God has a wonderful plan for your life

God has a wonderful plan for your life

God has a wonderful plan for your life

While visiting friends and family
in New Zealand recently, a friend of ours asked if we had read
the book “God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life” by
Ray Comfort. We said no so he gave us a copy which we brought
back to the ship with us. At first glance, the words at the top
of the cover (quoted by Leonard Ravenhill) “A Shattering
Publication!” gave us an indication that the title may not
necessarily be meaning what it sounded like. It didn’t take
much longer to become convinced of this fact…

The first chapter dealt with some
horrifying statistics about Christians who claim to have a
relationship with Jesus Christ that is meaningful to them
-”…ninety-one percent lie regularly at work or
home, eighty-six percent lie regularly to parents, and
seventy-five percent lie regularly to friends (“The Day
America Told the Truth”). A massive ninety-two percent own
a Bible, but only eleven percent read it daily. Surveys also show
that ninety percent of Americans pray, but eighty-seven percent
do not believe in all of the Ten Commandments. To top it off,
according to the Roper Organisation, sixty-one percent believe
that “premarital sex is not morally wrong.”
As I
was reading through my mind was screaming, “How can this be
in the kingdom of God?” It didn’t take long to find
out and the example is Judas Iscariot – a first-hand
disciple of Jesus.

Judas Iscariot was a hypocrite
– a pretender. He had no idea who Jesus
was. He complained that an act of sacrificial worship was a waste
of money. He thought the expensive ointment with which a woman
anointed Jesus should have been sold and the money given to the
poor. Jesus of Nazareth just wasn’t worth such
extravagance. In his estimation, He was only worth about thirty
pieces of silver.

The Bible tells us that Judas was
lying when he said that he cared for the poor. He was actually a
thief, who so lacked a healthy fear of God that he was stealing
money from the collection bag (John 12:6).”

Now I was wondering where we were
going from there and found myself considering some of the
parables that Jesus told to His disciples. He points out that in
each of them there are the two extremes, the good and the bad and
the true and false. “…If any message comes from
the parable, it is the fact that when the gospel is preached,
there are true and false conversions. This parable speaks of the
thorny ground, the stony ground and the good soil hearer –
true and false converts… If one grasps the principle of
the true and false being alongside each other,
then the other parabolic teachings make sense: the Wheat and the
Tares (true and false), the Good Fish and Bad Fish (true and
false), the Wise Virgins and the Foolish (true and false), and
the Sheep and Goats (true and false)…

False converts do
have a measure of spirituality. Judas did…When Jesus said,
“One of you will betray Me,” the disciples
didn’t point the finger at the faithful treasurer, but
instead suspected themselves, saying, “Is it I,
Lord?” That’s why it’s not surprising that so
few within the Body of Christ would ever suspect that we are
surrounded by those who fall into the “Judas”
category. However, alarm bells should go off when we look at
statistics such as those just cited…”

By now, I was hooked. I wanted to
know why we as a ‘church’ are so pitifully impacting
society today and sadly, I believe the answer to be accurate. The
‘grace’ gospel that is preached today is so
unbalanced that people come to the Lord for the ‘better
life’ He can give or the ‘wonderful plan He has for
our lives’. (Please do not stop reading here before I get a
chance to explain.)

I remember listening to an
illustration that my father would use in his meetings. He would
suddenly stop and say to the local pastor, “Brother, I have
good news for you.” The pastor would lean forward eagerly
in time to hear Dad say, “Your house is not on fire!”
The poor man would sag back into his chair to the accompaniment
of laughter from the audience when the next sentence would arrest
him. “Imagine if a boy suddenly rushed into this room and
yelled, “Pastor, your house is on fire!”, what would
happen? You would leap out of your seat and start racing for your
car. If I came running after you and called, “Pastor,
it’s all right. Your house is not on fire!”, how
would you feel?” Everyone then understood. It’s not
until the good news is preceded by the bad news that it has any
life-changing impact in us.

In the same way, giving people the
second part of Romans 6:23 – “…But the
gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our
Lord”
, or saying that God has a wonderful plan for our
lives, without us having a knowledge of our sin and its horrible
consequences as shown in the first part of Romans 6:23
– “For the wages of sin is
death…”
encourages a church full of people who
have come for the benefits and who do not stand when the
difficulties of life hit them.

“I was in Baltimore
without a meeting on a Sunday night, so I decided to change my
plane ticket to go home early. When I called, the reservation
agent gave the name of the airline, told me her name was Fran,
and asked how she could be of help to me. I explained my
situation, and made her laugh a little to a point where I had the
liberty to ask about her spiritual life. I said, “Fran, are
you a Christian?” She answered, “No. I don’t
accept the virgin birth.” I explained to her that
wasn’t the issue with her at the moment, and that her big
problem was the Ten Commandments. I asked, “Have you ever
told a lie?” She said she had. She also admitted that she
had stolen. When I explained that Jesus said that lust was the
same as adultery in God’s sight, and asked her if she had
lusted, she said, “Of course.”

I said, “Fran, by your own
admission, you are a lying, thieving, adulterer-at-heart. You
have to face God on Judgment Day, and we have looked at
only three of the Ten Commandments.
” I then said,
“I would like a window seat if possible.” She
didn’t appreciate the subject change, and said,
Don’t leave me like this!
Gently, I said, “What’s wrong, Fran, don’t you
like being left with your conscience?” I further went on to
reason with her about her salvation, about Judgment Day, then the
cross.

…A resurrected and accusing
conscience is the first evidence of the beginnings of the work of
the Holy Spirit. It is a great mistake to muffle its voice with
talk of God’s forgiveness before it has a chance to do its
precious work.”

God gave the precious task of
bringing grace to the church to the Apostle Paul, a most
ungracious man before he went through the exact same process that
we’re talking about here. He was fully convicted of his sin
and later, when he was one of the most powerful witnesses in
history, and went through some of the worst trials imaginable
– he didn’t miss a beat!