Sunday, September 11, 2005

# 73: Two Gospel Messages

In America, we have two main Gospel messages. One of the messages is extremely prolific and popular, and it tells us what we WANT to hear: a feel-good, happy-go-lucky message. Its door is wide; it opens onto a broad road that leads to destruction, and many will travel on it. The other Gospel message, which most have never heard before, is unpopular; it tells us what we NEED to hear. It is hard-edged and takes much effort to obey. It has a narrow door, and the road it takes us on is narrow, thorn- laden, and few find it. Are you and I one of those few? If we are, I guarantee this blog will be a treasure chest of spiritual gold, without a word concerning that happy-go-lucky religious entertainment message. But, if we are one of the happy-go-lucky crowd; this blog will annoy us to no end, although we may be the ones who need to hear it most. (Matthew 7:13-14 paraphrased.)

This parable was given to us by Jesus because He is attempting to tell us that it is so easy to do the things that are pleasing to our human nature, which are contrary to what is good and right in God’s sight. But it is extremely difficult to continually live in a manner that is in conflict with doing what comes naturally. Living as we are commanded by God is accompanied by a bittersweet joy—bitter because it grievously pains us to see the multitudes that are being deceived, and joyful to know there are a few living life as it was meant to be lived (by following that narrow road). It seems only natural for atheists to travel that broad road, but it is heart-wrenching to see those who THINK they are on that narrow road because of their religious affiliation, but are actually on the wrong boat going in the wrong direction.

The problem is that many people love to lie to themselves and then believe the lie. For that reason, it is almost impossible to convince those on the wrong road that they are on the wrong road. Even if they suspect that they may be wrong, as humans, it is extremely difficult to change, even when they know a change is in order. That can be called “Between a rock and a hard place.” To know the right way and then not have the willpower or desire to change is the plight of many, many intelligent and good people. That is a crying shame. Also, there are many atheists and skeptics that are very good, kind, loving, and generous people. We must remember that hell—whatever it will consist of—will be full of good people that have been deceived, or are outright unbelievers, along with the overtly evil ones. However, being just good is not good enough to be in the company of God. To share in God’s abode, we must have Christ-type goodness, which consists of BELIEF and OBEDIENCE to all that is commanded in the Christian Bible (the New Testament). And even with that all-important belief and obedience, it is God’s grace (undeserved kindness) that allows us to share in His Heaven. No more, no less.

1 comment:

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