Some say we are in the Laodicean church age, from the book of Revelation, in which the church is awash in riches yet poor in real power, beautiful on the surface, but hideously corrupt underneath.  The famous verse with Jesus knocking at the door in Revelation 3:20 is usually used as a witnessing verse to show to the prospect the image of God wanting to enter his or her heart.  God’s marvelous Word can operate on many levels, so I would not criticize continued use of that verse for witnessing.  However, the main intent of the verse is to show how, in the latter days, the church is so horribly off the path that Jesus is on the outside of the church knocking to get in.  It shows just how far apostasy has gone in the Laodicean Age, but it also shows that, even in those apostate times, God will continue to work to bring people into His kingdom, although His method, in my interpretation, will be in a period of transition, from the broad work in the current dispensation of grace, to a more situational or episodic method similar, I believe, to how He worked during Old Testament times.  Perhaps, then, we are now in  a transitional state as He prepares to refocus His attention to His children, the nation of Israel, and to complete the last week of Daniel’s 70 weeks (Dan. 9:24-27).

If we are in the last days, then, do not let anyone deceive you into believing a comforting or pleasing lie. Such is a sign of Satan, trying to appear as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14).  The Bible admonishes us to “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1).  We should always test such teachings that we are confronted with using biblical truth and sound doctrine.  I have studied various religions over the years and have compared their doctrines to Christianity to distinguish the real differences.  I’ve come to the conclusion that there are three basic tenets or questions that differentiate Christianity from the forest of religions or even Christian-based cults around the world.  1) Who do you say that Jesus is? 2)  What is the method for salvation?  3) And what is your source of truth?  These three questions will quickly differentiate between what Christians doctrinally believe and all other religions, even those slick Christian-like religions that assume our words while assigning different definitions to them. 

1) For the Christian, Jesus is not a wayshower or merely a prophet or good teacher or enlightened one, etc.  He is God manifested in the flesh (Emmanuel), He is the ONLY Son of God, and He is the Lamb of God given in one perfect sacrifice on the cross to cover the entirety of mankind’s sins.  There are other titles, offices, and honors ascribed to Him, but I believe these are the three main ones.  And His perfect sacrifice will only cover sin when we enter into a covenant relationship with God, accepting His sacrifice for our sins and allowing Him to enter our hearts, plant his Holy Spirit there as His seal of ownership, and begin His sanctifying work.  We can become adopted into the family as His younger siblings once we accept His blood sacrifice for our sins and submit to His lordship of our lives (John 1:12), but we will never become gods as He is God.  Those that reject the Blood Sacrifice of Jesus can expect an eternity of suffering in Hell according to our scripture.   

2) Who Jesus is ties inextricably into the second question about the means or method of salvation.  We cannot earn our way to salvation because we are stained with sin inside and out.  All of our actions done before the covenant relationship with Jesus are unavoidably stained with our sin and cannot, therefore, be used to purchase our way into His favor.  By extension, all actions that we perform on our own power while in sin will fall short of the mark, including the favored method of many people since the dawn of time, the accumulation of great knowledge and wisdom.  Anything that we can do or reach will be no higher or greater than our decaying, temporal self and world.  This is not nearly enough to bridge the tremendous gulf between us and God.  It is not even enough to BEGIN to build toward that.  In fact, we are not on a level playing field.  We are instead deep under that field in a hole which we have dug, and we are continuing to dig until God intervenes in our lives.  So, how could we possibly even begin to earn our way to God?

 


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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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