I didn’t grow up in a Christian family or in church and I still managed to ask Jesus in my heart three times by the age of 15. As a kid, it was kind of like fire insurance, something to tag on in case Hell was real. As a teenager, it was because I was invited to church and the preacher told me I had a God shaped hole in my heart only He could fill, and that resonated with me. Tears running down my face I raised my hand to accept Jesus. Christian kids from school smiled and got teary and gave me hugs. I went home with a One Minute Daily Devotional and felt pretty certain that now I was headed for Heaven.
Soon after, I went to the local Christian book store. I found a Teen Study Bible and bought the only poster available that didn’t look like it was for pansies. It was black with scrawled writing and a bloody cross, and I thought it looked pretty hardcore. Not only that but it had some pretty profound words- words that truly did speak to me and testify to my soul as being true: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (Matthew 16:24-25).” Continue reading
Imagine for one moment that everyone who knows you was going to judge whether or not you are a Christian. But instead of basing this on your profession of faith, church attendance, or theology, they are going to base their analysis on your deeds.
Not on how kind you are, and not by the sins you refrain from either. They are going to judge you based on outward actions of faith, motivated by love and mercy.
How would you do?
Isaiah 2:19 “And people shall enter the caves of the rocks And the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the Lord, And from the splendor of His majesty, when He rises to terrify the earth.”
We often hear the fear of God taught as “reverential awe,” and for Christians I think I understand why. The redeemed no longer fear judgement because we abide in God and His perfect love has cast out all fear of punishment (1John 4:16-18). But the same cannot be said of all those who are without Christ, for all who have not called on His name have the wrath of God abiding on them (John 3:36). To tell an unbeliever that the definition of fearing God is to stand in awe is a weakened and partial truth.
Evangelism doesn’t always make me feel happy- but it usually does. There have been times when the seemingly impenetrable condition of someone’s heart has left me deeply grieved. The most vulgar individual I ever met was a Pastor’s daughter. I turned around after witnessing to her and immediately burst into tears, feeling shocked, mortified, and spiritually drained. But most often, my experiences haven’t been too difficult. Continue reading
He cradled the back of his head in his hands, propped up his feet and said “I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.”
His investments had multiplied, assets increased, and businesses all profitably ran themselves. But what should he do with all this wealth? His children were well taken care of… there were grandchildren coming soon, he hoped. “I will secure a future for myself, my children, and my children’s children. I will say to my soul ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’” Continue reading
The people of the world do exactly what the Bible said they would do and have “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever (Romans 1:25)!” Read Romans chapter one in entirety and you will find reason to tremble with fear for where our nation is headed. The people have commonly become “futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts (are) darkened (Romans 1:21).” One needs only to open up the science curriculum of every public school and you will witness the doctrine of a people who “claiming to be wise, (have become) fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles (Romans 1:23).” They do “not see fit to acknowledge God (Romans 1:28)” and rather give glory to some cosmic explosion, primordial soup, and millions and millions of years of mutations. This is not glorious. If it didn’t make such a shipwreck of people’s souls I would be inclined to laugh, but instead I groan and shake my head in dismay. This inglorious foolishness I do not wish to expound upon but rather the Glory of my Creator.
Part 1: Combating Universalism and Relativistic Thinking
There are two belief systems on the up rise today that often go hand in hand, called Universalism and Relativism. A Universalist typically believes that each person can find their own way to God that is right for them. They would say that most religions are based on similar truths and values, and therefore each path leads a person to God. It might be a different rendition of God, but as long as the religion assents to a “higher power” of some kind, it is all the same thing to the Universalist. Exclusivists who would say that their religion is the “only way,” would likely be frowned upon by the Universalist who seeks to include everyone in their view of heaven.
Yet many who think this way are also Relativists, so it is not fitting that they should get very worked up about the exclusivist, since after all everyone’s truth is true for them. But regardless, I have come across these people and have found they can be quite distraught by the Absolutist. He is content with every kind of truth except for that which says that there is definite absolute truth, and that kind of discussion makes him feel unnerved. So to be clear: Relativists absolutely believe that whatever you believe to be true is good and true for you and that there is absolutely no absolute truth. What you believe is right for you, and what I believe is right for me.
Do you find yourself confused? I sure do. I cannot reason how to intelligibly write about a subject that defies basic logic. I suppose I could argue against this from a philosophical perspective, and that would be good. But instead, I am going to address this from scripture to explain to the reader why Christianity is indeed exclusive and to what extent. Continue reading
Looking down He saw this earth
Where once was bright as dawn
Where a man from dust was pure at birth
Created to dwell upon
This perfect garden in the east
With God dwelling, and for a feast
The fruit of every tree but one
For by its’ knowledge comes undone
Both innocence and unity with God. Continue reading