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Politically Incorrect

by Kim Harrington

 

    "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

John 17:3

     A spirit of tolerance and pluralism prevails in the modern American religious scene.  To assert that your views are right, suggesting that others are wrong, is considered the worst kind of bigotry, a total breech of spiritual etiquette.  Values are relative, morals are decidedly not in vogue--in fact, the only thing that is widely agreed upon as wrong is a person who claims to be right!

     Unfortunately, a straightforward reading of the New Testament, or even the briefest examination of the teachings of Jesus Christ, flies in the face of such politically correct rhetoric.  Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father except through me." Acts 4:12 states, "Nor is there salvation in any other , for there is no other name [besides Jesus of Nazareth] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

     Further, the Word of God states unequivocally that Christianity is right and all others are wrong, that other efforts at understanding God, though sometimes well-intentioned, are nevertheless idolatry and the worship of demons and fallen angels--God's enemies.  Those who do not receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are lost and, quite literally, bound for Hell when they leave this life.

     Even many Christians find this difficult to accept. But it's what the Bible teaches, and if we claim to be Bible-believing Christians, we must accept everything the Bible teaches, even if we don't understand it completely. We cannot simply sift and sort through the teachings of Scripture, deciding for ourselves what we will believe and what we will not--that is tantamount to designing our own personal religion, proclaiming ourselves the final authority when it comes to spiritual truth.

     It is true that biblical Christianity shares many of the moral values of other world religions. Mahatma Gandhi made the statement that He didn't care whether Jesus actually existed or not--to him, the Sermon on the Mount would still be the Word of God.  Gandhi was a Hindu, but the values expressed in Jesus' most famous speech appealed to him. But Christianity is much more than a value system, or a set of morals to be followed.

     Christianity is, at its core, a relationship with a personal God.  Morals and values, though important, are not the crux of the matter.  The real issue is, "do you know Jesus personally? are you on speaking terms with God the Father? does He know you and accept you?"  Look again at our opening text from St. John, chapter 17... "this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  This is what it means to be a Christian.  It's not about church membership or obeying the Ten Commandments, or even loving your neighbor as yourself.  The Bible indeed demands these of us, but above all we must know God, personally. Morality, in order to be truly Christian, must be birthed in a personal relationship with God, and Jesus Christ, the Savior.

     When you really believe in Jesus--that He is God in the flesh, come to save you by His death and resurrection--and commit yourself to that belief by repenting, deciding to change your heart and life around, then the Holy Spirit comes into you and makes you born again, born from above.  He imparts a new spark of life in you that wasn't there before. You then have peace with God, the assurance that your sins are forgiven and that you have been adopted into His family.   This is the relationship that saves, that keeps you from receiving the punishment that you had previously faced, an eternity in the fires of Hell.  Only those who know God personally, through faith in His Son Jesus Christ, will avoid that terrible place and be ushered into Heaven.

 

Copyright 1998 Kim Harrington, Masterbuilder Ministries. All rights reserved.

 

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