Have you recovered from reading yesterday's Life with Lynnie (LwL) entry?
Every time I think of it, I cringe. My poor friend. After all those years of knowing each other, hearing him talk about God's love, and then hearing him say that if God says that only those trusting in Jesus will go to heaven, then he wouldn't want to serve a god like that. Well, I can only say that it almost bowled me over.
I pray you already know, that is exactly what God has told us. Found in His Word, the Bible, are the following passages:
* John 10:9, "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture."
* John 11:25, "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;"
* Romans 3:24, "and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."
* Ephesians 2:5, "made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved."
* Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
* John 14:6-7, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him."
I could go on with more verses, but I think you've got the point.
God never told us anywhere in His Word, that we can be saved by any other means. We cannot be saved by Old Testament Law. God made it clear that we are saved by grace (alone), through faith (alone) in Christ (alone). There is no other way.
So, what about my friend? How did he come to believe that God loves everyone enough to not allow anyone to go to hell, when their life is over?
Teaching. The teaching he received either was inaccurate, or he misunderstood.
Knowing my friend, it is highly doubtful that he misunderstood. I believe it is more likely that he did not receive good teaching.
Why do I say this? Well, firstly because I have worshipped a few times at the church where he worshipped. I attended there on several occasions, when my own church was under reconstruction and could not manage the many stairs to worship in our own facility.
I have always been honest and truthful to others when I have said that I could not worship at that particular church on a regular basis, because never once did I hear a gospel message preached. It wouldn't surprise me, if my friend ever did, over the many years he worshipped there.
Then, to make matters worse, my friend also had much counselling for his life problems from a Catholic priest, who was well known here in our city for helping others.
Now please don't misunderstand. I personally have nothing against other churches or church groups. However, at the same time, I realize that not all church groups are Bible-believing, Bible-preaching groups, where God's Word is taught.
Besides, even though there are some who would argue against me, I truly believe that if someone hasn't had good, truthful Bible study, to understand God's Word, they don't often realize that each church group has different doctrine. Meaning, each group usually believes differently.
Why this happens, is beyond me. Aren't we all reading the same Bible? But, it does happen.
So, by receiving only what I would call surface teaching and being confused by the difference in doctrinal issues, it is quite understandable that my friend doesn't really know the truth about what the Bible teaches.
Well, it's only my opinion. Who am I. Nobody. But, I do have a good grasp on what God's Word teaches. Unlike my friend.
So, friends, if you can find it in your heart to pray for my confused friend, please do so.
Until next time...
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