Friday, June 08, 2012
Today’s Topic: There’s Only One Way
Today’s Text: Isaiah 66:3 (NIV) But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a man, and whoever offers a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig’s blood, and whoever burns memorial incense, like one who worships an idol. They have chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in their abominations;
A line has been drawn in the sand. It is along that line that a chasm will soon be fixed for eternity. For the moment, while the line is still crossable, many people pass from one side to the other and back again as if there were no line at all. As they do, the line becomes obscured by sand that is kicked on it by feet that tread on the truth under the direction of hearts and minds that are motivated by selfish sin.
Back and forth across the line go millions and millions of people. They seem to have good intentions when in reality they are blind to the existence of the line. Their blindness to the line is their choice, having decided not to look at it because they have chosen to look only at their own lusts and take delight in their own desires.
In their blindness to the line they are convinced that they can have all the desires of the flesh and still earn favor with God and somehow attain eternal life. So they continually cross the line from religious duty to sinful pleasures and back again. Little do they realize that the line is still there, and one day, maybe very soon, that line will become an un-crossable chasm and they will be trapped for all eternity on the side of death and destruction with no hope of seeing the Creator they have denied.
There will be many on the eternal life side of the chasm. They will be those who were esteemed by God because of their humble hearts, their repentant spirits, and their awe of the Word of God. They will be the ones who continued to see the line no matter how obscured it became to the rest of culture.
God drew the line in the sand in the Garden of Eden. It has been there ever since. Then one day some 2000 years ago His Son re-traced the line with His finger dipped in the blood of His own sacrifice. He declared clearly and concisely that He was The Way, The Truth, and The Life. He stated truthfully that no one can ever get to eternal life with the Father except through His sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection to new life. He taught frequently that crossing back and forth over the line is unacceptable and inexcusable. The person who believes they can cross back and forth between surrender to Jesus and selfish sin is not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven.
As I read Isaiah 66:3 I am deeply moved by the blindness of people to the blood-stained line in the sand. Billions of people who are being misled and deceived by the enemy of God – our selfish pride – to believe that they can obey some spiritual law or sacrament and thereby earn the favor of God, all the while doing only those things that please themselves and fulfill their own desires. How my soul is tormented by their lostness. How I grieve for their souls on that day when the sand that has obscured the line falls into the eternal chasm of separation between eternal life and eternal death.
All of their sacrifices and spiritual rituals will mean nothing from God’s perspective if the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary is ignored. That is the line God drew in the sand. There is no other way to God than through His Son Jesus. That may sound narrow to many, but to those who are being saved by the power of His death and resurrection it is the way of freedom.
Many people are very sincere about their religions. However, nowhere in God’s sacred and holy Scriptures are we told that God rewards sincerity with eternity. He rewards humility – a broken and repentant heart that turns in faith from a life centered on self to a Savior who gives real life. Salvation is not available to the person who intends to keep kicking sand on God’s blood-stained line. Forgiveness is a one way bridge across the line from the side of sin to the side of salvation. Forgiveness is not to be a cheap and easy way for us to keep crossing the line back and forth between religious duty and personal gratification. That is a denial of the Gospel truth and intentionally ignores the reality of the coming chasm.
My friends, many are deceived. Many are doing spiritual duties to earn the favor of God while they continue to seek and serve self every day. Let us blow away the sand that has obscured the line in our own lives, so that it can be clearly seen by those around us. They need to see the line, and be drawn by the Holy Spirit to cross it into the arms of a loving Savior who drew the line with His blood.