Headlines from First Thoughts

Sunday, January 06, 2008

What Christians Don't Know Might Help Them

"Know it all Christianity" is about as dangerous as scribes and teachers of the law standing around talking to Herod in Matthew 2. So Christians have to be mindful of speaking about what they know and avoiding what they don't.

Here's what we know-- we believe that Jesus is the way, and we believe that individuals who believe in Jesus have the free gift of eternal life in heaven. It's an individual choice, and the decision is between that person and God.

What we don't know is the spiritual condition of others. When we overspeculate and pretend to know we move toward what Jesus warned about in Matthew 7-- judging others.

Jesus talked about 2 things that would happen but left out signifcant things as well.

He talked about his return but did not tell us when it would happen. We believe he'll return, but we're terrible at predictions.

He described heaven but did not tell us who would be there. He did tell us three things.

1.) That believers would be surprised they were part of the sheep (Matthew 25:40-46)

2.) Nonbelievers would be surprised they were the goats (Matthew 25:40-46).

3.) Not everyone who says the magic words "Lord, Lord" will qualify (Matthew 7:21).

When watching a rich ruler struggle with a decision to follow, an exasperated Peter said, "Who then can be saved?"

Jesus gave us the best answer of all, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."

We live in the tension of believing in Jesus and trusting that God knows the "roll called up yonder." Until then, we share our faith with humility, without judgment, believing that God does the work of salvation. We're just grateful to be a part of that salvation, and the magi give us some indication that God works even through pagan religions to draw people to Christ.

The gospel always surprises. Chuck Swindoll once said that there would be surprises in heaven:

1.) Who's there
2.) Who's not there
3.) That you're there

No comments:

Google Search