So let me start with a warning: This blog wont showcase any awesome writing skills, and I don’t have any cute anecdotes to get you in the mood to digest a truth from God’s word. I am going to be straight to the point because I think many Christians have become confused about some basic truths. Over the past couple of months there have been some major happenings in the US that have spurred lots of discussion (rants) on social media. I was surprised by the reactions of some Christians to some of these things on Facebook. I wont go into specifics because that’s not really my point. My point is that we have people who take on the name of Christ who don’t seem to understand what He taught. If the standard you use is anything but Jesus Christ through the Bible, you are measuring and judging incorrectly.
Here we go….
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God | Romans 3:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. | Romans 6:23
Again, speaking to the Christian who has been saved by grace: we have ALL sinned, we ALL fall short, we ALL deserve death. Let me be obvious and point out that God doesn’t tell us that some sins deserve death more than others. Do you compare yourself to others to determine how you are doing? Do you base your spiritual standing by comparing yourself to another imperfect person? Jesus Christ is the only valid standard because only He lived a perfect life. He is fully God and fully man. He was tempted as we are and yet never sinned. He loved and obeyed God to the point of complete humility and sacrifice for us. Don’t downplay your own sins because they aren’t as bad as someone else’s. Remember that without Christ’s sacrifice, a simple food binge during Thanksgiving or Super Bowl is gluttony and is deserving of death. If you keep your eyes on Christ you can become more like Him, if you keep your eyes on the reflection in the mirror or on those around you, you don’t have much of a goal before you.
Stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer | 1 Timothy 1:3b
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient | Ephesians 5:6
You have to know what God says for yourself! The Bible is not just trying to be dramatic when it talks about false teachers and false doctrines. It is happening in churches – both big and small even now. Satan is real and his agenda has not changed since he talked Eve into taking a bite of that fruit. He deceives others too. With some of the recent events that have happened in the news, I was saddened to see some of the articles that were shared that supposedly show the Bible supporting certain practices/decisions. If you don’t know God’s Word, how can you know if you’re being deceived? When Jesus was on earth, He told the people who He didn’t come to change everything God had instructed, He came to fulfill it. If it seems like the Bible is saying two different things, you need to research it. However, you should be studying your Bible all of the time, not just referring to it when you have a problem or a question. Imagine a pilot who is learning to fly and decides to read each section of the manual as he needs it. Most everyone would agree that emergency landing procedures should be studied way before they are needed…the same goes with God’s word! We are held accountable for the teaching and instruction He has made readily available to us in His Bible.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. | John 14:6
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. | 1 Timothy 2:3-6
…Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved… | Acts 16:31
The last thing that needs to be reemphasized is the exclusivity of Christianity. Not because I say it is, but because God did. Again, if being a Christian is defined as eternity with Jesus then that is what the Bible calls being saved. You can only be saved if you have made the choice to believe in the saving power of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. The Bible says in several places that God desires all to be saved but it also says that not everyone will choose to believe. It’s ironic that one of the biggest arguments against God being good is that He allows people to go to hell. Would God be good if He took away our free will and forced us to love Him and accept His salvation? How would we ever know if we truly loved Him? And if you believe what Jesus said about being the only way to Heaven, do your non-believing friends/family know that they are doomed if they don’t choose Jesus?
My hope is that you don’t read this blog and think that I am writing as a person who thinks she has it all together. Just this morning my husband called me a “hot mess”. I make a lot of mistakes, but I rest in a God that shows me my mistakes through His word, in prayer and through other people so that I can repent and ask Him for help. For a long time I lived as a Christian who never read her Bible and often could be won over through logic and emotion; however, once God started revealing Himself to me I quickly discovered that human logic and emotion don’t begin to compare to Biblical truth. If you are a Christian evaluating yourself, others, notions of right and wrong and decisions by anything other than God’s given instructions your standard is flawed and will eventually lead to regret.