SUNDAY PREVIEW: The Number One Thing That Keeps People Out of Heaven
What is tasteless, colorless, sizeless, odorless, non-fattening, yet is the hardest thing to swallow? You guessed it. PRIDE. Pride is the only disease that makes everyone sick except the one who has it. This Sunday morning (Nov. 6) at the Oldham Lane Church of Christ we will begin a series entitled “7 Habits of Highly Defective Christians.” The first habit we will discuss is that of pride. Pride is the number one thing that keeps people out of heaven. Pride is at the root of each and every sin.
In Galatians chapter 5, the apostle Paul speaks of the fruit of the flesh as he writes:
“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21).”
Is pride not behind every one of these sins? In fact, we could say that each of these sins are really a by-product of pride.
“God is opposed to the proud (Jas. 4:6).” Why? Because the proud don’t need God. Every turning away from God presumes a kind of autonomy that is the essence of pride. It’s very fitting that the middle letter in PRIDE is “I” because pride is all about “I.” It’s all about “ME.” When you are filled with pride, it’s only natural that God will be pushed out of the picture. Pride is a turning away from God in favor of a reliance on self.
If I were to take a piece of clay and mold it into a person, what rights would that person have? If that little man who I molded out of a piece of clay were to turn to me and say, “I need this. I deserve this.” I’d probably pinch his little head off. I don’t owe him anything. I made him. He owes me everything. It’s no different with you and me. We don’t deserve anything. We’re not the creator. We’re the created. We have no rights. We are not in a position to demand anything. God took us and molded us and shaped us. He breathed life into us. Yet, all too often we go through life expecting and demanding that He live for us. That’s not how this works. You belong to Him; not the other way around. You don’t call the shots. He formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born, He knew you. Your life is but a vapor that appears for a short time and vanishes away. So take the spotlight off of yourself. Point it in God’s direction. Illuminate the cross and the ONE who died upon it. And remember, it’s not about you!
See you Sunday!