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TRUST JESUS TODAY
His eyes flashed at me. "How can you be so narrow-minded? There’s a whole world out there that you know nothing about. Let me tell you about the real world."
And he proceeded to regale me with all the atrocities that he believed canceled the message of love, peace and forgiveness through Jesus that I had just explained. Even though I assured him I knew much about such things, he continued to act as though I was somehow naïve, and therefore that’s why I believed.
Anyone who has been a Christian for long will recognize this attitude. It seems they believe only a small number of superstitious people believe in God, but it’s not reality, just a euphoric ideal that’s meant to escape "the real world". They see themselves as purveyors of the broader view, that all they can see, feel and hear must be included in any statement of faith. The only truth this fellow and I agreed on was that our number is small compared to the majority, but the rest of his assumption is an illusion.
About five years ago, God gave me an illustration that explains this phenomenon quite well. Imagine our world as a flat surface, and God as a spotlight being shone straight down upon it, with all Christians congregating within that light. The reason that worldly people—those who live only by their five senses—think our view is narrow is that the light circle on the ground doesn’t look very big. They can’t see either the beam nor the source of the beam. Their perception, therefore, is two-dimensional, but if they could look up and realize there is a third dimension—see the world from God’s point of view—they would realize it’s their vision that’s limited, not ours.
They can also see people in the light, though they can’t see the light itself. And they can see some who play around the light’s edges, folks who call themselves Christians but are not really committed, those who still hold onto worldly values. They are the ones who bomb abortion clinics, draw people into cults, declare physical war on unbelievers when our war is to be spiritual only, wantonly judge others more than extend mercy, and generally soil Christ’s Name by their immoral lifestyle. Because the world cannot distinguish those NEAR the light from those IN the light, they lump everyone together, whether we’re truly peaceful or not, with disastrous results.
Because these unbelievers are in the dark, illiterate about what the Bible really says, they naturally make up their own theology as they go, just as pagans made up various gods to govern their lives. They believe theirs is the best way because, in their two-dimensional world, it seems more broad-minded to find human authorities to tell them how the world works.
Thus, daycare centers reflect the modern theory on child rearing and schooling that emphasizes human will over any moral code, even the one that has worked for millennia. With no conclusive evidence to back them up, many educators favor driving God out of an innocent child’s life, making them bitter, broken, untrusting, and likely candidates for committing crimes and joining gangs. See Luke 17:2 for a description of their fate.
Cohabiting with promiscuous intent is a commonly acclaimed lifestyle that has no affirmation in the Bible. These young people—and some older people—tend to be jaded about life in general, and in a very real sense live like animals without purpose, without direction, and without hope. As Jesus observed during His ministry, they are sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36). We are all stupid compared to God’s intellect, yet they think they know it all (Romans 1:21-23). This is the legacy of those in darkness, who gravitate toward all kinds of weak bulbs on the ground because they don’t recognize the true light from above.
In some cases, those groping in darkness thinking they’re in the light when they’re really warming up to the cultic bulb of superficiality. These are the people who have no objection to the mention of God, but they see no reason to change. "I’m a good person. I believe that God will balance my good deeds against the bad, and He will let me into Heaven. I’m doing just fine as I am, thank you very much."
So they continue to stay with the bulb; never mind that it flickers and threatens to go out once in awhile. Sometimes such people even play around the edges of the real spotlight circle on the ground, thinking they’re doing God a favor by showing up, but without a firm commitment to Jesus Christ, they’re just fooling themselves. Being around the light is not the same as being in the light. When the spotlight snaps off and takes everyone in the light with it, the edges disappear and there they sit, wondering what happened.
That’s the sorry fate of everyone who merely plays church—attending services, doing good works, volunteering in church activities—but who doesn’t receive Christ as their personal Savior. Unhappily, that will include a few pastors, board members, Sunday school teachers, and priests and nuns! Only a one-on-one relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ will include us in the light, even make us become light ourselves, so when the light switches off—there we go! Will you be ready when the light goes out?
If not, read John 3:16-21; Romans 3:23-24; 6:23; 10:9-11; and 1 John 1. God is so eager for you to join His family that He made it ridiculously easy. Confess that you’re a sinner, believe that Jesus died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. That’s it. No good deeds must be done beforehand; no cleaning up is necessary before the maid comes. Indeed, it is impossible for mere man to do enough good to please God. We’re just too corrupt by nature, and God is too holy. That’s why God set it up this way, so we can have righteousness by simply believing (Genesis 15:6), so we can experience God’s grace and mercy—both of which are, by definition, not deserved—and enjoy life as never before. And don’t be concerned that you can’t figure it out first, for if you could, you’d be God too. Read Romans 11:33-36 and 1 Corinthians 1:18-19, 25.
Find a church that preaches the Gospel, and remember that we’re all sinners saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). We still have human flaws, so expecting perfection in anyone is an illusion. But the more we let God work in our lives, the more like God we will become—the more we become "light"—no matter what we were before. Even the most heinous murderers (like the Apostle Paul) and the most horrific sinners (like King David) find righteousness and forgiveness in endless abundance when they hook up with Jesus Christ.
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2).
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