“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish but have everlasting life.”
One of the most memorized, quoted versus of the entire Bible tells us all the culmination of God’s Plan and Gift offered to us! God loves us ALL so much He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to earth as a sin free, humble man who willingly would take on all the sins of mankind and ultimately die a cruel and horrific death as payment for those sins. To accept this Gift and be pardoned we must only accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and ask Him to forgive our sins. If we do this, we will enjoy “everlasting life” with Him forever in Heaven! That is an immeasurable Love we can barely comprehend. Because we are all born with a sinful nature since the fall of Adam and Eve, no amount of good works can ever eliminate in God’s eyes the stigma of being a sinner. Only our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and asking Him for forgiveness of our sins will it warrant eternal salvation which no amount of personal efforts can free us of in the eyes of the Holy God.
As I have stated previously, here in the US a prisoner can be pardoned of their crimes by a governor or president BUT the criminal must accept that pardon in order to be set free. If he/she does not accept it, they will stay in prison for the duration of their sentence. “For God so loved the world…”, He has pardoned us of our sins, but we MUST accept that pardon! If we don’t, we will serve out our “sentence” and spend eternity in hell, never to be reconciled back to Him.
When Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden, God gave them free choice BUT He also instructed them to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. If they did, they would surely die. Of course, we all know what happened next when Satan showed up and tempted them to eat of the tree by saying, “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5). For this singular sin of disobeying God, their lives were changed forever. Now they would surely die.
As sin was passed on to their descendants, the world became even more and more evil until God finally decided to kill all of mankind except for Noah and his family from His Wrath, the flood, which was to come:
“And God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”
Generations later when Moses was leading the Jews out of exile in Egypt, God decided to give man a set of “rules” they were instructed to keep. We know the resulting 10 Commandments established the law with the Jews (and the rest of us as well). Just as God gave Adam and Eve ONE rule they were not to break, now mankind had TEN laws to uphold. I strongly believe if global mankind today were to only follow these Laws, the world would be a much better place. However, because God is omniscient, I believe He knew very well we could not follow His Laws to the letter which necessitated God, in His unfailing love for mankind, sending His Son as the Sacrificial Lamb to die for our sins.
Of course, the 10 commandments are:
- “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain:
- Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- Honour thy father and thy mother:
- Thou shalt not kill.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Thou shalt not steal.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighgbour’s wife,
- Nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
When God gave Moses these ten “rules” to write down on two stone tablets, He did not say He hated these sins. Moses merely said, “And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove (to) you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” Exodus 20:20. God, through Moses, was very clear. There were laws being set forth by which all people would be judged if they did not follow His Commandments. I could not find anywhere where God said He hated these acts. But a few books later in the Bible God was very clear, there are specific acts He hates!
“These six things doth the Lord HATE (capitals mine): yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
- A proud look,
- a lying tongue,
- and hands that shed innocent blood,
- An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations,
- feet that be swift in running to mischief
- A false witness that speaketh lies,
- and he that soweth discord among the brethren.”
Now don’t get me wrong, there are numerous other things besides these 17 which God has warned us to not do (“a man should not sleep with another man,” “a man should not dress in a woman’s clothes”, etc.) But when God tells us He hates something, we better pay attention! Interestingly, three of the seven sins (#2, #6, and #7) are directly linked to what someone says with their tongue. These things do more to sow “discord among the brethren” than anything else. Instead of trying to help people build up their relationship with God, these lying words, or this false behavior can actually tear it apart which may be one of the reasons God hates it so much.
One other observation. Do you see a difference between the 5th Commandment and the 3rd thing God hates? For me, I have always questioned the act of justifiable war where enemies are killed in combat. That “…hands that shed innocent blood” is something God hates tells me He takes this to another level where specifically He calls out physical violence against innocent individuals done for no reason. This may include numerous crimes (assault, murder, rape, abortion, illicit drugs, etc.).
Finally, this additional list is not to distract from the original 10 Commandments. Rather, when I discovered this list of things God hates, I actually believe they can be added to the original list as some are not listed in the first 10 but are in the next 7 which we are told God hates! For example, nowhere in the 10 Commandments does God say do not have a proud look but in the 7 things He hates, He is clear He hates a proud (or boasting) look! I don’t know about you, but I am from this day going forward to try to follow through on observing and obeying the 17 Commandments, 10 He listed as part of His Law and 7 things He hates for us to do!
Of course, the most important thing for us to all acknowledge is that having been born with a sinful nature and knowing it is not just with physical actions but also the things we do willingly with our heart and brain (“As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” Proverbs 23:7, “covet” anything or “…deviseth wicked imaginations”), we must not only recognize how much God loves us but also that He has set guidelines and if we break one and do not repent of that sin, we will not be with Him in Heaven. However, if we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, acknowledge we are sinful and ask for His forgiveness, we will be with Him in Heaven FOREVER. If I may be so bold to add one other Commandment which He also gave to us, don’t hold this knowledge internally, but do as He told us to do and that is to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.” Tell others of God’s Love for each and every one of us. Do all these things and you will spend Eternity with the Creator who died for you and who LOVES you!
May God Bless you as we continue our journey in His Name!