Saved? – Well, Sort of…
I know there aren’t any of us who know everything about God – that’s the exclusive domain of God, but it really irks me when people who have recently “sort of” come to the a belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior pontificate on theological doctrines, the promises of God and write articles that they post on the internet, presuming the public will view them as some sort of theological expert. Many times, these types of articles are written to express a point of view that is anti-biblical at best; and we all know that if we read stuff on the internet, it must be true. Right? NOT!!!
I recently came across several of these articles that I just couldn’t believe. I was so incensed that I was reading out loud to Janet and she actually asked me to stop as the articles were so outrageous. She was worried that she wouldn’t get to sleep if she heard any more. I was pretty much in the same boat but it was difficult to put the stuff down. After all, I was worried that people would believe this drivel and undermine their own faith walk.
To make matters worse, the “theology” was very thin at best and the person professed a belief in Jesus, sort of… That’s right – they sort of believed… kind of… on occasion… and they certainly didn’t believe many stories from the Bible, such as the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. I won’t even mention some of the other stuff that they were doubting in the Bible.
So allow me to be perfectly blunt here. Changing the Bible to fit your belief system is inherently wrong. If we don’t understand something in the Scriptures it is because we don’t have enough wisdom, or training, or divine intercession. It’s not because God made a mistake! God is perfect – omniscient (all-knowing). omnipresent (everywhere at once) and omnipotent (all powerful). That doesn’t leave any room for error, does it?
And a belief in God, and in Jesus, is an on or off switch. You either believe or you don’t. There’s no sliding here where you believe some days and don’t believe other days. It doesn’t work that way. Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world – that means everyone – past, present and future human beings. We have free will and that means we can accept the gift of eternal life or reject it. It is our choice. And once you believe, you are on the bus, heaven bound for an eternity with God.
Admittedly, I am very conservative in my theology. I don’t believe that the Bible has various interpretations throughout history. In fact, I spent years in seminary trying to understand even a small portion of what God reveals to us through His Scriptures. And that is an awesome responsibility that I don’t take lightly. I pray that God will forgive any mistakes I have made in my teaching and I believe there are many absolutes that aren’t subject to change at the whim of mankind.
I believe that the Bible was written by human authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I believe in the story of Adam and Eve, the inerrancy of Scripture and that since God used human authors, there are accepted linguistic tools that were used to assist in the understanding of God’s Word. I believe in the deity of Christ, that He died on the cross for our sins, the Virgin birth, the death and resurrection of Jesus and many other doctrines and promises of God.
Furthermore, I believe that the Bible has ONE intended interpretation but many applications based on where someone is in their life and in their spiritual maturity. God, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, will reveal more of His Word to us as we grow in our relationship with Him. So something we read today may resonate with us or illuminate us in ways that we weren’t aware of before. And you can’t “sort of” believe in God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Simple as that. You believe or you don’t. Period.
Yes, this takes a step of faith. It’s not even a leap. You can’t scientifically prove the existence of God. At some point, we must accept it – or not. We don’t see Him or touch Him – and that is one of the great mysteries of God. Our verse for tonight comes from the author of Hebrews. We are told, in Hebrews 11:1-3, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”
My encouragement tonight is that God wants a deeper relationship with each of us. If you are on the fence about whether God exists, open your heart to the leading of the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that we will all continue to study, learn, pray and see how God applies His Scripture in our lives. And remember, God doesn’t make mistakes! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…