would hide the argument we just had in the car or the frustrations of getting up and getting a family dressed to leave the house?  Yet, Sunday after Sunday, we sit on the pews waiting anxiously for God’s word to calm the inner man that is in turmoil.  Instead of taking it to the altar and leaving it there, we will take it right back home because we don’t want anyone to know the problems we have.  Many times this hidden frustration and anger will choke the love right out of our marriages and our homes.  Yet we just keep it there, hidden in the darkness of our hearts.

And what about those things that happen in our homes?  What about the real you that does come out?  The language, the animosity towards your neighbor or family, the lack of respect for your husband or love for your wife, the things you watch on TV but won’t let your kids watch?
Oh that we would just reveal our genuine self to those around us here!  Then that movie on God’s big screen would only be a re-run.

Judgment may seem like an event so far into the future that our calendar can’t reach it, but Jesus Himself said, “I come quickly” (Revelations 22:20).  We don’t know when our movie of secrets will open. 
In 1 Peter 1:13-19 Christians are told to “gird up the loins of our mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear, knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
Christ is looking for His bride, the church, the body of Christ, as He returns.  Is He not worthy of a bride without spot or blemish?  Having the righteousness of Christ given to us freely is no small thing.  But many of us treat it as nothing more than a “get out of hell free” card.  The command to “be holy, for I am holy” is God telling us to get rid of these secret sins, as well as the open ones, and live in obedience.  Living in fear of God means to live in respect of His ways and what He says is right.  He is the God that sees all things done in secret.  Therefore, those little sins we keep hidden, we have put aside for God to preview as the sole person in the audience.


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