Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry (insert your own)mas

(Here is an article written by Marvin McElvany found in The Eagle Newsletter for all of us to ponder.....)

This time next week Christmas ’08 will be a fond memory. The trashcan will be full of wrapping paper and odd shaped boxes, everyone will be in their own little world exploring their new gifts. So…what was it all about? The gifts? The family? The food? A four day weekend?

For some of us, it will mean we paused for a moment and enjoyed the beautiful carols about the birth and wonderful story of our Saviour. We tried to put Christ back in Christmas as they say. How important is that these days? Apparently, not very.

According to an article in USAToday, December 19, 2008, most American religious believers, including most Christians, say eternal life is not exclusively for those who accept Christ as their savior. Of the 65% of people who held this open view of heaven's gates, 80% named at least one non-Christian group — Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, or people with no religion at all — who may also be saved, according to a new survey released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Christian believers who named at least one non-Christian faith that could lead to salvation included 34% of white evangelicals, even though evangelical doctrine stresses that salvation is possible only through Jesus. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, calls the findings "a theological crisis for American evangelicals. They represent at best a misunderstanding of the Gospel and at worst a repudiation of the Gospel." "We are in an age when we want to tell everyone they are doing just fine. It's extremely uncomfortable to turn to someone and say, 'You will go to hell unless you come to a saving knowledge of Jesus,' " Mohler says.

We read about the boy in Mississippi who was given an “F” for writing about Jesus when asked to tell, “What Christmas Means To Me”, or how about the students who are denied to speak about their faith at their graduation ceremonies, or how South Carolina ordered a stop to making license plates that feature a cross and the words “I Believe.” It must be this “tolerance” I hear so much about. What about the state of our nation? Wall Street melt down; lay-offs; foreclosures; bankruptcies! Can we turn our backs on God and then expect Him to bless us?

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6) Pretty plain and simple. If you can still go to heaven, as some Christians claim, and not come to a “saving knowledge of Jesus”, then what did He come and die for? What do we need a Saviour for? How can we stand in front of the Maker of the Universe and plead our case without the imputed righteousness of Jesus?

Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “…for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first…” Obviously we’ve jumped and we’re picking up speed. It’s one thing to get caught up in the gifts, food, and family. We should at least get our theology straight.

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