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Showing posts with label truth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label truth. Show all posts

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Front doors do matter

  I just got done sweeping on the front entryway into our house and it got me to thinking.   We put a lot of importance on our front doorway.   First we spend money to make a nice flat and level concrete surface for our visitors to walk on because we don't want them to trip or get their feet muddy while coming to our house.   Some people even put solar powered lights to illuminate the entryway at night so it's easy to see.   We also put a light near the door so they can see where the door is and where we have put the doorbell for them to ring.   We put plants and flowers near the door as well to make their coming here pleasant.  We also put a seat near the door for older visitors to sit at while they wait for us to come to the door to greet them.

 

   Front doors do matter!

   Today, many say that there is more than ONE way to heaven.  All that matters is you are sincere in your beliefs and want to help others.  But Jesus says in  John 14:6
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
and in John 10:9 he also says,
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
  My argument with the "All ways go to heaven" crowd is simply this:  "Why would God go through all the trouble of building a front door then?".    The issue is that all other "teachers or prophets" (such as Confucius, Buddha, Mohammad) just appear on the seen out of no where.  No prophecy to predict their coming.  No promises from God to keep.  No effort on God's part to prepare their coming.   Jesus, on the other hand, doesn't just pop on the scene to announce God's grace and forgiveness out of nowhere.  Instead, God works over thousands of years and his plan takes literally thousands of years and the pain, suffering and death of many of his servants to bring it all about.  Abraham is told to go live as a tent-dweller and wait for God to give him a son in his old age.  Joseph is sold into slavery to Egypt and suffers imprisonment for obeying God.  Moses leaves his lofty position as next in line of Pharaoh to lead his people out of Egypt.  Elijah is chased from town to town by worshipers of Baal and forced to live in the desert.   Jeremiah is thrown down a well for his denunciation of idol worship and ignoring God. Daniel is thrown in a lions den for praying to his God and not praying to the king.   If God was going to allow ANY route into heaven, then he wasted all his time and energy with sending his own Son Jesus to bear all of our sins.

   If we invite someone over we EXPECT  them to use the front door.  If they decide to use the window or the back door we would probably call the police to report an intruder.  If we used the same "all ways lead to heaven" argument, you would be confronted with policemen who would tell you that the intruder is just a visitor who chose to use an alternate means of entering your house and since there is no one acceptable way to enter a house there is nothing illegal about it.  You would argue that you DO care about how a person enters your house!

  God does care about how you enter too.

   In the story about the Wedding Feast, Jesus says that at the end there was found a man who was not wearing wedding clothes.  The King asks him, "Friend, why are you not wearing the wedding clothes I have provided?".   At this the man was speechless and he was thrown outside.  That is how those who come to God but want to have nothing with the forgiveness he has so graciously provided through Jesus his only Son who died on the cross for them.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

We don't know what we are doing!

   Never before did a verse from the Bible become more clear to me than when I had to deal with a friend suffering from mental illness.  Several years a friend of mine had been rehired to work with us.  We had worked together back in the 90's and he was a genius to work along side. I was excited to work again with him along with 2 other of my friends.  He had left the company and worked away from us for several years and we had lost touch.  We had a benign interview with him (we were required to do it) assuming we knew he would be a great fit for our team (we had worked with him for several years so we had no reason to believe he wouldn't be).  Well after a couple of weeks we realized we had made a mistake.  Our friend was not showing up to work or for meetings.   He would ramble on in emails about nonsensical things and would make odd conversations on the phone.  I finally took it upon myself to go find out what he was up to and went to the apartment he was staying at.   I knew from the moment I walked in that I was in the presence of someone with a mental disorder.  The place looked like something out of the movie "A Beautiful Mind" with papers everywhere and printouts tacked to the wall.   There were pizza boxes and chinese food boxes on the floor and I could tell he was living on Coca-Cola as there were dozens of empty 2-liter bottles of it everywhere on the floor.

   I tried desperately to reach him but he was out of his mind.  I could not reason with him on anything.  He was convinced that he had the answer to all our companies problems if we would just give him a few more weeks.   It was the saddest thing I had ever witnessed in my life.  Here was a good friend of mine who had been a great engineer at one time now reduced to a crazy person who was convinced in his own mind that everyone else had the problems and not him.

   When Jesus hung on the cross, he said to the people who put him there,
"Father! Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing!" 
   He was very much like me trying to reach my lost friend.  In his case, we are very much like my friend.  Our minds are so twisted by our sinful flesh that everything to us is really upside down.   We claim that everyone ELSE (including God himself) has the problems and we are completely right in our beliefs.  God tries to reason with us and help us to see how much we need him to fix our minds and our souls.   We cannot do it on our own.  Like my friend, our minds cannot fix themselves.  They are like broken computer processors that think there are problems everywhere in the PC but the real problem is with the processor.  In our view,  we think we have it all figured out.  We know what is best and what is not.

Adultery?            That's just a new loving relationship being formed to replace a broken one.
Homosexuality?  That's just an alternative lifestyle.
Pornography?      That's just self-expression
Lying?                 That's just an alternative form of the truth.
Stealing?             That's just an attempt to reapportion wealth from those who don't need it.
Intoxication?       That's just acceptable form of release from the cares of the world.
Abortion?            That's just fixing a female medical problem.

   This brings to mind another verse in the Bible.

"There is a way that appears to be right,
 but in the end it leads to death."   
-- Proverbs 14:12

Only God's Spirit and Love can bring true healing to our minds.  If only we will let him



POST NOTE: my friend did get help in the end and is doing much better today