Last Friday, the verse of the day, courtesy of the YouVersion Bible app, was Galatians 1:10. Paul, in his letter, asks the question, am I trying to please God or man? In fact, he goes so far, as to state it as "am I trying to win the approval of man..."
He then goes on to state the profound... for if I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Much like it is impossible to serve both God and mammon (money, that is) so to, is one unable to please God while making every effort to keep man happy.
This morning, as the service came to a close, pastor's father-in-law, an incredible man of God prayed over our nation and Tuesday's election. During his prayer, he referenced an article he had read recently, that stated roughly 70% of Christians believe their are "other" ways to get to heaven (wonder which television celebrity they got that from). He proceeded to state, that such a statistic is the fault of the church, as he continued to pray.
Meanwhile, I stood frozen in time. I've read that recently. At least the basis for such statements.
Back to Galatians, and the verses that precede "winning approval".
Look up verses 6-9. Read it in your Bible. Reflect on it. Even after I offer it here...
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
It's not that Christianity is perfect, nor Christians for that matter. I'll give you that. However, in the early days after Christ's ascension, His followers were called "little Christs". They simply continued to follow in what they had learned from Jesus Himself. Thus, without Christ, there is no Christianity. Thus if Christianity teaches a gospel other than life in the grace of Christ, then truly, it contradicts Christ's own words... I AM THE WAY...
So the data is a more than a few years old (although I'm sure there's more recent data somewhere), but a quick search brings up a survey from PEW Research. Indeed, 65-70% said there are other ways to eternal life. They even went so far as to break down responses of how many non-Christian religions were named where eternal life is possible, outside of Christ!
It begs the question, then... what are churches preaching? Of course, I partly blame culture and society for this problem as well. In this age of tolerance, and acceptance and "correctness" the world continues to bang on the church door telling them to behave more like "the church" while they insist on continuing to behave like the world and telling the church they have no place to speak. The battle is only about to get more real, potentially all the more, in the next 48 hours.
Thus, pray this #seniorPastorMonday, for a couple of things. For those pastors committed to preaching the Gospel of Christ, may their resolve to remain in the Word and preach the Word be strengthened and fortified, even in the face of uncharted political and social challenges. For those pastors and ministries that have strayed and perhaps already perverted the gospel of Christ, may God to a work in their hearts, minds and attitudes and bring them back to a proper understanding of the Gospel, of Christianity and the responsibilities that come with church leadership. Pray an increased level of discernment, on behalf of both the pulpit and the pew... that pastors would remain true to the Truth and that those who hear, would have ears to hear and apply the Truth. While the pressure to compromise may be great in the days ahead, pray the power of the Holy Spirit would quicken the people of God to stand strong in the power of His might; not in our own strength and understanding.
May all be drawn unto Him
His Truth made known to all generations,
His Word, unable to return void
For His promises are Yea, and Amen to them that believe.
For His glory and honor, we pray.
The advancement of the gospel of Christ.
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.