TWISTED ~ Precious C Philip
A group of armed robbers prayed to God before embarking on a robbery operation. They asked God to grant them a successful robbery operation. Fortunately, they went for the robbery and came back with lots of money and valuable properties of people without being nabbed by the police. What do you think? Was it God who answered their prayer or was it the devil that granted their evil desire? Think about it. If you have the Holy Spirit, you'd know that the latter is the case.
Sadly, this is exactly what some born again Christians who still live in sin do: they pray to God to have a successful abortion, to successfully cheat in an examination, to sleep with another man's wife or husband without being caught, to attend night parties without being caught by their parents, to steal from their company without being detected, to have pre-marital sex without getting pregnant or contracting STDs, and the list goes on. When they offer this kind of prayers and their wish is granted, who really granted their wish?
Again, if you have the Holy Spirit, you'll know that it wasn't God because God does not answer prayers that are contrary or against His revealed will in the Bible (1 John 5:14). But these group of Christians decide to believe the lie that it was God who answered their prayer, hence, buy another lie from the devil that God is pleased with them and that is why He answered their prayer, and so, they're heavenly candidates. Hmm! It is later, when the negative consequences of their evil actions begin to play out that they finally admit that God wasn't the one who honored their evil prayers.
Another category of Christians are those who are still sinners (those who are not born again). They pray "nice" prayers such as asking God to give them a child, to give them a job, to give them promotion in their workplace, to give them a car, to give them food, to bless them with plenty money, etc. Now when they offer these prayers and get what they want, they also buy the lie from the devil that God is pleased with them and has no problem with the kind of lifestyle they're living - which is why He granted their requests - and that means also that they're going to enter heaven when they die. Hmm! It is TWISTED.
What is it that these two category of "Christians" are oblivious to?
Three scriptures in the Bible reveals this to us.
First is Genesis 39:5 "It happened that from the time that he made Joseph overseer in his house and [put him in charge] over all that he owned, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house because of Joseph; so the LORD’S blessing was on everything that Potiphar owned, in the house and in the field."
If you look at Portiphar's household from afar, you would think that he has God's blessing on his home simply because his ways are pleasing to God. Portiphar was not a child of God, yet God's blessing was on everything he had. Why? Does this mean that the God of Israel answered Portiphar's secret wish/prayer to enjoy His blessing? Of course not. The scripture we read says "...the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house because of Joseph..." So, it was because of Joseph who is a child of God that Portiphar partook of God's blessing. Did Portiphar go to heaven since he enjoyed the blessing of the God of Israel on earth? No. Why? He was not a child of God neither was he serving the God of Israel who owns the kingdom of heaven, but he served the gods of Egypt whose abode is hell fire.
The second scripture is Genesis 30:27-30: "But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” He added, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.” Jacob said to him, “You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care. The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household?”
We also can observe from this scripture above that Laban, Jacob's uncle, enjoyed God's blessing simply because of Jacob. Jacob said "The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I have been." Laban himself testified "I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you."
This tells us that prior to Jacob coming to live with his uncle Laban, Laban was struggling in his career as a shepherd. He must have been secretly praying for an increase and yet nothing happened until Jacob joined himself to him. Immediately Jacob began working with him, his career blossomed. It is good that Laban recognized that it was Jacob's presence that brought about the progress in his career and not his personal prayers. But many "Christians" today who are not born again/who are born again but still living in sin, would assume that it was God answering their personal prayer, thus, swallow the lie of the devil that God is happy with their evil lifestyle and heaven is their eternal home.
The third scripture is 2 Kings 13:22-23: "King Hazael of Syria oppressed the Israelites during all of Jehoahaz' reign, but the Lord was kind and merciful to them. He would not let them be destroyed, but helped them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob..."
God decided to help the Israelites in their oppression, not because of their personal/collective prayers, but because of the COVENANT He had with their forefathers.
This scripture tells us that a sinner and a born again Christian who's still living in sin can be prospering and enjoying God's blessing, but it is not because their ways are pleasing to God, but only because God has a covenant with their parents or their forefather who faithfully walked with God, and God is just keeping His covenant/ promise He made to this person who faithfully walked with Him. So, these sinners and born again Christians living in sin may enjoy God's blessing on earth because of the covenant God has with their parents or forefathers, but when they die, they'll not be welcomed into the kingdom of heaven because they never personally walked with God.
What IMPORTANT lesson should you learn from these three scriptures we read? This is the lesson: Never assume that you're going to spend eternity in heaven as a born again Christian who is still deliberately and unrepentantly living in sin or as a nominal Christian (who is yet to be born again by the Holy Spirit and establish a real personal relationship with God) - simply because when you pray or ask God to do something for you, it appears God answered.
Remember this: The good thing you're asking God to do for you, especially if you're not yet born again, could be done for you by God, but not because you prayed to God for it (God does not hear the prayers of "Christians" who are not born again -John 9:31, except the prayer of genuine repentance), but because another born again child of God is praying for you or interceding on your behalf - could be your born again sibling, parents, friend, colleague, church member, school mate, etc; and some other times, you could be enjoying God's blessing due to a covenant God made with your parents or forefathers.
Therefore, the truest way to be sure that heaven would be your eternal home when you leave earth is first be born again by the Holy Spirit, and then live a lifestyle of complete obedience to the word of God - the instructions, teachings and commandments of God in the Bible. DON'T GET IT TWISTED!
I hope this blessed you. Remember to visit this blog site next Monday for a fresh message from God to you and I.
Stay blessed. Shalom.