One of the things that irk me the most in Christianity today are people that become content with living in the world.
I’m talking about the people who say “God loves me just the way I am, why should I change?” And then continue to live just as the world lives, with no indication that they’ve ever been saved at all.
These types of people believe that Jesus’ death on the cross made everything “all cool” with God and sin isn’t a big deal anymore. In fact we don’t even need to worry about right and wrong now because after all, we’re forgiven and it’s no big deal, right?
Wrong – sin is a big deal. It’s such a big deal that God had to die in our place (as our substitute) in order to rescue us from the effects and consequences of that sin – because without that death we would have absolutely no option for escaping the torment of hell.
When you think about the damage that sin does, the destruction it causes and the utter disconnect from God that it brings – it no longer seems like no big deal. In fact when we open our eyes to the reality of sin and understand that ALL sin eventually leads to death and hell, we have to ask ourselves: “How could I ever live like sin is no big deal?”
I have such a problem with that kind of attitude because it’s the attitude I used to have. I used to claim to be a Christian yet continue to live like the world, continuing on in my sin as if it were no big deal. I comforted myself by saying “God loves me, I’m forgiven, it’s all cool!”
Critics might ask: I thought Jesus came to set us free?
Jesus did in fact come to set us free – He set us free from sin! Are we to use that freedom to continue sinning? No!
Not only did Jesus set us free from sin, He set us free to pursue righteousness. Jesus set us free to climb the mountain of God!
We were not created to sin and God has no desire for us to continue sinning. We were created to pursue God. We were created to be connected to God and maintain fellowship with Him. God wants us to desire to know Him deeply and intimately – sin prevents that. Sin doesn’t just hinder those things, it makes it completely impossible to know Him.
I’d like to create an illustration to give you a better idea.
Imagine an enormous mountain that reaches far beyond what you can see. This mountain stretches up and above the clouds, far out into the highest heavens – this mountain is God.
God is not at the top of the mountain – He is the very mountain itself. God is not something to be reached at the end of a destination, as if we could ever reach His summit – He is the entirity of the mountain and He is the journey itself. We discover Him and come to know Him deeply and intimately by climbing Him. The higher we climb, the more we come to know God – yet God has no peak, He is eternally high. We will never come to the top of God to plant a flag in Him and claim we’ve conquered Him. God is as endlessly unknowable as He is endlessly knowable. We could spend a billion years climbing Him and always know we have a billion more.
Now to some this may sound tedious and boring – as if we’re walking on an eternal treadmill that never goes anywhere.
“You mean, we just climb and climb forever?” Except we have to realize that we were created for this very purpose. We were created to climb the mountain of God. The adrenaline rush, the exhilaration of reaching up to the next rock and the next cliff, the different views we come to see by looking up at where we’re headed and looking down at where we’ve come from, it fulfills us – and we will never find fulfillment apart from this mountain. We were created to climb the mountain of God!
So what happened? Sin happened and we all fell from Gods mountain to the ground below where we were chained and made slaves of the earth – and that’s what Jesus came to free us from! Jesus freed us from the chains that keep us from climbing Gods mountain and journeying to know Him.
So now why would we ever want to stay on the ground where we were slaves to sin? Why would we ever be content to say “I’m fine right where I am”?
We weren’t set free so we could stay on the ground with the rest of the world – we were set free so we could be set apart from the world on the mountain of God and He is calling out to us: “Come, climb me! Come, find your purpose in me, find fulfillment in me! Come, journey to know me!”
Will you respond? or will you stay on the ground and ignore the call?
Will you step out in faith and climb the mountain? or will you cower back in fear, intimidated by an endless journey?
My name is Jeremiah Diehl and I’m a sinner who has been set free. I’ve chosen to use my freedom to climb the mountain of God – will you join me?