There is a pervasive lie that is constantly, boldly proclaimed from pulpits all over America. You hear it every time you turn on Christian TV. You find it typed in a million different ways throughout social media. What is this lie? The lie is that what you, and I, really deserve…no…what God owes us…is happiness.
This lie is a falsehood of the worse kind. It plays on humanities most deprived instincts, at the same time refuting everything the Bible says about mankinds wickedness.
What is the truth? That you, and I, deserve to be judged by a righteous judge whom we have sinned against. You see, friends, we have turned what is good evil and what is evil we have made good. If God is a righteous judge full of justice then the only thing He can do to law breakers is to convict them. When we disregard the miraculous blessings God has given by believing the lie that all is owed us, all we’ve received is deserved, we steal the glory from God rather than freely handing it up to Him in awestruck wonder.
I’ve heard it put in this way as an example: How do you feel when a man kills another man? He should get retribution right? What if a man cruelty beats a woman to death? That’s worse, is it not? What if a man sexually abused a child, then buries her alive? This happened in Florida, I believe, several years ago. People didn’t cry for justice alone, they cried out for severe punishment against this man who sinned against an innocent, defenseless, child.
Do you see how the act of murder feels far worse when it is committed against innocence? However, when we sin against a perfect, righteous, God we think we deserve…happiness? What then, if we commit a life of sin against God, rejecting the very Son He sent to pay the debt we owed for that sin? Do we still deserve happiness?
No, brethren, we deserve eternal damnation. There is no such thing as a good person. We are all wretched, wicked human beings in the hands of a just God. When we tell the world that they deserve to be happy, and that saying a quick prayer will garner them that happiness, along with health and wealth, we have blasphemed the name of God. He is not a genie in a bottle, He is the righteous, sovereign, judge.
What good have we gained if we have the love of the whole world, but have damned them all to hell? Do we so desire the approval of man that we are unwilling to warn of the destruction to come?
This is not to say that we, who have heard the true gospel and have converted and been saved, are not happy. The joy, awe, and peace the Father gives is, on its own, more than we deserve. Add to this salvation, justification, sanctification, prayer, study, fellowship, and worship…why would the believer not be in a constant state of joy? From grace to grace, as our minds can comprehend what’s been done for us we also understand how wretched we are and how little we deserve it.
This is the difference between the spoiled child demanding blessings from their parents, and the servant who cherishes the kind words or thankful smiles they received from time to time.
How does this American Gospel of happiness, health and wealth play out in third world countries? How will you tell those who are starving, living in trash heaps, or eating dirt cookies that they deserve to be happy? They just need to be a little more positive, think happier thoughts, right? No, this lie only applies to those who are in wealthy countries. We need to seek the full counsel of God’s Word, so that the doctrines of demons do not become our doctrines. This is why I extol you, beloved, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.