Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 15 No. 2 February 2013
Page 14

Camouflage Religion

Mark T. Tonkery

Mark T. TonkeryI like camouflage. It doesn’t matter if it is shirts, shoes, hats, coats, socks, you name it and if it is camouflage I will wear it. (I don’t have a camo tie though; I will have to work on that, but I do have camouflage curtains! The window wears them, not me). I have liked camouflage stuff ever since I was a kid. I can remember wearing camouflage to school, church, and sometimes I would even wear it to go hunting.

The main purpose for camouflage is for hiding. Hunters and soldiers use camouflage to blend into their surroundings. This is one of the reasons I always liked wearing camouflage because it helped in hiding. One of my all-time favorite games is Hide and Seek. It was fun being hidden and trying to outwit the other kids that were playing the game.

However, hiding is not always fun. In fact, many like to put on “spiritual camouflage” and try to hide from God. Remember Adam and Eve. After partaking of the forbidden fruit, they hid from God, and they even tried to use camouflage. When they realized that they were naked, they covered their bodies with leaves (Genesis 3:7-8). Achan took some of the forbidden valuables from Jericho and hid them under his tent. Yet, he was found out too. He and his family were all put to death for his sin (Joshua 7:19-25).

Then there are those today who try to “camouflage” or hide from God. They show up on Sunday, but the rest of the week they “hide” from God. Many will indulge in alcoholic drinks, use drugs, swear, cheat, commit adultery, disobey God in every way and get involved in activities that are not beneficial for their spiritual growth. Paul talks about such people in Titus 1:16, by saying, “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work.”

Although sometimes people try to hide from God, God sometimes also hides from His people. Isaiah 1:15-16, quotes God as saying, “When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil.” The prophet Ezekiel also reminds us in Ezekiel 39:24 that God hides from His people by saying, “I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them.” Then, we see Jesus hiding in John 8:59, “So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.”

In each case, God hid from His people when they chose to disobey His commands and sin against Him. Notice that these are people who claimed to believe in God, but they chose to turn their backs on Him. God then responded by hiding from them. God only hid from His people when they chose to “hide” from Him by sinning against Him.

The good news is that God does not have to remain “hidden” from those who sin. The New Testament goes on to teach that those who are willing to come out of hiding and take their “spiritual camouflage” off that God will be found once again. 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Are you hiding from God? Is God hiding from you? Dear Christian, please repent and confess your sins so God can be found once again in your life. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

What Must I Do to Be Saved?

Thomas Baxley

Thomas BaxleyCountless millions across the globe and throughout history have asked the question, “What must I do to be saved?” The Bible says in John 14:6 that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus. The vast majority of people on earth believe that all we have to do to go to heaven is to believe in Jesus. However, the Bible says that if we want to go to heaven, we have to obey the Gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10). Christ is coming back, Paul says, and will take vengeance on those who do not know God, and those who do not obey the Gospel. This means, then, that if you know God and do not obey the Gospel, you will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction.

The next question should be, “What is the Gospel?” This is a critical question to ask because it has to be obeyed to go to heaven. The Gospel can be found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, and it is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. How can we be obedient to the death, burial and resurrection? Paul addressed this in Romans 6:1-4. We are united with Christ in the likeness of His death through baptism. If we want to go to heaven, we must obey the Gospel, which means submitting ourselves to be baptized into the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38).

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