Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Acts 2:21 & Matthew 7:13 & Matthew 10:35

It was 12th grade, 7:45AM, 1st period physics.

For Kaitlin, since physics only talked about the absolute most boring aspects of the universe in her eyes, it, for her (and her mostly willing lab partners) it occasionally became “spiritual hour.”

Or, more like, Kaitlin-interrogates-you (albeit nicely and respectfully) about-your-beliefs-hour.

Born with the skill to approach almost anyone on virtually any topic without being offensive (thanks “Diplomatic Dad”) I had learned a lot in that class (although I guarantee you it wasn’t physics).

Sidenote: If someone drops an egg on a bus moving 35 MPH…who on God’s Green Earth cares how fast the egg was going???

Well, I’m glad some people do.

But I certainly do not.

Anyways, on this morning I had honed in on one of my poor lab partners in particular.

As part of her faith, she, and many other students at my school, attended daily morning meetings with her church.

To me and my senior-in-high-school (aka pretty dang lost) mentality this seemed like absolute ludicrous. 

It prompted me to do think a lot about this whole “God thing.”

I mean, if seventeen year olds were waking up VOLUNTARILY before PHYSICS to talk about GOD, then He MUST be a “kind of a big deal.”

I remember that morning I asked my lab partner a question that no one, not even the most mature of Christians, are excited to tackle.

I asked, “So, if you believe that this way (Jesus) is the ONLY way to get to Heaven, how do you even get through your day knowing that the majority of the people that you interact with are going to Hell? Maybe even your best friends? Maybe even family members? Doesn’t that just tear you up inside?”

I remember she thought long and hard about it and ended up matter-of-factly stating, “Sure, it makes me sad. But, all I can do is have faith.”

It seemed like such a cop-out answer at the time.

Faith?!  I remember thinking, According to you; these millions of souls are forever going to HELL…and all you can say is, “you have faith?!”

And, although the concept has been completely worked and reworked in my soul and I have completely accepted this as truth (starting with myself accepting Jesus as my personal savior four years ago), it wasn’t until very recently that I was able to open my heart to this question again.

How can I, knowing that I am saved, “get through my day” knowing that the majority of those I run into contact with (including best friends and family members) will not be, ahem, saved?

The answer, as my incredible lab partner so shrewdly pointed out to me so long ago, is faith.

I have faith that God has a plan. I have faith that my ideas and perceptions are not reality.

I have a lack of faith in my emotions. 

But furthermore, I think what I rest most heavily on when my soul wrestles with this seemingly painful enigma are the following Bible verses:

            #1. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Acts 2:21)

This isn’t some “exclusive VIP club.” All ANYONE has to do is call upon Jesus and they will be saved. We absolutely have the prerogative to preach the gospel and to spread the Good News, but, at some point, this becomes something between THAT individual and God (and no one else).
#2. You can enter God’s Kingdom only through that narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the way. (Matthew 7:13)

“…for the many who CHOOSE the way.” The path to hell is a CHOICE, just like the path to Heaven is a CHOICE. The Bible speaks many times about those who hear the Good News and do not follow it in comparison to those who haven’t heard at all (it’s worse to be the first one).
#3. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law… (Matthew 10:35)

What this verse is saying isn’t that we should disobey our parents. Simply put, following Christ will put you at odds (in one fashion or another) with EVERYONE who does not follow Christ; even your parents and those closest to you. This is something that the Lord anticipated, and that you as a Christian should anticipate as well.

I feel like this is a mostly scattered (aka “Kaitlin-ified”) version of only slightly tackling this problem.

This problem in particular is a barrier for many when considering Christianity.

It’s easy to snow-ball and call Christians arrogant for believing that “they” are the only ones going to sit on clouds and eat Oreo milkshakes in heaven.

It’s easy to portray us as some members of some self-proclaimed-high-class-society who feel like we’re better than everyone else (hint: it’s so easy because the Devil’s so good at painting this picture).

But, let’s look at the facts people, the invitation for salvation is for ANYONE.

So, maybe the next time someone approaches you with these ideas in condemnation or ridicule of your “exclusive” faith, the most appropriate response would be to sincerely offer, “Are you ready to start a personal relationship with your Savior, Jesus Christ? I can show you how to do that right now.”

For more information on how to lead someone to Christ, or for information on how to come to Christ yourself, call me/text me/email me/facebook me anytime day or night.

I would love to share an Oreo milkshake with you both here on Earth and in the Kingdom to come.

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