"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. Luke 16:25
Faith in God is the starting point that all Christians who go through the born again experience begin their walk with God. From this point each Christian has the choice to grow as a Christian, to stagnate and to return to his or her old way of life. Becoming a Christian was a voluntary decision that included a commitment to serve God for the rest of your life. However, no one grows or sustains life without spiritual food to strengthen the flesh or the spirit. Moses explained that man did not live by bread alone; he needed the words of Godís to sustain his spirit.
Christians know that God causes food to grow by the life giving rain he sends upon the earth. The reverence of God is the beginning of knowledge and the Christian seeks God and Jesus Christ to sustain their walk and to know the giver of life. Christianís know that if it were not for the grace of God no man could have been saved from the coming wrath of God.
God also needed to explain that knowledge of him has importance to the life of man and speaking through the prophet Hosea, God said this;
My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. Hosea 4:6
As a parent, the child who refuses to listen to your instructions is the child that gives you the most problems. When they laugh at your frustration and they are balking your God given authority. When your children reject your instructions they also reject you and the experiences you had during your lifetime. As the childís rebellion increases the parent loses their patience and withdraws their favor from the child. Finally the rejection of parental authority leads to the rejection of the child by the parents, saying heís no longer a son of mine. The parent then denies his blood lines to the child, and takes an oath, having nothing more to do with his own flesh and blood. The outcome is has a horrible end where the child can no longer rely on his father and is told to go his own way.
This is the condition Hosea found Godís chosen people in when he explained his reasons for confronting Israel with the warnings that God would ultimately turn his back on Israel. You too can reject the knowledge of God to a point where God is fed up with your life especially when you continually deny the authority you gave to him. God had the book of Hosea written for a reason and the troubles reflected in the Major and Minor Prophets occurred to his chosen people because they continued to sin against God. They refused to listen and continued to serve the godís of the nationís surrounding them. God was using the curses of Deuteronomy 28 to get Israelís attention, but to no avail. Finally God sent a nation against them who also worshipped gods made of wood and stone that humbled Israel throughout the Babylonian and Persian empires. During this time of trouble God turned his back on Israel and reminded them they had foreign gods of their own to save them.
Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble! Jeremiah 2:28
In other words, God rejected his chosen people because they refused to turn away from gods of stone, wood, and gold that could not speak, hear or deliver them from their troubles. Because man was stubborn, rebellion against God, sin is an ongoing struggle throughout biblical history. Adam and Eve ate from the tree, Lotís wife looked back, once delivered out of bondage Israel wanted to go back to Egypt, Aachan took things dedicated to God, and the people during the time of the judges did evil in the eyes of the Lord by serving other gods. Human History with God has followed a pattern, which has always ended with doing what is right in our own eyes.
The people God so loved have all gone astray, like the dog who has returned to his vomit and the pig that returns to the mud after being washed. People return to their old way of life after they have met God because they do not know the grace of God. God said this of his chosen people:
Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the Lord has spoken: "I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand." Ah, sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Isaiah 1:2-4
The Bible is the recorded history of the relationship between God and mankind and the struggle man has had within that relationship. The world system with the help of Satan has become an enemy of God and has interfered with the relationship man has with God. The world uses a number of principles to live by that are consistent with the truth but truth was suppressed by the wicked deeds of men. The peer pressure arising from the world system has led man astray from the principles of absolutes God wants his people to use. The problem is greater than what man can see with his eyes because this world is persuaded by outside influences from the Spirit Realm. The specific influence is Satan who rebelled against God and lost his place trying to topple Godís throne.
God is also dealing with another problem of manís growth cycle from childhood to adulthood. It takes a lifetime to understand that the decisions made in our teens were in fact rather immature to those made after our hair is whitened with age. There is not too many who could not say, ďOh if I had done it differently back then life would be better today.Ē The mistakes made in our past become the mother of maturity for mankind. Human beings learn from their mistakes most of the time and are reminded of the former mistakes the second time around. Most of lifeís problems could be avoided if only if man would listen to Godís principles and incorporate them within their choices.
In one story God selected Solomon the Son of David to rule Israel. Solomon was a son who followed the advice of his father and sought the wisdom of God on becoming king and assuming the throne. His prayer for wisdom touch the heart of God and God granted him wisdom in such abundance that he became a man noted for wisdom. People of the surroundings nations came to him bearing gifts and seeking an audience with him.
God is pleased with those who seek his wisdom and from those who want to learn from him.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
God has an abundance of knowledge gained through the ages of time before the creation of the world and with that knowledge created what you can see, hear, touch, and feel with your God given senses. Knowledge gives you the ability of making an informed decision of what works while having an experience of the things that will hinder you from achieving the desired outcome. For most people, knowledge is the foundation to a successful life and the reason for their college education.
