Heaven or hell, the choice is yours
Today’s passage brings up some uncomfortable questions. Am I one of the ones that is
perishing? Has Satan blinded me so that I cannot ever see the light of salvation? Am I chosen by God to be firewood of hell or is it my choice to end up as such? These types of questions stick in the craw of many people who do not believe in God or the teaching of the Bible. Its narrow exclusive teaching of heaven rebuffs free thinkers of this pluralistic age who say all roads lead to God. Here Paul puts it quite bluntly in vs 3 and 4. This brings out the age-old excuse which people cling to; “How can a God of love send anyone to hell?” I will answer that question with a question just as equally valid. “How can a perfectly holy, righteous, and just God turn a blind eye to sin and allow any sinner off the hook and into heaven?” The answer is easy; he cannot. He is the God of perfect love but also of perfect justice. One attribute cannot outweigh the other otherwise he would not be a perfect God. Thus because of his perfect love for you, he took the punishment of death himself for each and every sinner of earth through Christ’s crucifixion. Now the only reason people go to hell is because they do not want to admit their sin and receive the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the Truth and the light of the world
2 Cor4 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the Truth. Truth emanates from my person. Without me there is no truth. Satan is the Father of lies because there is no truth in him. When he speaks, it is from his nature. Anything and everything outside of my Word is one of his lies. When I speak it is from my nature. When you know me, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. I sent my Son as the perfect testimony to the truth. My Truth is light because it can show you the only way to heaven.
I AM the Light of the World. This world is darkness where people stumble around in their relativism. Nobody can lead you properly because in their minds there are no wrong answers. People are blind trying to lead other blind people. When you come to my Son Jesus, you will see clearly the light of my truth. You will see me and my Spirit will show you the truth.
God loves you and gave you the choice to walk away
It is easy to say that Christianity is narrow-minded and rightfully so. The Bible does claim exclusivity to the true knowledge of how to get to heaven. This is no wonder, because Jesus himself claimed to be the way, the door, the narrow road, the truth, the life, the light of the world, and that there is salvation in no other name given among men except Jesus. Not Mohammad, not Confusions, not Buddha, not any number of spirits, guides, mediums, numerous supposed Christian religions, or men of various kinds of cloths. But think about it for a minute. We all claim to be free agents; consequently as such we need choices. This is why God allows Satan to remain to lead people away from him. Without our free will choice there is no true ability to show God that we do or do not love him and there is no way for God to show us that he loves us without allowing us to leave. In Adam’s day it was easy he had two trees to choose from. Choose dependence upon God in the tree of life, or choose to be your own god to decide good and evil for yourself and die separated from God. Not much has changed since then. Every religion, philosophy, atheist, and evolutionist offers the same thing but with different packaging – self autonomy to determine your own destiny. In this day and age of post modernism and tolerance, (tolerance for everything but Christianity) there are no wrong answers and all roads lead to God (delusion). Jesus Christ is God in flesh and came to provide us the true road back to God acceptably. And the world hates him and anyone who claims to speak for him. The choice is yours. Come let us reason together says the Lord.
Satan is the enemy of God and hates you
Satan doesn’t want you to get off the hook that easy so he blinds your minds with the foibles of religion or the razzmatazz of evolution (not science, but evolution) and the hocus pocus of humanistic philosophies; anything other than the simple message of Jesus as revealed in the word of God, see vs 1 and 2. He doesn’t allow anyone to enjoy God in truth for eternity. Therefore, of course Satan would have you blind and stumbling in the dark the rest of your days. Misery loves company. Since he is going down, he wants to take as many people with him. The solution is to read God’s Word at face value and God’s light will shine through, see vs 6. Just remember: The Old Testament reveals God’s perfect righteousness and man’s abject sinfulness. It gives the history of why he chose Abraham’s family to be a channel for the whole world to receive the Christ. The New Testament gives the answer to man’s sinful condemned condition in the work of Christ as described in the Gospels. The Epistles show the power available only to true believers to live the Christian life. In other words, the Old Testament is to help you see that you are lost, the Gospels gets you saved, and the Epistles teach you what to do with that new life.
More on being blind
No one in the West can claim that they do not have the light of the Gospel revealed to them. If you are not saved by now, then it is not God’s fault. You are just like Pharaoh who had God’s word given to him, and he saw God’s mighty power revealed to him but still he chose to not let the people go. If you read the story, three times during the plagues from Ex 8 through chapter 9 Pharaoh hardened his own heart before God shut the door on him to change his mind any more in Chapter 10. God told Moses that he would harden Pharaohs heart and he did. Pharaoh cannot say that God didn’t give him enough opportunity, he just didn’t know when God would put his foot down. You don’t either. When God gives you opportunity and you do not respond, Satan will take away the seed planted. There will come a point at which time you do not know when, and it will be too late for you. This is why Jesus said, now is the accepted time, today is the day of salvation. Don’t put it off, or like Pharaoh, you will be hardened.
More to come,