“…in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them…” (Romans 2:15)
The Scripture often speaks of the need for God’s law to be written on the tablet of our hearts (see places like Jeremiah 31:33, 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, and Hebrews 8:10). That is a beautiful, poetic statement, but what does it actually mean?
The above verse explains the concept. ‘Written on our heart’ means that we are not merely teaching and intellectually assenting to the Word of God, but we are constantly allowing it to shape and guide our conscience. ‘Written on our heart’ means we are connecting the words to who we are, not who everyone else is. The Word of God is a sword (see Hebrews 4:12), and it is meant to judge the thoughts and intentions of hearts. We write it on our hearts when we cut our own souls first. Let the Word carve pathways in your conscience so that you let it become the voice that accuses and defends you. The goal? That your heart would begin to speak like Scripture.
“For there is no partiality with God.” (Romans 2:11)
We tend to seek out those who are partial to us and likely to treat us with some form of favoritism. It is hard not to. We want to be around people who make us feel good, see the world similar to us, or are likely to flatter us. We typically profess a desire to be treated fairly and impartially, but the reality is most of us want partiality because it means we are in the “in crowd” and enjoy the benefits of validation and admiration… even when we may not deserve that admiration and are not making valid choices.
One of the more terrifying aspects of God is His impartiality. There is no cloak of flattery with Him, nor is there any hope of preferential treatment. When you do what is right, He will praise you, but He will just as openly condemn your mistakes. With God, He doesn’t care about what family you are from, who you know, or what your best friend says about you. He cares whether or not you are right with His Son. Nothing else will save you.
My question is about Matthew 5:48. I know that it’s unlikely for us to do overnight, but would it be fair to say that if we truly wanted it, we could achieve perfection?
Dear Setting Goals,
It is possible to be perfect like Matt 5:48 says because Matt 5:48 isn’t talking about being sinless; it is talking about being equal in our love for all mankind, just like God designed us to be. The word ‘perfect’ simply means ‘complete’; it doesn’t always mean ‘without sin’. In the case of Matt 5:48, we are talking about being complete in our relationships with others. God loves both the good and the bad (Matt 5:45). We must do more than just love our friends (Matt 5:46-47); God wants us to love our enemies, too (Matt 5:44). The person that can show love toward both his friends and enemies (and some people can) is ‘perfect’… they still sin, but they are able to show complete love toward their fellow man.
People always talk about zombies; can that really happen? A zombie apocalypse?
To The Bunker!
Dear To The Bunker,
Much to the chagrin of the video game-practicing, bunker-stockpiling, apocalyptic-prepared crowd… there is no such thing as zombies. Heb 9:27 says that we all die once and then go to face the Judgment. When you are dead, you are dead – no coming back for a midnight brain snack.
And for those of our readers that are thinking about how a zombie isn’t the person; it is just re-animated flesh that has no soul, therefore, technically, a zombie apocalypse could happen… *sigh* and *facepalm*.
I was wondering; when the rapture takes place, why would Jesus put His saints that have already gone on to be with Him after death back in the grave, only to come back out to be with Him? Is it because we don't have a glorified body yet? Thank you. God bless.
Dear Rapt Attention,
There is quite a bit of misunderstanding regarding what happens at the end of the world because there is so much sensationalism surrounding words like ‘Rapture’ and ‘Apocalypse’. The short version is that there is no such thing as the Rapture or some millennial kingdom after it. That is all made up. For the longer version, we recommend you read our post, “Life Without Rapture”.
However, when Jesus returns, there will be bodies coming out of the graves… but the souls will be coming from the spiritual realm to meet those bodies. When a Christian dies, they go immediately to Paradise and await the Day of Judgment, the day when our eternal heaven is created. Jesus said that angels immediately carry faithful souls off to Paradise (Lk 16:22, Lk 23:43), and the wicked are immediately sent to torments (Lk 16:23). Both Paradise and torments are part of Hades (‘Hades’ means ‘the unseen place’). When you die, your spirit is separated from your body and goes to Hades (Jas 2:26). On the Day of Judgment, all the souls will be emptied out of Hades (1 Thess 4:14), and all the bodies will be removed from the graves (1 Thess 4:16). On that great Day of Judgment, every soul shall be judged (Heb 9:27). If you are interested, we recently preached a series of sermons on the topic of what happens when you die; you can find those sermons here.