Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Does It Matter?

A nice meme, isn’t it? I saw it posted and it sounded good – for a moment. Treat others nicely and all is well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t match what I’ve learned over my lifetime and I have a few questions – along with some biblical background.

First – why doesn’t it matter how many Sundays you sit in church? Doesn’t the Bible tell us:

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25 KJV)

And, didn’t we learn from our Saviour how the example was set:

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. (Luke 4:16 KJV)

Yes – Jesus was accustomed to attending worship services.

Second – it doesn’t matter if you think you are saved? Once again, I turn to my Bible, where it tells me why it was written:

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31 KJV)

The most memorized verse is from that same book:

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 3:16 KJV)

Two optional outcomes: perish, or everlasting life.  One way (even if it does appear to be exclusive, remember that “whosoever believeth”):

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

Third – God really does see what you do and how you treat people:

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Matthew 12:36-37 KJV)

There are many verses that outlines God’s requirements beyond John 3:16. One of my favorites is:

Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed 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? (Micah 6:7-8 KJV)

My conclusion is similar to Solomon’s, so I’ll use his words:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV)

Jesus gave us God’s definition of His commandments:

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)

Please take time to read the Bible to confirm that what I’ve included here is correctly quoted and in context. Church attendance is helpful, but not necessary. It will by natural course follow salvation and the desire to love God with all our heart. There is no doubt in my mind that salvation is important and is not determined by how we treat other people, but how we treat them in accordance with God’s command.

Do you see it differently?

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