Jump Start # 3246
Luke 15:4 “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?”
Our verse today, part of that triplet series of lost and found is a powerful reminder of how much God thinks of us and wants us to be with Him. Recently, I was teaching some things about what God started. We began with creation and then moved to a class about our relationship with Him. God seeks us to be with Him.
In that study, I brought up the idea of Deism. That’s an old idea that many of our founding fathers embraced. It’s the idea that God exists but that He has left us on our own. No revelations. No divine interventions. No miracles. Which of course concludes with Jesus not being divine. From the standpoint of a deist, the Bible is not from God. It couldn’t be, because that would mean the Divine has injected Himself into our world and our lives.
It seems to me that without realizing it, many moderns have a form of deism in them. They claim to believe in God, but they want God to leave them alone. Don’t interfere with what I am doing. Don’t layer my life with do’s and don’ts and don’t tell me what I ought to do. Just be there, but leave me alone.
The steps between deism, agnosticism and atheism are very close to one another. Knowing God is out there but He leaves us alone can quickly slide into something is out there but we don’t know who or what it is, and that is just a shadow from saying, nothing is out there.
What is life like under the umbrella of deism?
First, God leaves you alone. That may sound great to some, but that leaves you on your own. Pray, but in deism, God won’t answer your prayer. No help in how to live. No guidance about direction or moral living. You are left to just guess.
Second, there are no promises nor hope in deism. For a promise to exist, God had to reach out and connect and reveal to us. Deism doesn’t allow that. Is there a Heaven? The Bible says so. The deist doesn’t know. There is no way to know. From the deist standpoint, not only are we traveling in a fog, but we are headed down a dark tunnel and no one knows what awaits us. Scary. Uncertain. What a terrible way to live.
Third, there is nothing pulling us out of sin nor away from the troubles of wrong in deism. God doesn’t have a written word in deism. God doesn’t come looking for us, as our passage illustrates. There is no perfect sacrifice for our sins in deism. The hole that we fall in has no escape. No Savior. No forgiveness. No future. No reason to do good. No purpose defined. That’s deism.
Our verse today illustrates God as the shepherd. He comes looking for us. He doesn’t cut His loses. Every sheep is important to Him. He doesn’t sit on Heaven’s porch and wait for us to come back. He is out looking. He sends the hounds of Heaven after us. Through His word, our memory, our conscience, the words of brethren, the power of worship, those divine hounds find a way of reaching us. They remind us. They convict us. They bother us. A sign on a post, “Jesus loves you,” a message on Facebook about the goodness of God, a friend who reaches out to you…those hounds find us and they point us back to where we belong.
Moderns who want God to leave them alone, don’t know what they are wishing. I’m thankful God has not left us alone. I’m thankful that He has revealed Himself and now we know Him. I’m thankful that His presence surrounds us. I’m thankful for all the Heavenly reminders of what we ought to do.
Just leave me alone, is a true picture of what Hell is. Nothing good. No hope. No help. And, no God.
The Lord is looking for each one of us. He wants us back home with Him. He searches that house for the lost coin. He’s looking for the prodigal to return. Salvation and hope await us.