No matter how wretched we’ve been, we have mercy through Jesus Christ

As a pastor and minister of the gospel I find myself frequently required to bring a message of absolute to a culture being increasingly steeped in teachings of relativity. Is anything black or white? Doesn’t it seem like there is a resistance to any teachings of right and wrong? There is this false idea that to stand for what is “right” is narrow-minded and to stand against what is “wrong” is hatred. But I like what my Grandpa always says, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll stoop for anything!”

The Apostle Paul wrote that there is coming a time when people will no longer endure sound teaching and they will turn away from the truth. He went on to say that they will seek out teachers who will speak what they want to hear according to their own lusts and desires. (IITim 4: 3-4) Pastors are being challenged like never before to deliver messages that won’t offend anyone and that are politically correct. I’ve found that the word of God is offensive and Jesus has never been politically correct! To tailor the word of God into a message palatable to everyone would be to strip it of its life-giving power. Since I don’t know how many chances I’ll get to write in this section, let me use this opportunity as if it were my last.

Do all paths lead to God? Are we all on a journey of self discovery that will eventually lead us to the same place no matter what or who we believe in? Oprah would say yes and promotes a new doctrine that teaches just that. But, according to Jesus, there is a way that leads to death and a way that leads to life. He goes on to say that many will travel the broad and wide way that leads to destruction and few will find the narrow way which leads to life (Mt. 7: 13-14). Later, when one disciple told Jesus that they did not know the way to the father, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man comes to the Father but by me” (Jn. 14:6).

God sent his son Jesus into the world because he loves us and so that through him we might be delivered and have everlasting life. However, if we deny Jesus, we deny the father. The Apostle Luke wrote that outside of Jesus there is no salvation. There is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved. There is an attempt to replace this absolute message of Christ with a gospel of inclusion. This gospel claims to teach truth but does not recognize Jesus as the way to salvation. This false teaching is becoming prevalent today and attempts to reconcile all religious pursuits as equal. I recognize the attempts of the adversary to replace the name of Jesus with more generic or inclusive names for God, but I defy the subtleness of the adversary. I know the name of my God.

We were all born with the same problem – we were born into sin. It is these sins which separate us from having fellowship with God. But the good news is that while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us and shed his blood for the redemption of our sins. And now through our faith in Jesus we are able to be washed of the stain, the judgment and guilt of sin. No matter how wretched we’ve been or are, or what horrible things we’ve done, we now have mercy. Even when we can’t seem to forgive ourselves, we still have forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Another promise that I love: God promised that if we asked, he would fill us with his holy spirit. The holy spirit will lead and guide us into all truth. He is our comforter in times of trouble, endues us with God’s power and literally changes us from the inside out. I’ve found this to be true. Have you asked God to fill you with his spirit?

Pontius Pilate examined Jesus and asked the question, “What is truth?” His question implied that he was not certain that truth existed. In a world with so many differing opinions, beliefs and theories it is possible to get lost in the noise and begin to doubt that truth can be found. Jesus said in John 8: 31-32, “If you continue in my Word, then you are my disciples indeed; and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free!”

Heath Rainwater

the vine christian ministries

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