The knowledge that God imparts is not found in the schoolbooks the world provides. The knowledge provided by schools of higher learning is only concerned with how the things of the world work. The knowledge God imparts deals with the relationships built on loving one another. God is a being whose disposition is governed by love, which is totally different from the selfish disposition of man. The world has been driven into a system of stress caused by the greed, pride, arrogance and selfish desires of its inhabitants urged on by the demonic powers of the spirit world. On the other hand Godís system of loving one another creates the harmony needed among your peers and doing the best job you can in your career field. God is love and all about building relationships with others.
The knowledge that God imparts is centered on your relationship with those in your arena of influence. Consider the kind of cooperation you would receive from those who oppose your goals or personally hold a grudge against you. Isnít it true that a good relationship increases a favorable response to your needs much faster? Over a lifetime, loving one another is planting seeds of love that will return a crop that you want from other people in later life.
Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs in which he made known the following statement;
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
Was it a coincidence that his father said the following?
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. Psalms 14:1, 53:1
While there are a large number of people who know that God does exist, no one can say from experience that there is no God. Men are without excuse for the creation speaks volumes about God because God has made his existence plain to man. To the world the word of God is foolishness, but the Christian sees Godís word as the truth and by working with God find a personal holiness, which allows you to escape his coming wrath.
Wisdom is also the foundation which plans are made from. The Christian knows the outcome from the life they live on earth because he or she is working the plan of salvation. They have the expressed knowledge of the reward they expect by applying the word of God to their lives and have the experience that God responds to his promises. Christians no longer hope for the things they have been assured of and are presently enjoying. However, the world can only hope and assumes that they will be among those who walk the streets of gold.
The way God thinks and reacts to a specific condition goes beyond manís understanding. Nothing is too hard for God to do and he is able to do more that man is capable of imagining. God is able to do anything, but he has self-imposed laws he will not violate and will not do to others the very things he doesnít want done to him. Therefore, the golden rule, do unto others as you would have done to you is a good rule to live by because God knows that anyone you harm will retaliate in greater measure.
However, try not to think of Godís commands as from a Supreme Being out to dictate how you live, but from a father who doesnít want his children to be hurt because of their decisions. People do things because they know what they are doing will get the job done, but they also can be so engrossed in what they are doing that they are not aware of how it affects your life. The outcome of not being aware of the needs other people have turned relationships into collateral damage and without forgiveness becomes a permanent scar.
God desires to train his children to make sound decisions in a realm that does not end. Sound decisions can prevent a number of mistakes and the injuries that result from them. Can you imagine the ruckus that could be raised in heaven if it were not for self-imposed laws to maintain the peace among the citizens? Have you considered that any wrongdoing could corrupt the perfect environment of Heaven? Godís ultimate goal is that his children would be self-disciplined, so that they can govern their lives in heaven with integrity.
Knowledge of Godís word instructs you about the boundaries God has placed on his children. Most Christians have been taught to equate evil to sin and wrongdoing as sin. Sin is hostility towards God, the wicked cannot submit to God's law because they are bent on having their own way. Instead, they infringe on other peopleís rights leaving them in ruin. Evil is the cause for ruin, pain, suffering, and emotional distress brought on the people it affects. For these reasons, Godís holiness demands that you to avoid evil at all cost.
The knowledge of God tells you how things work in the spirit realm and gives vivid pictures of what you can expect from wrongdoing. By understanding the foundation God stands on and what his principles will produce you can become a willing participant of his plan. By participating in his plan you can adopt a disposition that everyone will admire and want to own, because it glorifies God. The benefits derived from adopting a godly disposition will lead to the lifestyle God approves of and eventually when the body is spent or God comes for his children, you will be among those who walk on streets of Heaven.
Above all, the most important thing derived from the knowledge of God and of his son is a personal relationship with God. Your relationship with God will grow each day when you diligently seek him and your knowledge of God opens doors into deeper service for God. You are his ambassador to the world and in that function you take his message to the world so they may know the love of God hoping that they do not perish.
Finally you need to compare your lives as parents to God your Father. Donít you guide your children by giving them instructions that keeps them safe and teach your children social skills? Do you teach them how to care for themselves and provide them with the things they need? Do you protect them from the neighborhood bully and teach them how to defend themselves? Do you open doors for their future and advise them how to improve their lives?
God may us different terms to explain what he does for his children, but they are essentially the same things as described in the paragraph above. He doesnít want anyone to perish and takes appropriate measures to insure a rich and glorious welcome for his children into his home.