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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

3 Verses We Don't Believe...

A few years ago, at one of the teen camps, I preached a message titled "Three Verses Most Christians Don't Really Believe". The Holy Spirit empowered in unique ways, and hours were spent following the messages discussing how to apply the content to real life. 

What were the verses?

The first was Matthew 25:46, "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." In days in which annihilation and universalism are being promoted as viable alternatives even in "evangelical" circles, credence is given to the following from Kenneth Kantzer, "I give serious consideration; indeed, I must confess, I am deeply impressed by the arguments of brilliant thinkers. But what do these men know? What are the data on which they base their judgments? When it comes to the important question, "what is man's destiny after this life?" I prefer Jesus Christ, the God-man as my authority to Paul Tillich and Rudolf Bultmann. And above all , lest you misunderstand me, I prefer Jesus Christ to my own blind human guesses based on woefully inadequate data." Bottom line...if hell isn't real and eternal, Jesus lied. But He didn't and doesn't lie, and He would really rather die than live without us. Why? Because he loves you; but He doesn't love you any more than He loves the homosexual, the child molester, the drunk, the bad relative, which leads to the second verse most Christians don't really believe: 

What is that verse? Romans 10:13, "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Do we really believe anyone can get saved? Or do we believe that God will love tossing at least some people into hell...because we would? But 1 Timothy 2:4 reminds that "God wants all men to be saved, and to come to a knowledge of the truth." Ezekiel 33:11 quotes God, "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live." Second Peter 3:9 declares the Lord "is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." Are there people in your life that you have "written off" regarding salvation? You do not have that right! 

Okay, I agree with you, Jack. Now what? That leads to the third verse most Christians really don't believe, which is Acts 1:8, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be My witnesses" Aren't you thankful the first century Christians believed the verse, and "passed on" the faith to a succession of people leading to the person who introduced you to Christ? 

Don't break the chain! Be newly aware that every person in your sphere of influence will spend eternity in one of two real places, both of which Jesus said would last for the same length of time...forever! Understand that though it is true that "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him," (John 6:44) we finite beings have no idea when God is our job is to brag on Jesus to every "whosoever," regardless how hopeless they look if we lean on our own understanding. 

And we dare not wait for the "professional" Christians (i.e. pastors, evangelists, etc.) to do the task to which every Christian is called. 

I have to spot-check my heart often to see if my life evidences a genuine belief in the cited verses. As has wisely been said, "A talk talks, and a walk talks; but a walk talks louder than a talk talks." That simply means that it doesn't matter what we say, nor even what we say we believe about the Word, unless it is reflected in the way we live. 

May God help us all to live, speak and pray out of our belief system in the entire Word of God.

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