Thursday, February 26, 2015

Christ Died For ...?

A pastor I follow on Facebook posted an interesting link on Wednesday, “4 Things Jesus Didn’t Die For.” I do not think the the list should be limited to the four items the author selected, but there is truth in what was written.

It appears the author is concerned about people equating patriotism or political causes with being Christ-like. In the middle of his article is a truth that I think should have led the discussion:
Christians have one message: the gospel of Jesus Christ’s atoning death, glorious resurrection, and coming Kingdom. Be defined by that; preach that and let everything else come second.
I do believe that a group of people that place God first and whose goals are to live within His will, doing the work He has set them to do, will be blessed abundantly -  but not necessarily as the world recognizes.

The verse I used yesterday would be a good lesson:

And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. (Deuteronomy 8:2 KJV)

One thing we have forgotten is how to be humble. Especially living under His proving what is in our hearts about keeping His commandments.  No, we have not been let through forty years in the wilderness as God’s chosen people – and we know they were chosen:

For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 7:6 KJV)

No where does the Bible say that choice was removed from Israel. Yes, God’s promise was then and is now available to everyone who seeks Him:

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:15-16 KJV)

“Whosoever” translates from the Greek πᾶς (Strong’s G3956)
Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole
The only requirement for belief is in Jesus – whom I see as Christ, Son of God, Savior – not an individual or a nation or a creed or a cause or commandments.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12 KJV)

Luke records Peter saying this while filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. I have not found where that message has been changed. Peter was able to deliver God’s message in a straightforward manner, unswayed by commitments to family, religion, nation or cause. He put God first, above all else.

That is the gospel message - the good news - that did, does and can in the future, change the world. It is our choice whether to believe it, or not; share it, or not.

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