Ray Rooney, Jr.: Listen To the Angels
Thursday, December 26, 2013 8:41 PM

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’” (Luke 2:13-14)

Face it.  People don’t like what the Bible says today.  They don’t like what it says about sin in general and they sure don’t like anything Scripture says about any particular behavior or activity being sinful (i.e. 1 Corinthians 6:9).  What it boils down to is that most people are fine with the Bible as long as it’s not taken seriously.  Don’t think I’m just talking about unbelievers either.  It is my firm belief that a whole lot of people who attend church only do so as an imaginary payment for an eternal life insurance policy, if you will.  Just in case all that Bible nonsense turns out to be true they can stand before Christ and say, “I attended church all those years…I deserve heaven!” (check out the end of the Sermon on the Mount for His response). 

No, for most people, the Bible is good only so far as it affirms the way they choose to live.  If you are living a sinful lifestyle you love John 3:16 and Matthew 7:1.  Of course, you have to tweak the famous John passage (ignore the part about believing) and take the statement in Matthew 7 about judging others completely out of context but, hey, it’s their life and they can affirm the parts they like and ignore those they don’t.  And I’m not just talking about one side of the coin as I have noticed loads of upstanding pillars of the church do the same picking and choosing of Scripture to affirm their lifestyles.   Get on their bad side and see if they apply Philippians 2:3 (“in humility count others more significant than yourselves”) or Galatians 6:3 (“if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself”).  It all seems to be just a shell game.  Hide this, reveal that, listen to James, ignore Paul, embrace the Jesus who teaches to love your enemies, ignore the Jesus who says “Go and sin no more.” 

That’s why I thank God for the appearance and declaration of the Heavenly Host to the shepherds near Bethlehem that very first Christmas whatever month and day it actually was.  All the angels of Heaven testified to a very brief but incredibly important message.  God deserves ALL praise, glory, and worship because He has offered peace to anyone whose hope is to please Him.  Peace comes only through Christ (Colossians 1:20) and faith is the only thing that pleases God (Hebrews 11:6).  Jesus Christ is the only hope for peace that anyone has who engages in sin whether they choose to call it that or not.  He is the only hope of the unrepentant homosexual and He is the only hope of self-righteous holier than thou pillar of the local church.  He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and “the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). 

History is replete with both faithful prophets and selfish charlatans.  The former plumb the depths of Scripture and bring to our attention things that make our heads nod and our hearts sing.  The latter twist and proof- text and insist they be listened to and make our heads bow in shame and our hearts quiver with angst.  It is hard in this life to discern who is being faithful to God and who is asserting themselves.  For two thousand years the Heavenly Host has been declaring the shortest simplest message to whoever cares to listen.  God is glorious because His Son enables “whosoever will” to please Him.  If we would start where the angels told us to there would be much more peace on earth than we are now currently experiencing.

Peace to you this Christmas.

Ray Rooney, Jr.