Sunday, May 12, 2013
I'll be honest, for most of my Christ-following life I have been a little angered understanding that me (and other active followers), who is trying my best to live in the Will of the Lord, and others who are I-believe-in-God-and-go-to-church-and-that's-all-it-means-to-me people would be able to enjoy the same benefits as the next: life eternal with our heavenly Father. I couldn't understand how "just faith" would get so many people to that life eternal, and I started wondering what the point of faith is if Universalism exists (there is no one way to God, and everyone will be going to heaven, i.e. Rob Bell, Joel Osteen, etc.).
Everyone who has ever been to church and has accepted Christ into their lives - whether it be because their family goes to church and therefore assume they are Christians, or whether it is the person who had a true experience with God - has heard this verse at least once:
"Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Knowing this, everyone can get to the Father ONLY through Jesus Christ. And if you want to get to the Father, all you have to do is believe in Him. In a way, this is okay, but I know SO many people in this world who believe in God, but don't live for God. I always felt like that was an injustice and started questioning whether it made a difference to live one way or to live another. I started wondering if I could actually just live life the way I wanted to since believing was all anyone else had to do. But still, I felt that there was something saying to me, "Just trust me, you're living in My Will."
If Jesus is the only way to the Father, as He said He was, then our goal is to follow His teachings - they are the way to life. Since that's the case, we are to follow this commandment:
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
This commandment is what we call the Great Commission. If all it takes is believing to make it to heaven, then what would be the purpose of making disciples? To be clear, disciples are not simply people who believe in God; they are believers who devote their lives to learning more about His Will and spend their lives showing the love of Christ through their words and actions. They walk the walk and talk the talk, as most people say. They are just like the disciples that followed Jesus and spoke to the nations about His gift of life. These people, I feel, aren't really found as often as simple church-goers.
Well, I was spending time in Matthew one day, and I felt God leading me to this verse; I found out why it's so important to make disciples of all nations. Jesus said:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
~Matthew 7:21 (NIV)
or another translation says:
"They may refer to me as 'Lord,' but they still won't enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven."
~Matthew 7:21 (NLT)
There are plenty of people who know who God is, and plenty of believe that say He exists and therefore believe in Him. Many people, like me at one time, think that believing is all that is required of us. Well according to Jesus, that's a lie that Satan tries to feed us. Only he who walks in God's Will will be able to see Him face-to-face someday.
Now, I'm not saying anything at all about being better than anyone, but instead I feel a renewed burden: shine the Light of Christ to as many people as I can. I am called to make disciples of all nations and walk in the way of God's Will. Brothers and Sisters, take seriously your calling to reach the world, and take heart not to let the enemy get the best of you:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
He has shown us throughout the Gospels where to find the Truth of life, how to walk in the way worthy of the Lord, and the Light that fills our hearts. We are to be like stars in the universe, shining amidst darkness. When you look up at the stars in the night sky, you see them because of the darkness that surrounds them. Without the darkness, you couldn't see the stars. There is darkness that separates each start from the other. They light up the darkness around them. However, because you can see these stars, we see the beauty of night and all that we want to be. Be as stars here on earth, evidently illuminating the Light of Christ you hold within, separating ourselves from darkness but lighting up the darkness that is around us. Walk in the way of the Lord and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, what He as taught us through the Gospels.
"...so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky..."