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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Truth Is in Here

Many years I did the funeral of a beloved preacher. His sons wanted to speak at that funeral. One did a magnificent job. He gave a tribute to his father that was both honoring to his father and to God. The other had gone to seminary. He used the opportunity to preach message of universalism. He told how everyone will some day go to heaven. This was not his father's message. This was one he liked and wanted to tell.

I wasn't concerned about the deceased preacher's soul. I knew people he had led to the Lord. I had conversations with him and knew he believed in Jesus personally.

I did not know his seminary educated son. I realized he was well-educated. He was better educated than me. He was an articulate speaker. Again, I would say he bested me. I wasn't about to rebuke the man. This was his father's funeral. It was not my time to straighten out his theology. It was his time to grieve. He used this grief to straighten out our theology.

Why is it that some people can get so immersed in learning and never recognize the obvious? Do you think they want things to be more complicated? Do you think they seek an understanding which will be more agreeable? Do you think that they want to absolve themselves of any responsibility?

I think it is all of the above. Some people seek an understanding which gives them the greatest ease of minds. They seek it as one who stands outside looking in. They are like the scientists who so desperately want to find life on other planets that they confabulate stories of life found by dubious observations. They say that there will be life any place they can find water. Thus, water equals to life. Thus, there is life on other planets.

I have no idea if life will be found on other planets. I personally hope so. But neither my hope or theirs' is proof that it exists. Therefore, our looking for something so diligently can easily produce the "facts" we are looking for.

Looking for a salvation which is agreeable to what you want to believe will almost always produce one that fits your wants.

But the gospel is not something that we must figure out. It is something we must recognize. We  do not verify it as true but realize the truth. We take it by the faith that God desperately wants to give us. If we go beyond that faith, we have failed to recognize the truth. It is as if we have lost a shoe but in our looking so intently we see our shoe but fail to recognize it as our shoe. Therefore, we keep looking because we cannot find what we have already seen.

And eventually we put on a different pair of shoes.

The gospel can be recognized by a child.

I heard this riddle a few years ago. It stumped many of the Stanford graduates but was answered by most kindergarten children. Here it is:

What is:

Greater than God,
More evil than the devil,
The rich need it.
The poor have it.
And if you eat it, it will kill you?

The more educated look so intently to find a difficult answer. Many of the children see it almost immediately. They are not worried about how complicated the answer ought to be.

So, people need to recognize the truth of the gospel rather than trying to learn the truth. The truth is not only out there somewhere. It is in here. The heart is where the truth of the gospel must reside.

2 Timothy 3:7 (ESV) 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.


Prentis McGoldrick said...

Oh, I forgot. The answer to the riddle is "nothing."

Anonymous said...

All roads lead to Rom.  All can reach Heaven, all can avoid Hell!  That is the peaceable idea; that is the friendly attitude; that is accommodative posture; and that will win you many friends and support!  But that is not what the Bible says!  

The Bible does not even say, at any point in time, believers would outnumber any other religious faith followers, i.e. majority must be right is not a way of the kingdom of God, it is of the world. It is sad, that we find increasingly churches cater to the majority, rather than to truth.

All roads lead to Rom? No, Scripture said the road and gate to destruction and Hell are wide, and many travel and pass through there, whilst the same, to life and Heaven, are narrow, and few travel and pass through there.  What this is telling us is that, more would be ended up in destruction or Hell, than those reaching eternal life and Heaven.

All roads lead to Rom? I am not discouraging people to be accommodative.  In fact, a Christian, we are to honor people above ourselves; Scripture exhorts that. But where being accommodative conflicts with truth, truth must be put first.  So what, if you speak the truth, and the people would not come to your church?  It is His church in the first place, not yours. We are to say and do the right thing, convey and do the truth, and leave the rest to God.  

It is sad that within the Christian community, so-called "in here", after Ps Prentis' lingo or suggestion of the title of the entry, there are preachers, and learned ones, too, that weaved in popular notions of the world, like the "secret of attraction", or " good works alone is enough", or even universalism, into the Christian faith.  We really need to be always checking our motive - are we simply doing what God wants done, big or small, for a season or for the long-haul, or are we trying to build something we want to build? If it is the latter, be careful of the exploitative spirit coming forth.  Many, I believe, fall in this area, ending up exploiting the Word for the end they want.  As Ps Prentis put it  very nicely, with the result that such individuals perverting the Word, in interpretation.  What they are to see, they do not see; what they aren't to see, for it is not there, they see.

Oh, Lord, keep me humble;
Cause me to only want to do what you want done;
Your agenda, your work, none mine;
If I die, I die, but let me not stumble another;
What I should do no longer, 
Oh Lord, let me know as soon as possible.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions