“And he said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” — Luke 16:15
I don’t know anyone who would build a summer home at the base of Mount Vesuvius, and it would be tough trying to get campers to pitch their tents where Big Foot has been spotted. No family I know is interested in vacationing in a houseboat up the Suez Canal; or swimming in the Amazon near a school of piranhas…or building a new home on property that straddles the San Andreas Fault.
You know, some things make no sense at all. Like lighting a match to see if your gas tank is empty…or stroking a rhino to see if he’s tame. They’ve got a name for nuts who try such stunts…Victims! If they live to tell the story, they’re considered just plain stupid.
Yet there are Christians running loose today who flirt with risks far greater than any of the above. They do so with such calm faces you’d swear they had ice water in their veins. You’d never guess they are balancing on the tight wire of disaster, without a net.
Who are they? They are the ones who rewrite the Bible to accommodate their lifestyles. We’ve all met them. Outwardly they appear to be your basic believer, but down inside, operation rationalization transpires daily. They are experts at rephrasing or explaining away the painful truth of texts.
Here is a sampling of such an accommodating belief system:
God wants me happy. I can’t be happy married to her. So I’m leaving—and I know He will understand.
There was a time when this might have been considered immoral. But not today. The Lord gave me this desire and wants me to enjoy it.
Look, nobody’s perfect. So I got in deeper than I planned. Sure, it’s a little shady, but what’s grace all about, anyway?
Hey, life’s too short to sweat the small stuff. We’re not under law, you know.
Whenever they run across Scripture verses or principles that attack their position, they alter them to accommodate their practice. That way, two things occurr: (1) all desires (no matter how wrong) are fulfilled, and (2) all guilt (no matter how justified) is erased.
That way everybody can do hi own thing and nobody has any reason to question another’s actions. If he does, call him a legalist and plow right on…
The consequences of sin may not come immediately—but they will come eventually. And when they do, there will be no excuses no rationalization, no accommodation.
So the question comes: who is justifying you? Those who justify themselves will be judged, with no hope of defense. If you are justified by the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no need of defense!