Tuesday, August 23, 2016
In His Sermon on the Mount, particularly the 5th Chapter of Matthew, Jesus uttered this phrase five times:“You have heard that it was said.” Another time he moderated it slightly by saying: “It has been said.” He was referring specifically to the way the scribes had interpreted God’s commandments, more particularly twisted them, for their convenience. The subjects in question were murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, revenge, and our obligations to those around us. It was absolutely necessary for the multitude to hear the correct application of the Word of God, something they should have had from the beginning. Jesus knew that, because of this apparent deviation from the true Word of God, many would not know His ways. He also knew that those who believed the scribes’ renderings of God’s laws, would never come to know Him as they should.
It is not much different today. A few days ago, I heard a young lady declare that she was being the best person she could be hoping that by doing so, one day she could be reunited with her loved ones in Heaven. It appears she too believes what she has been taught in her church. I am referring to the widely accepted but erroneous teaching that one can gain Heaven by doing good works. My first impulse was to tell her point blank that salvation is by grace and not by works, that it comes by believing and trusting in Christ and not in our good deeds. I wanted to tell her badly that if people could actually win Heaven by doing good works, Jesus would have never gone to the cross. I wanted to but I didn’t, sensing that this was not the right time and being confident that I will speak to her again soon and the Lord will open the door some other time. We share God’s Word and message at His time, not ours. Many who jump the gun, lose those they are speaking to before they get a chance to win them for Christ.
What about you? Do you believe everything you hear at your church or what certain ministers and religious leaders say? A true minister of God will never be offended when others read the bible to verify their message. In fact, they encourage the practice. What’s better, the Bible encourages it as well. Acts 17:11 reads: “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” One of the greatest fears God’s genuine servants have is that they may misinterpret His Word or misrepresent Him in any way. Nevertheless, because they are human, they may slip up here and there. That is why it is so important for you to check things out for yourself. I am absolutely confident that what I said a few lines ago about salvation is true. Even so, if you disagree with my position, I invite you to search the Bible for yourself.
God’s promise for today: (1 Timothy 4:16) “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”