Righteous are you?

Why should you go to heaven? Because you are a good person? What are you measuring yourself against? In comparison to Hitler I look like a saint, but how do I measure up against God’s law, the measure to be used when we die? I am about to prove that no one has kept as much as 1 of the 10 commandments, and one day, you will stand in front of God as a lying, thieving, covetous, adulterous, rebellious, blaspheming, idol worshipping murderer. That is, if you do not accept the sacrifice of Jesus. Let’s see what the Bible means with "There is none righteous, no, not one:" (Rom 3:10) and "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). Believe me, I am preaching for myself as well here as well…

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3, KJV
If you at any point in your life placed some object, activity or basically anything before God, you broke the first commandment. If you broke the second commandment, you automatically broke this one. For example, scores of kids have told me that listening to Linkin Park, 50 Cent or Eminem helps them because these artists "feel their pain" and they "relate with them" and after listening to their music they feel better. What they've gone and done is to run to the artist with their problems rather than God, and in a sense telling God that they will rather be comforted by the artist than the Holy Spirit. This goes for Christian music as well, heck it goes for anything; alcohol, smoking, drugs, etc. If you ever used anything to make you feel better, help you cope or as a substitute for God, you have violated the first commandment.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6, KJV
Do you bow before the God of the Bible? Or does your god dismiss certain sins because "he understands" because "he is only a God of love" or is your god so busy with people worse than you that he does not take notice of your petty sins? The God from the Bible hates all who oppose Him, He is a God who kills people who defy Him, He is a God who incinerated priests who sinned against Him (Lev 10:1-2), He is a God who ordered entire cities to be destroyed and for the men, woman, children and babies to be killed (1 Sam 15:3). He is the God who created hell for Lucifer and his angels, as well as each person who choose not to bow before Him. This said, He is a God of love, "God is love" (1 John 4:8). He is righteous (Dan 9:14) and it is because of His love and righteousness that evil must be punished. I myself broke the second commandment in a time of my life when I convinced myself that my god would not punish me for the sexual sins I committed with my girlfriend because he understood that I was a man with "needs" and he didn't care that I was drinking so much because I was a student, and it was normal. And I was right; my god would dismiss it because the god I worshipped was a figment of my imagination. I was not worshipping the holy Creator of heaven and earth, but something I thought up to make me feel less guilty.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Exodus 20:7, KVJ
Have you ever stubbed your toe and yelled "Jesus!", or "God!" or something? When you do this you take the name of the Lord God and use it as a substitute for a four letter filth word. How much must you hate the name of Jesus to do that? I would not even use my mom or dad's name like that. How would you feel if people started using your name to curse each other? Have you ever called yourself a Christian and lived the opposite? The word Christian means to be "like Christ". You are blaspheming when you pervert the true nature of Christianity. Check out the devo "Blasphemy or Christianity" in the archives for more on this topic.

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 20:8-11, KJV
Holy means to be separated and pure for God. That means that you must set apart at least one day a week for the Lord where He is the main focus of your day. I think every day should be like that, but unfortunately life keeps us so busy that we sometimes loose focus of God. Have you ever desecrated the Sabbath? Have you ever gone one week without taking a day and focusing on the things of the Lord Jesus? There is much to be said on this topic, because I know a lot of people have to work on Sundays, like doctors etc. But do you take one day out of seven to set apart from your routine and focus on God?

5. Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12, KJV
A difficult one to keep indeed… For some more than others anyway. If you have ever been disrespectful to your parents (biological or not) even in your thoughts you have broken this commandment. Any act of rebellion against your parents made you guilty of this trespassing; even that one to two times you did not do what your parents asked you proved your disrespect and you are a valid candidate for the fires of hell. God wants us to respect our parents, whether they deserve it or not and you should do what they ask, unless it contradicts with what the Bible teaches.

