Can we serve God according to our own rules?
Sometimes we like to think that we can make the rules and that God should be happy with us. I’ve heard people saying that they don’t need to have regular fellowship with other Christians – it is what is in their heart that matters and God knows that. I’ve heard others saying that they can sin as much as they like and as long as they confess their sin they will be forgiven. (One person I know who confessed to me that they think like this has spent more than half their life in gaol). Others, regular church attending Christians are living immoral lives because they believe that they can’t out-sin God and His mercy.
It is no coincidence that the first occurrence of this kind of thinking happened before we have even reached our 5th chapter of Genesis. It seems to be inherent in our human thinking and reasoning that we can do what we like and justify it to God.
Cain was a farmer and thought to bring a bounteous offering to God of delicious fruits -- and my mind immediately dreams of tree-ripened figs, dates, tree-ripened apricots, muscatel grapes, mangoes and rambutans. The only thing that was wrong was that this was NOT what God had asked for and Cain’s offering wasn’t accepted by God. (In short, the rest of the story involves jealousy of his brother whose blood sacrifice was accepted, anger towards God and his brother and murder of his brother).
God has made it very clear in His Bible what His moral code is. God hasn’t minced His words and we rewrite His rules to our own peril.
God isn’t afraid of sin and He has shown His readiness to forgive every sinner who comes to Him and repents.
But God is also angry at people who continually flout His moral code. “Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables on the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves” (Matt. 21:12 NKJV).
The Holy Spirit convicts of sin. If you find that you are being pricked to change your behaviour, accept the admonition of God and repent. Now is the day of opportunity and tomorrow may be too late.