You can get a PhD in Bible study but you don’t need a PhD to understand the gospel. Matter of fact, one of the largest reasons many people err with the scriptures (other than a blatant lack of study) is due to over-thinking them!
The existence of sin, the reality of the judgment and the possibility of salvation – which are all revealed through the cross of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:18, Acts 24:24-25) – isn’t hard to understand.
What muddies the clear waters of the gospel are “glasses” that refuse to see what God’s word reveals. These glasses can be political, intellectual, cultural, financial or denominational in nature, but regardless of the glasses’ nature, the result is the same … a departure from the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:11-25). And this is why, when it comes to the essence of the gospel that God wants us to know about, the aforementioned glasses are excuses (and not reasons) for why we choose the wisdom of man instead of doing what God has commanded to be done.
“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4 NKJV)
Thinking about I, me and my too much leads to an “I think” way of life.
The “rich man” of Luke 12:31-21 thought he could take it easy after taking care of himself.
He thought wrong!
His body was his, his choices were his, and his one life to live was his – but his soul paid the price of his myopic thinking.
The “I think” way of life often takes the “captain’s hat” off of truth and places it on our fickle head. The obvious problem with that course of thought is our ship will sink every time. That’s because the aforementioned hat belongs to Jesus. If we keep our eyes on him, we’ll find a lot less of I, me and my in our eye.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:9-10 NKJV)
Every generation has its “Frank Sinatra’s.”
Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with singing talent and everything to do with the mindset which says, “It’s my life, I’ll live it my way!”
This mindset is right and wrong all at the same time.
The mindset is right in that your life is your life, your body is your body, your choice is your choice, and it’s all only going to happen once.
The mindset is wrong in that your soul is not your soul – it belongs to the one who gave it to us, and the choices we make are our responsibility:
- “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7 NKJV)
- “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV)
- “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV)
You see, our life is our life, our body is our body, our choice is our choice, but because we don’t own ourselves will we have to answer for the way we used these one-time privileges.
At the end of the day, it is our life and we can do what we want – but don’t forget that eternal life belongs to God and he always gets the final word.
“Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment.” (Ecclesiastes 11:9 NKJV)
Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.
Here are the topics that you will find:
- Someone is Watching You! (Carl Garner)
- “Consumer Reports on Churches” (Carl Garner)
- “If I Had Only Known…” (Carl Garner)
- No “Give Up” in Him (Carl Garner)
- Faith and Its Relationship To God’s Existence (Carl Garner)
- How Are Your “Public Relations?” (Carl Garner)
- Growing Old Without Giving Up (Carl Garner)
Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.
You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.
Copyright © 2015 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.
This story: The problem with calling out ‘stolen valor’: What if you’re wrong?
Reminded me of this proverb: “To give an answer before hearing is a foolish thing and a cause of shame.” (Proverbs 18:13)
Parents can do it to children, children can do it parents, friends can do it to friends, and strangers can do it to strangers. And as much as I hate to admit it, I haven’t always been on the right side of the smart rule for life.
Asking someone else and letting them answer for their selves always carries less risk than answering for them, so no matter how passionate we are about our cause, let’s do our best to collect the facts in all situations lest we present assumptions as evidence only to be found guilty of doing something that we wouldn’t want done to us.