FIRST Thoughts

Many, if not all have heard the term 'faith'. Everyone exercises faith on some level every day. Whether it be a chair or a step ladder, we who use them make a choice to rest the fullness of our weight upon them. We trust things such as these to hold us while we rest or while we work.

The Word of God speaks to the requirement of faith on a spiritual level. Mark 11:22 says, "and Jesus said to them, have faith in God." Hebrews 11:1 says, "now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:6 says. "And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."

The Apostle Paul would take faith even farther in its daily applications. Romans 14:23 says, "whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin' meaning (whatever is done without a conviction of its approval by God is sinful). The Bible repeatedly says in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38, "the just shall live by faith."

If faith is so important to life, then why do so many never think twice about placing faith in a chair or step ladder while overthinking the need to put faith in Christ? Why is one so easy and the other so difficult?

Do you realize that believing something is so, does not necessarily make it so? You can believe that the plane you are boarding will take you to your desired destination but unless you board the right plane at the right time you will not arrive at your desired destination. All planes do not travel to the same destination. Nor do all 'faiths' lead to the promise of glory and the presence of God! While Christianity is inclusive in its invitation to all people, it is and remains exclusive in that there is only one way to God. That way is THE DOOR (John 10:9) of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

What most do not understand in matters of faith is that the object of one's faith is more important than the sincerity of one's faith. One may be very sincere in their religious practice and remain sincerely wrong.

Elmer Towns writes this in his book, Concise Bible Doctrines, "The man who thinks he is right but is not sure may be far better off than the man who is 'sure' but is absolutely wrong. The credibility of our faith begins with objective truth and ends with internal trust." (end)

Therefore, one's faith must be based on correct information if it is to provide a certain future. That is why the truth of God's Word becomes the primary target of our adversary, the Devil. He will twist and manipulate truth to fit the 'just as good' appetite for a cheaper and/or easier substitute. It's been that way since Genesis 3 even while in a perfect environment, no less. Still, it has often puzzled me how those who demand the platinum version in matters of what is temporal too easily settle for the cheapest option in matters of the eternal. Many, if not most who care a great deal how they are seen by society leave the appearance they couldn't care less about the salvation of their soul. There remain many, even in the ranks of Christianity who 'believe that' Christ lived who refuse to 'believe in' Christ for life. Puzzling indeed!

It is one thing to believe that the chair or a step ladder will support you, it is quite another to 'take a stand' and rest the fullness of your weight upon it. A person may believe in some 'thing' and refuse to believe the 'thing' most important. Example being, unless a person believes God in the matter of Jesus being God's Son sent to this earth to live the life no other man could ever live coupled with the fact that Jesus offered Himself in the place of mankind's sin against God through death and rose from the grave, THEN that person remains dead spiritually in trespasses and in sin. Race, rank, and religious preference is not a factor in all things eternal. The only thing important is the redemption of grace that results in the regeneration of the soul and reconciliation with God through faith.

Therefore, what someone believes is only as good as the object of support. That is why of all the major faiths throughout history, only Jesus is worthy of trust. Jesus is the only One who has faced sin, death, the grave and lives forevermore!

Mohammed has millions of followers who are sincere in what they believe. Most being more sincere than many Christians today. Yet, the fact remains Mohammed is as dead. Confucius has millions of devoted followers who are sincere in what they believe. Yet he too, has returned to dust. The followers of Hinduism number in the millions who are sincere in their belief but sincerely wrong. Buddhism boasts of many followers too, but Buddha is still dead. Only Jesus is alive today after having faced and conquered death. Only Jesus! He is our object of faith in whom we trust!

Therefore, faith is only as good as what you place your faith in. In the matter of eternity, it is 'who' not 'what'. If a person's faith is not in Christ, then they remain dead so long as they refuse to believe God. It does not matter what their last name was or how popular they were. If their name is not found in the Book of Life, then the blotted-out space reveals they were never made alive in Christ and saved by the grace of God through faith (Ephesians 2:1).

As the hymn of another generation says, 'We've a story to tell the nations, that will turn their hearts to the right, a story of truth and mercy, a story of peace and light, a story of peace and light. For the darkness shall turn to the dawning and the dawning to noon day bright, and Christ's great kingdom shall come on earth, the kingdom of love and light.

That is why Jesus called it 'good news.' That is why we as Jesus followers should speak more of the same, as well!

"Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17).

Be faithful and be fearless!

Pstr K

Ps. 27:1

(ref. Elmer Towns--Concise Bible Doctrines--pg. 12)