Saturday, October 22, 2016

Some things, you cannot predict.... most assuredly can.

I was fortunate to teach middle school for 34 years in Worthington, Ohio. When I mention that my students were twelve and thirteen years old, many people express sorrow, but I really loved those young people.

It always amazed me how teachers and other adults were so quick to predict their futures. This one will never go to college. This one will go to Princeton. This one will be a doctor. These predictions were, and proved to be, at best, guesses that often did not turn out as expected.

The same was true of people when I was in high school. Yearbooks offered predictions based solely on what peers thought of folks based on popularity or success at age 18. I don't know about any of you, but I was a total nonsensical silly person at that age. My yearbook photo could have included the caption: 'Headed nowhere in a hurry!' 

So all of these kinds of predictions are doomed to be soundless and often incorrect. 

There is, however, one area of prediction that is solid and true, and it is a prediction that has eternal ramifications. There is only one way for any person created by God to find salvation and eternal life: Jesus Christ. Anyone who would choose to ignore this truth is operating on a dangerous path of ignorance, one that can only lead to an eternity apart from God, from Heaven and from many loved ones, forever.

Forever is a really long time. Many are repelled by the notion of Hell. Many churches absolutely ignore even mentioning such a place. People don't want to hear that God could allow for such a destination. God, however, works endlessly to try and make this reality a non-factor in our lives. He makes Himself known through the beauty of His creation, through the relationships that He created and through His words in the Bible and His Word who came into this dimension with a message of forgiveness and love. 

It really comes down to a choice each person makes. Reject the plain truth, available to all, or accept it as a free gift of grace. The Holy Spirit will take care of the rest. He will guide and transform you from the day you call on the name of Christ Jesus.

It's an air-tight, one hundred percent prediction that how you choose will be a decision you will live with long after you leave this planet. PLEASE. 

Praise our God!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Saved by God....

From God.

Salvation. It begins and ends with Jesus. It centers around the cross and the fact that we are ruled by a Just and Compassionate God. 

Who needs salvation? WE ALL DO! To go through life ignorant of the fact that we are separated from God by our sin nature is, well, dangerous on an eternal level. Somehow, we all need to be reached, as it were, by God's grace and reborn as adopted children of God. We can want this to happen, but we cannot make it happen.

So what, exactly, are we being saved from? GOD. Yes, it is true that a just and holy God can accept absolutely no sin whatsoever. He is opposed to evil because in Him there is no darkness. Even that small little inconspicuous sin is enough to alienate God from ourselves, and that is not a place where we want to be.

So, as crazy and marvelous as it seems, only God can save us from...God. He has given us one way and that is through the redeeming blood of Christ Jesus. It was a plan hatched before the beginning of time because nothing really ever surprises God. Love the quote: Did it ever occur to you that nothing occurs to God? He knew that man would fall to temptation and that a second Adam would have to succeed where to first failed.

The blood sprinkled on the door frames at Passover was a foreshadowing of the need for blood to wash away sins and keep God from exercising His wrath. The many many animal sacrifices expected in the Old Testament were, again, foreshadowing the need for a once and all blood sacrifice that would truly provide a balancing of the ledger, a propitiation for our sins.

Will all people be saved from the wrath of God when the final judgement occurs? No. Only those who call on the name of the Lord, Jesus, can be saved by the righteousness from Christ. Are you among them? Knees, prayer, repentance.  There will come a time that is too late. No second chances. No do-overs. Please. Listen to the quiet calling. He loves His creation and His creatures.

Praise our God!