DRAWING NEAR – PART 14
WE MUST TRUST – BEFORE WE CAN FOLLOW
“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth. That they all may be ONE; as Thou Father, art in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be ONE in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me” (John 17:17, 21). “Thy Word is true from the beginning and every one of thy righteous judgments endures forever” (Psalm 119:160).
I really had not planned to carry this subject further but my personality is wired to pursue an issue until the understanding becomes more clear. The last two articles have stirred some controversy but it was not my intention to offend. If declaring that God’s Word is absolute truth offends anyone then the problem is not with the messenger but rather with the message. This is NOT about who on the earth is correct but rather we are pointing toward God as being the ONLY one who is! We notice in John the seventeenth chapter and verse 14 that Jesus is talking with the Father and says, “I have given them [the Lord’s followers] THY Word and the world has hated them because they are NOT of the world – even as I am not of the world.” This is a very important verse because it identifies the “world” as those who do not see or comprehend spiritual truth. The lost have not been transformed into a new spirit that has the capability to receive understanding from God because they do not know Him. A lost person bases their faith on ideas that seem logical and usually build their life upon a philosophy that comes from this earthly realm. This “hatred” for Godly truth is imbedded within the depths of spiritual rebellion and is enmity against what is holy. All humans are born into this condition and quickly learn how to adapt to this environment that is perfectly suitable to this natural way of thinking. It is only when the Word of God is heard by the listener and it “ignites” the fire of spiritual conviction can the gospel penetrate the conscience. If this “stirring” is allowed to have its way, the power of God’s compassion will DRAW the lost soul into the light of His love and demand a decision to follow or turn away. This free-will principal that is a part of God’s divine reality is an opportunity to embrace His grace for those who are hopelessly lost.
I watched a documentary the other night that followed several individuals as they were seeking out their spiritual path. There was a young man that had searched for truth and studied a few religions before finally accepting Allah and the Muslim faith. He talked about the peace and happiness he now had within his mind and he was convinced that he had finally found the perfect path to spiritual contentment. He went to Mecca and took part in the Muslim ritual that is an obligation for every person who seriously follows the teachings Islam. The Hajj is associated with the life of Islamic prophet Muhammad from the 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Abraham. The idea is for every follower to walk around the tomb of Mohammad 7 times as a ceremonial tribute to their allegiance and devotion to Allah. This television program presented an aerial view of this ceremony and it was amazing how many people come there and believe this is God. This is a faith built upon a dead man where Christianity is a faith built upon an empty tomb and the only truth whose God rose from the dead and returned to heaven as the King of all kings. When we see something like this we cannot help but feel sorry for them and have a burden for the many million souls that are lost. I realize that many people do not like the sound of this because it sounds like a person is bragging that they are right and everyone else is wrong. However, allow me to clarify once again that I am not shining the spotlight on what an individual believes but rather who God IS! When I say there is but one true God and HE is absolute truth, this does not “glorify” His followers but rather they bow before Him in worship because of His great love and mercy on their souls. Everyone has a choice to believe as much of this truth as they choose but this also does not exalt a human in any way just because they are trying to follow Him. The attention is focused on the one who is truth and will judge everyone and everything else that is trying to be equal with Him.
It is estimated there are 1.6 billion Muslims on earth today and is also noted to be the fastest growing religion in the world. Buddhism is estimated at a half billion and is divided into different philosophical views including; Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana Tantric, Tibetan, Han, Taoism and Confucianism just to name a few within this particular way of thinking. It is not called a religion because there is not a Savior that requires faith. Buddhism is all about obtaining knowledge from a wise teacher and using that knowledge to live according to your own strength. With all of the hundreds if not thousands of imaginations pertaining to the spiritual world, we can see that in just these 2 examples of so-called truth, the world functions in a state of darkness. I am not arguing and criticizing people because of their choices but only stating a fact that the God of the Bible is the only “light” of the world. The world is NOT on one huge pathway to heaven! We are not like the Olympics where every nation carries their flag and is respected and honored as being equal. God is a very strict Lord and His salvation will be received His way. Our heavenly Father will not allow anyone to worship and follow another god and then count it unto them as righteousness. He will not allow any person to give their heart to another belief system and serve a religious tradition no matter how holy it may seem and welcome them into heaven with open arms. Jesus, in Matthew 23:27 confronted the religious priest in His day and told them; “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like white washed sepulchers [tombs], which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” This is a clear example of how a religion is NOT accepted just because humans are devoted to it. Those who challenge the belief that Jesus is the only way to the Father, do not have an issue concerning tolerance but with the spiritual authority of Christ. Promoters of religious pluralism do not have a problem accepting absolutes when it comes to breathing, following law enforcement instructions, highway detours, medical treatments or loving their children. They are perfectly willing to accept the “one way” concept when it is in their best interest or they have complete TRUST in a authority they believe is absolutely true.