Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Question Posed

     A question was asked in our Bible study last night.  Jake and I love when people in NorthStar's congregation are truly seeking and wanting to grow and learn.  People often feel like they need to apologize for asking questions.  Maybe they feel they are the only ones who don't know the answer.  Maybe they feel it isn't the appropriate time.  Whatever the reason, let me say this, if you are honestly wanting to learn and grow and seek the truth, then questions are always welcome--well, maybe not in the middle of a sermon on Sunday morning, but if you have them at that time, write them down so you don't forget, and seek out the pastor or a trusted church leader after service, I know they will be more than happy to answer your questions.  
     How else are any of us going to learn or grow in our faith?  We must all continue to seek, to ask, to listen and learn.  If we aren't willing to ask how will we find the answer?  I think it's a sad state of our society where we feel we have to pretend we know all the answers, pretend we don't have any questions or doubts or concerns.  Not one human being has all the answers.  Not one.  Anyone who says he does is lying, to himself and to you.  All of us are searching and striving to find truth, even if we go about it in different ways.  All that being said, I want to applaud the person who opened up to the vulnerability of asking a very serious question last night.
     We were asked if Satan is the brother of Jesus.  Unfortunately this is taught in some religions, and it is wrong.  I'm not going to beat around the bush or mince and words here, saying that Jesus and Satan are brothers is a lie.  It is the same lie he has tried to spin for millennia, that he is equal to God.  
     There are only 2 possibilities if this were true, and both are catastrophic. 
The 1st option is that Satan is also then God.  If Jesus and Satan are brothers, and Jesus is God, it stands to reason that Satan is too.  But this cannot be, as he is not omnipotent, omnipresent or omniscient.  Thank goodness!  He doesn't not have the power God does.  He is not God's equal.  He is just as much a finite being as you and I are.  He had a beginning just as you and I did.  He was created, just as you and I were.  
The 2nd option may be even more disastrous.  If Jesus and Satan and brothers, and Satan is not God, then Jesus cannot be God either.  The reason this is a completely and utterly gut-wrenching statement is because if Jesus is not God, His death on the cross was in vain.  You see, a mere man dying on the cross would do nothing more than simply die.  Thousands of men have died that way, two on the same day and time as Jesus.  Their deaths meant nothing to society or to the world.  Their deaths meant nothing to the souls of men.  If Jesus is simply a man, then His death was pointless.  The only way His death could have any power over sin--past, present, and future--is if He is God Himself.  
It had to be the perfect blood of the one and only perfect Creator, taking the place of His creation.  
If Jesus isn't God, we are all helplessly and hopelessly damned.  

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" 
1 Corinthians 15:57
     The TRUTH of the matter is this:  Jesus is God.  Jesus and Satan are not brothers.  Satan was created as an angel and chose to fall.  Each and every day he deceives people on this earth, blinds them into believing lies about God, about themselves, about him.  You see, he knows the ending.  He knows that ultimately God wins, and like every prideful, sore-loser, he wants to take as many people down with him as he can.
     He doesn't get a second chance.  We do.  Right now.  Now is your chance to accept Christ's forgiveness.  The Bible says for ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Every.Single.One.  But it doesn't stop there.  It's not hopeless.  "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  There is the hope.  There is the Truth.  
     Will there still be questions and wonderings and doubts?  Certainly.  But of this you can be sure, He who promised is faithful.  He will never let go.  He will never grow tired or weary.  It is by His GRACE we can be saved, nothing else. Grace alone.  The only pathway to that grace is faith in Jesus Christ.  Oh, won't you reach out and grab hold of that grace today?!? 

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

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