6. Thou shalt not kill. Exodus 20:13
You make think you never broke this commandment, but I will prove you wrong. Check out Matt 5:21-22. If you were ever angry with anyone without just cause you are to be punished. If you ever called anyone an "idiot" or "stupid", you are a candidate for hell. I am not sure what the just cause is for being angry at anyone, all I know is that God said He will forgive us as we forgive those who sin against us. When you insult people, you break them down and murder them slowly with your words. Words are really powerful, in the spiritual realm as well (Matt 18:18). Be careful not to speak a curse over someone without knowing! If you ever insulted anyone, you are a murderer.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14, KJV
"You have heard that it was said, 'You must not commit adultery.' But I say to you, anyone who stares at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt 5:27-28, ISV) This goes for the chicks as well. If you as much as fantasize or imagine having sex with someone, Jesus said you committed adultery with that person. Further more, divorce usually leads to adultery. Jesus says in Matt 10:10-11 that if a married couple separates and marries other people, they commit adultery. Check in the Bible. God hasn't changed, only our twisted ideas of what is morally right and wrong. God says in Mal 2:16 that He hates divorce. This will make a whole devo later, but I think you get the picture.

8. Thou shalt not steal. Exodus 20:15, KJV
You may think, "I'm not a thief!" Really? How many times and how much must you steal before you can be labeled a thief? The value of what you've stolen does not matter to God, even if it was a paperclip from the office. I myself am guilty; as a kid, I used to take candy from the kitchen cabinet at our house after I already had my candy for the day. Be honest, can you say you never, ever, ever took something that did not belong to you? If you are using pirated software, you are guilty…

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Exodus 20:16, KJV
This is the sin of lying. I will not expand this point. God doesn't care about the colour of a lie, a lie is a lie.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's. Exodus 20:17, KJV
If you tell me you are clear on this point, I will not believe you, because we already established that you're a liar at point number 9. Ok, just kidding… Can you in all honesty say that you have never been jealous of what other people have or what they've accomplished or how fortunate some people are? I myself have to bow my head in shame when I think of how many times I've been dissatisfied with what God has given me in His grace. I had to learn to pray and understand that my God in heaven will only entrust me with what I can handle. Satan doesn't care. He'll give you as much as you want until your lust for more inevitably destroys you. God knows you better. He wants you to grow to entrust you with more.

There may be some of you out there who think you got me on one, maybe two points, but if you are honest with yourself, I doubt it. But if you really think you are innocent of some of the commandments, check out James 2:10-11 (ISV):

"For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For the one who said, "Never commit adultery," also said, "Never murder." Now if you do not commit adultery but you murder, you become a violator of the law."

I?m sorry to say, you broke them all anyway. It is no wonder the people asked Jesus "who can be saved?" (Luke 18:26) He said things that are impossible with men are possible for God (verse 27). We were destined for hell on our own, but the sacrifice of Jesus Christ changed all that.

Do you believe that punishment should fit the crime? How serious is sin really? If you read in the paper of a guy being fined $70 for some other deed you will think, "Probably wasn’t that serious". But if a guy was dealt 14 consecutive life sentences, you will realize that whatever he did was pretty horrible. What about being sentenced to an eternity of the most extreme torture so horrific, that even the worst thing you can think of doesn't even come remotely close? Realize how much God HATES sin, he loved you so much that He came from heaven, died and rose for you. But He in His righteousness will send you who he loves so much to hell if you turn your back on Jesus Christ.

But what now? "You must make it your habit to speak and act like people who are going to be judged by the law of liberty" (James 2:12). That for one, is to warn others of the judgment to come. What would you think of a person who sits on the side of a river bank reading a book while a little kid is busy drowning right next to him and he does nothing? I would think the person is heartless and the blood of that child is on his hands. It is an area I'm am challenged with more and more daily and it is my prayer that God will give me a revelation of hell so that I will realize who bad judgment day will be for those who are lost. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Heb 10:31) I want to care more for others. I have a passion to go into clubs with my band, and spread the message of Jesus there, but I realized I was fooling myself. If I was too scared to talk to the common man on the street, how could I possibly open my mouth in a club, filled with people that really hate Christianity because they have been lied to? Please pray for me and I pray for each person reading this; that the Holy Spirit will waken your conscience and to create in you a burning compassion for the lost that will swallow all your fears of man.

God bless,
Riaan

Guest Writer