OceanSide church of Christ
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IS GOD TOO DEMANDING?
Victor M. Eskew
A. The Bible affirms and the evidence proves that a Supreme God exists in heavenly realms unseen to man.
B. This God has a relationship to all human beings.
1. He a man’s Creator.
a. Genesis 2:7
And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
b. Psalm 100:3
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
2. In a special way, He is the Master of all those who have voluntarily submitted to his plan to redeem them (Luke 6:46).
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
C. In God’s roles as Creator and Lord, He has a right to make demands of His people.
1. Psalm 119:4
Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
2. Ecclesiastes 12:13
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
3. Micah 6:8
He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee; but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.
4. Matthew 7:21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
D. The question that is before us in this lesson is: “Is God Too Demanding?”
1. The word “too” means “to an excessive extent or degree, beyond what is desirable, fitting, right.”
2. Some people believe that God is too demanding.
a. Those who do not believe that God exists.
b. Those who call themselves religious.
c. Those who call themselves true, New Testament Christians.
3. The real answer to this question is: “No. God is not too demanding.”
I. YES, FROM A COMPLETELY HUMAN PERSPECTIVE
A. There are times when almost all humans will say that a certain command of God is too demanding.
1. Abraham was commanded to offer his only son, Isaac (Gen. 22:2).
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
2. The rich man was commanded to sell all that he had and give it to the poor (Matt. 19:21).
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
3. We have been commanded to withdraw from those who walk disorderly (II Thess. 3:6).
Now we command you brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
B. God’s commands can appear too demanding also from the amount of things that God asks man to do (i.e., the Law of Moses is referred to as a “yoke of bondage,” see Gal. 2:4; 4:9; 5:1, and Acts 15:10).
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
II. YES, FROM SATAN’S PERSPECTIVE
A. Satan makes God seem too demanding by pitting man’s will against the will of God.
1. God’s will for music in worship involves only the human voice in singing.
a. Ephesians 5:19
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
b. Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
2. Man desires instrumental music and Satan tries to get him to believe it is okay.
a. Man likes certain kinds of instruments.
b. Man desires the loud sounds of the instruments.
c. Man enjoys the rhythm and beat of the instruments.
B. Satan makes God seem too demanding when God takes things from man that he sees as pleasurable.
1. Man finds things like social drinking and the modern dance very pleasurable.
2. To say that a Christian is not to participate in these things makes God seem too demanding.
3. We must remember that there is pleasure in some sin “for a season” (Heb. 11:25).
Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
C. Satan makes us think God is too demanding when He makes us face the unknown.
1. Numerous examples come to mind.
a. Noah had to face “things not seen as yet” (Heb. 11:7).
b. Abraham was called to go into an unknown land (Gen. 12:1-3)
c. Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt not knowing the outcome of the situation (Gen. 37:28).
d. Esther was to go in unto the king not knowing the outcome of the king’s decision (Esther 4:8-17).
2. What Satan does not reveal is that in every circumstance, God walks with us into the unknown (Heb. 13:5b-6).
…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
D. Satan makes us believe that God is too demanding when He puts us at odds with others when we must obey Him.
1. When we obey God,
a. Some people will get angry with us.
b. Some people will alienate us.
c. Some people will harm us.
d. Some people will kill us.
2. Opposition causes us to think that God is too demanding.
3. The Hebrew Christians were facing opposition.
a. This opposition had not caused them to suffer violence as yet (Heb. 12:4).
b. This opposition was not too demanding.
1) Jesus endured the cross and the shame thereof (Heb. 12:2-3).
2) Chastening is a part of sonship (Heb. 12:5-9).
3) Discipline brings fruit to our lives (Heb. 12:10-11).
4) The exhortation (Heb. 12:12-13)
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
III. NO, GOD IS NOT TOO DEMANDING
A. If we truly love God (I John 5:3).
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
B. If we appreciate the grace of God in our lives (I Cor. 15:10).
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
C. If our citizenship is really in heaven (Phil. 3:20).
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
D. If we have respect unto the recompense of the reward (Heb. 11:26).
Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
E. If we understand the benefits of God’s demands (Matt. 5:48).
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
A. The God who has created us and who truly loves us is demanding.
B. The question is: “Is God too demanding?”
1. From a mere human perspective, yes.
2. From Satan’s perspective, yes.
3. From the faithful Christian’s perspective, absolutely not!
C. Jesus demands nothing of us that was not demanded of Him.
D. Too, when we reap the joys of our eternal reward, we will know that all of God’s demands were worth it (I Pet. 1:3-7).
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.