"You do not need to believe in God to be a Jew" said the Rabbi. I quickly shut my mouth before he noticed it was wide open. My reaction was not such because the concept was new to me, but in response to his apathy towards it. My son and a few of his classmates were at a synagogue on assignment from their Christian school to explore other faiths and find some common ground. I was there, as I was with my daughter's school visit to an Islamic mosque, to assure they didn't miss the differences. The Rabbi went on to explain that these unbelieving Jews still observe many of the feast days, as it is part of their cultural heritage. My heart sank as my measly human brain tried to grasp how disappointed God must be. Then it dawned on me just how many Christians there are today in that very same boat.
Not surprisingly, this very deterioration of the Christian faith has been predicted in the bible. The apostle Paul clearly states that there will be an apostasy, or an abandonment of the gospel, prior to the return of Jesus Christ. "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;" -2 Thessalonians 2:3. Who could possibly deceive a Christian into denying their Savior? What possible lie could someone or some group feed us that we would partake in?
How about the lie that your faith is as valuable and viable as other people's faiths? How about the lie that in order to include as many people in the goodness and mercy of our creator, that we should ease up on some of the doctrines that exclude them? How about the lie that unifying our religions into one is a good idea?
Now is not the time to be oblivious to the world around us, as this apostasy has indeed already begun. It is time to wake up and open our eyes and hearts to discern the age in which we are living. This isn't something we should just have our spouse, parent, or even church leader take care of for us, simply because they always have. The only person responsible for your soul is you! Christ tells us that in this Laodicean age of the church we are now in, He will be knocking at our door. It is our individual responsibility to not only hear the knock but to respond to it. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." He goes on to say, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Revelation 3:20-22
If you are a Christian...
• It is important to know that you ARE the church - it is not a place you go, or a group of people who lead in this place you go. The different churches spoken of in scripture refer to different groups of believers throughout time.
• It is important that you do not follow a "cause" or "leadership" without question. It didn't work for the Israelites; it won't work for us. (1 Kings 14:15-16) Back up even further - it didn't work for Adam and Eve either! Paul warns us of churches that have become careless to the truth and tells us to reject them. "A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;" -Titus 3:10. Anyone who represents Jesus as “a god but not the God” or who claims He was merely a good teacher, simply a human, or even a super-human is a deceiver. NOTE ALSO: Anyone who leads you to unite with other religions that believe these lies about Jesus is also a deceiver. The apostle John gave us a simple formula to identify such a purgerer in 1 John 4:2-3…"Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." Question everything and everyone, and pray that your church leaders return to the authority of Scripture for every issue of faith. I love my pastor but if he ever teaches something that contradicts the bible I'll take it as a red flag. Remember, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" - 1 Timothy 2:5. This man Jesus Christ wrote a book we should read called "The Holy Bible".
• It is important that the perplexities of the Bible do not intimidate you from reading it! There is no excuse not to read God's word. Even if the internet and the multitudes of books that make it comprehensible disappear, the true teacher of His own word, the Holy Spirit, will NEVER leave us! "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." - John 14:26
• It is important to come to terms with the fact that you may have already been deceived, over the years, into believing a watered down or embellished gospel. If so, get over it quickly so that you can begin to seek the truth, without ceasing.
• Finally, of utmost importance, if you have not yet done so, you must accept God's gift of salvation. It is not enough to only believe it - one must receive it! Aloud, tell Jesus that you accept him as your Savior.
The desire to hang with the 'in' crowd does not exist in teenagers alone; we all want to fit in. Yet this emerging church, or united religion, which we must separate ourselves from, will surely appear to be the cool as well as the smart crowd. This crowd's desire to unite humanity and protect the environment it lives in will project them to be not only kind and giving, but wise and enlightened. We know from Paul what will become of us if we fall into this trap… "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" - Romans 1:22 Fools for sure, as some will even buy into the idea that aliens are coming to bring us closer to God. Of course we can coexist with people of other faiths, but it is a very dangerous thing to think that we need to worship with them. We need to take a stand and forever proclaim that Jesus is, as Simon Peter put it when our Lord himself asked him, "The Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16) Where will we put our trust - in an intact dinghy or a grand ship full of holes? Let us take the leap of faith now, while we still can, into the unsinkable, complete and unaltered gospel of Jesus Christ!
Wow! Love the artwork, Tamara. You need to print this out and give it to everyone with a COEXIST bumper sticker on their car. Or give it to all the people who believe that every religion is right and they all lead to heaven. Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 . Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or was and is indeed the Son of God. If you believe in many ways to get to heaven, then you just called Jesus a liar. Kick this to Oprah!