Do you really believe that what you really believe is real? Those are some of the opening words of Dr. Del Tackett in the Truth Project. Do I really believe that the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan are real? If the kingdom of heaven is real, if God is real, if creation is real, if I could just wrap my mind around their being literal, then everything else, any other piece of information I hear that is not according to God’s Word, is not real. Many people will believe it, but they are deceived. As well-intentioned and sincere as they may be, they are being deceived.
In fact, I often believe the lie. I often don’t live my life based on the truth that there is a kingdom of God and that He reigns as God over all. Instead I live as a virtual pagan. The decisions I make are based on the fact that I don’t believe there is a real, physical, and tangible kingdom of God.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
If I were to start reading in Genesis 1, I would be able to see that God set up a kingdom, but when I read the account of Creation, do I believe it is literally true? Not that there’s a “gap” between verses 1 and 2 that allows for the millions and billions of years of the evolution story and still gives me a good feeling, like I believe in the Bible. No, the Bible doesn’t allow for a gap theory. The language of the original Hebrew does not allow for a gap, so I cannot allow for it. No, it says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” and then in the following verses, He explains how He did that in six literal, twenty-four hour days.
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).
Do I really believe that what the Bible really says is real? Or do I in fact think that Creation is just a children’s story, a nice way to color pictures of animals and trees? When I hear a fact in public media, do I put some credence to it because I figure they’re scientists and they know what they’re talking about? Or do I believe there was a literal kingdom of God set up on earth 6,000 years ago? Do I believe He brought the kingdom of heaven down to a physical planet and said, “I am going to make on this planet a kingdom, a domain, a place where my Name is going to abide, and my glory is going to fill all the earth.”
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? You will not surely die… for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1, 4-5).
Do I believe that I am accountable to this King, or do I believe that I can achieve in my own human potential anything I set my mind to? This was a problem with Adam and Eve, especially Eve. She didn’t feel that she was subject to anyone. So therefore, when Satan proposed to her that maybe God was hiding something from her because God didn’t want her to achieve everything that God knew she was capable of doing if she just put her mind to it, she bought it. She said, “Yes, that’s the way I feel! I feel invincible! I feel that I can do anything I put my mind to! Phooey on God. I’m going to do what I want to do.”
Do I really believe that even though Adam and Eve’s sin brought death into the world, the kingdom of God was preserved through a Redeemer? The Redeemer came through the godly line of Seth, of his descendants that believed in a kingdom and gave their lives for it. I’m thinking of Enoch who lived as a godly preacher, and of Noah who gave up everything to serve this God. His godly heritage was even continued after the worldwide Flood, even though all of his descendants, except the one godly line of Shem, chose to worship the gods of Nimrod. Finally we get down to Abram, who left Ur of the Chaldees and followed a God that none of the nations followed, the God of the Hebrews.
“YHWH had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:1-3).
Do I believe that this is a literal story? Or is it just a nice Jewish myth, a story that explains their beginnings just as there are myths of the beginnings of all people. Some cultures say, “We believe our people came from the Earth Mother, or from this or that pagan deity, so the Jews believe their people came from the God of heaven, YHWH.” But do I really believe that what I really believe is real – because if it’s real, there were promises made to Abraham, promises that have not yet been fulfilled. It’s easy to spiritualize these promises and say, “Well, you know, they’re fulfilled today in the Church. And our church organization is receiving these promises.” No, the Bible says that these are literal promises that will be literally fulfilled through the nation of Israel. Do you really believe that what the Bible really says is real?
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God'” (Psalm 14:1).
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes” (Proverbs 12:15, KJV).
It is sobering to continue on this path, going through each story in the Bible. Do you really believe that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea? Archeologists argue against it. Do you really believe that the chronologies in the Bible are accurate, even though the chronologies in history books disagree? Do you really believe that the Roman and the Greek ways of living are wrong (because they are based on idolatry) and that the biblical way is right? We base our decisions on these things. Did you know that you have a world view? Did you know that everything in your world is based upon it?
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Basically it comes down to this. Most of us attend church on a given Sunday, plus maybe a small group where we learn this or that neat topic, but in fact we never dig into God’s Word and ask the tough questions that say, “Wait a minute! God just said this, and He is the God that never changes. Yesterday, today and forever He is the same. So therefore, wait a minute! What do I believe? Wait a minute, are you telling me that __, so therefore __?”
For instance, “Wait a minute! You’re telling me I need to submit? What? Who really believes this stuff? I’m not submitting to this guy. We’re both equal, competent adults. He has to submit to me, too!” Or do you really believe that what the Bible really says is real, so much so that you are willing to change your actions, even though they fly in the face of popular thought, so much so that you are willing to be peculiar?
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).
In God’s kingdom, the people that live in this kingdom are peculiar. They are His treasure, and He has amazing and vast plans for them, but they are peculiar. Therefore, if you want to belong to this kingdom, you will be peculiar also. Are you willing to be able to put up with that? Why would you, unless you really believe that what you really believe is real?
I challenge you to start reading God’s Word as if it’s a book about a kingdom and a King, and He is setting forth what He wants His kingdom to be like. As you read, note that there is an enemy in this kingdom named Satan. There is another enemy, and that is my own sinful heart that rebels against the King because I don’t want to be told what to do. Now I’m going to read the Word of God as if I am a loyal subject to this King, someone who is going to put away all false gods, including Myself, and I am going to worship the One and only true God as if what I really believe is real. I’m going to allow it to change me, no matter what I come across. I’m going to allow it to mold me, no matter what popular thought it defies.
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
This is the essence of choosing Jesus Christ as my Lord and my Savior. By choosing Him as my Savior, I’m saying that I am defiant and I know it. I confess my sin, and I turn from it. I need a Savior because I cannot change in my own power. Sin brings death, and I cannot rescue myself. Second of all, I make Him my Master, the one whom I’ve chosen to be my King no matter how peculiar it makes me to be.
Is there a time in your life when you bowed before the King of Heaven, confessing your sin, thanking Him for the Redeemer He sent, and making Him your master? If not, will you choose His kingdom today?