Friday, January 23, 2015

Shall We Embrace Worldly Diversity, or Embrace Christ and Eternal Life?

Shall We Embrace Worldly Diversity, or Embrace Christ and Eternal Life?

by Craig M. Szwed

We can scour the Bible's Old and New Testaments in search of consistent justification for the worldly tolerance of diverse cultures, opinions, and behaviors, yet, we shall not find God accepting any worldly program that does not submit to Him and His ways. While Scripture does allow for the free will of humanity to make choices, still God calls all of us to examine all things according to His Word and His point of view. If one prayerfully reads His Word and questions God about His clear intents in the Bible, from the "ten commandments" in Exodus to the New Testament books of John, Romans, and Revelation, one can easily see the eternal and temporal life to which God calls all souls, and that that life God wants for each human being is only in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

It is easy, for those who would ignore or excuse sin, to argue that God could not possibly mean that there is only one way of obtaining eternal life, yet, from Genesis through Revelation, every prophet, apostle, and Jesus Christ himself, all reiterated the same theme of salvation and godly living, eon after eon. God has assured us, in Scripture, that His Word, in one form or another, has gone throughout all people and nations of this world. The very first chapter of the book of Romans glaringly establishes that God is not cruel nor mean for the eternal punishments that He has prescribed on our sin, but rather, He shows us that we humans are the ones who choose our destiny and eternal destination for ourselves, as our thoughts and acts show that we have either positively accepted, or else repulsed, God's Holy Spirit who calls us to "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ". God knows, and has known, from before the foundation of His Creation, those souls who will or will not accept His Christ. He alone knows every step and decision we will decide to make, for good or for evil. Yet, He, alone, loves us so much that He still permits us our free will with which to make our choices, not forcing us into any earthly or eternal relationship that we do not desire of our own accord. That does not mean that He and His Spirit will not bang on our door of awareness, or convene events for or against our personal attempts at living for ourselves, as He tries to waken us to try to gain our attention, that we might see what He sees about life and our urgent necessity for His plan of salvation.

God with us, Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, knows all those who will one day choose Him and His ways, and all heaven rejoices over each sinner who repents and receives the living Christ as Savior. The sinfully-minded powers of this world, on the other hand, yearn for our acceptance and our company, that we might perish eternally with them. They work against us, drawing us toward them, hoping that we NOT be saved by Christ. They strive desperately to encourage us to push away the living Christ of God. They do their work, in its diverse, self-imposed alienation from God, so that they can continue to try to feel self-justified. And, they do feel self-justified, if we go along with them, instead urging them to accept God's exclusive call and exclusive salvation in Christ. The world thinks us fools and crazy whenever followers of Jesus Christ do not follow the lusts, aspirations, and justifications this world, as God says in 1 Peter 4:1-5, or Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, and in many such passages.

What one thing must we trust and do, above all else? God says we must accept and surrender to Jesus, the Christ of God. Following that decision, how will we, then, decide to live our lives once we allow God's Christ to save us from our sin, IF we decide to accept Him on His terms? God says we must allow the works of God to be lived through us by the Holy Spirit of God, rather than just going about establishing our own righteousness or our own plans for life. To accomplish all things in accordance with His will for us, God has given us His Word, the Bible, His owner's manual for our lives. He has also put His Holy Spirit into everyone who has accepted Christ as Savior. He helps and guides us according to the Word of God, the Bible, illuminating what we read therein, showing us how to apply God's Word to our daily lives and decisions. He keeps us in His salvation, but living the Christian life is a mutual relationship and effort in which we participate with God (as condensed in Ephesians 6:10-18). What we decide, of our own free will, shall determine our eternal destiny and the fruit of our lives, whether our lives be to God's glory or an eternal waste. I hope and pray each reader will choose God's singular goal for us to be in Jesus and that we each, then, walk with Him in the ways of Christ:

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