All or Nothing

In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’” —John 3:3, NIV.

Who’s the liar? Voices today (though this is not a new phenomena) tell us that everyone is going to heaven, that hell is what we make it here on earth. Neither of these statements is true. The book of John alone is full of verses that hammer away at the misguided thought that in the end love will prevail (i.e. John 1:12, 3:16, 17, 5:24).

Love does prevail—for those who confess their sins and throw themselves on God’s mercy for forgiveness and restoration.

Do those who so cavalierly dismiss the statements of Scripture and the clear teaching of Jesus even wonder what else might be a lie? If they can so quickly say that Jesus didn’t mean what He said about salvation, what else didn’t the Lord mean?

Perhaps He also didn’t really mean to say that there is a literal heaven, since there doesn’t seem to be a literal hell.

Perhaps He didn’t mean that He was literally the Son of God. Perhaps He was, like some say, only A son of God.

Perhaps He didn’t really die on a cross. Maybe it’s only a story.

Maybe there is no God apart from the one we invent to explain the unexplainable or upon whom we can lay the blame when things don’t work out the way we’d like.

Perhaps there is no salvation for any of us, and it isn’t heaven that awaits us but hell—a real place far worse that we could ever create for ourselves on earth.

Where does the truth end and the lie begin? Who has the temerity or the arrogance to decide?

You see, despite popular opinion, we can’t pick and choose which of God’s words we are going to accept as “gospel.” It’s all or nothing. To do otherwise leaves us back in the dark ages of the Old Testament when “every man did (or thought) as he saw fit” —Judges 17:6, NIV.

When Nicodemus came to Jesus on that fateful night he came as a seeker of truth. And Jesus did not disappoint him. The Scriptures tell us that anyone who seeks God will be found by God (1 Chronicles 28:9). The Lord didn’t put a loving arm around the teacher’s shoulder and reassure him that everything would be just fine, that he was okay just the way he was and that his passage to heaven was a certainty. He told Nicodemus that the Spirit of God had to remake him from the inside out (John 5-8) through faith in the Son of God who would die to provide forgiveness for his sins (John 3:16), that only through believing in this Messiah could he escape the condemnation that awaits all who refuse to come to Christ (John 3:18-20).

The truth doesn’t change no matter how much we might wish it to do so. Matthew describes that truth in terrifying simplicity: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and few find it" (Matthew 7:13, 14, NIV).

Sounds pretty literal to me.

Comments

  1. You are right...the truth never changes. It is what it is.

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  2. Where does the truth end and the lie begin? Who has the temerity or the arrogance to decide?

    The truth begins with Jesus. Not with Noah. Not with Moses. With Jesus. All that came before him were thieves. And after him, comes the wolf in sheeps clothing, more false prophets who are also thieves.

    Jesus had the temerity and arrogance to decide which words were true and which were false.

    It is written "An eye for an eye" but Jesus did not believe that was the truth. He taught us to revenge not evil.

    It is written "sound a trumpet when you gather to give alms" but Jesus did not believe that was the truth. He taught us to give our alms in secret and not in an assembly to be seen of men.

    It is written "build me an altar and sacrifice upon it" but Jesus did not believe that was the truth. He taught us that God loves mercy and abhors sacrifice.

    It is written "love your friends and hate your enemies" but Jesus did not believe that was the truth. He taught us to love our enemies and do good to them.

    Jesus did not believe the torah was the inerrant word of god. He knew what it was: the tree of the knowledge of Good (TO-wb) and Evil (RA) TO-RA. Good and Evil. He did not make it his food. Neither did he eat the two stones of the covenant for his bread.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So true--we can't pick and choose what suits us. All or nothing--says it all.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good words, Lynda, thanks for sharing truth.

    ReplyDelete

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