Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Burger King Christianity

The Bible, in the book of Judges, tells us that a generation arose that did not remember the God of their fathers, nor His mighty works among the people of Israel. So each one turned to his own way and "every man did what was right in his own eyes." When that happened God brought judgment on the people to turn their hearts back to Him. It is a lesson worth repeating and one worth remembering. Why? Because in many ways the Church in the United States is just like those ancient Hebrews.

Everyone , it seems, wants a Christianity of their own making. The Bible is a guide to them if it does not infringe on what they want to do. No longer are we to be conformed to the commands of scripture, they say, but scripture is a living document that conforms to the present day and age.

Worse, the Evangelical gospel of justification by faith alone in Christ alone is jettisoned for whatever makes the so called believer feel good. Faith plus the right church; faith plus baptism, faith plus charitible works; faith plus something else.... the one thing all these systems have in common is they are devised by men trying to make their own way to God.

You see the gospel of the free grace of God is hard for people to understand. How can God take a sinner like me, knowing all the things I have done, and save me and call me one of His own dear children? Certainly, they think, He must want something from me? He must want me to do something? In that line of thinking people spend countless hours trying to figure out what God wants.

In Psalm 51 King David says to God "If you had desired some great thing from me, I would have done it." (My paraphrase). But he concludes in verse 17 "A broken and a contrite heart you will not despise O Lord." The broken sinner, coming to God and admitting he has nothing to offer except to ask for mercy like a beggar, finds that mercy and finds peace with God. Paul says in Romans "Having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

That mercy and peace is there for every person who comes begging for it. Every single person who asks, finds. But there is a catch. It is not a Burger King Christianity. You don't get to come your way. You can only find it God's way. God made provision for the salvation of every person who believes. He provided that salvation in the substitutionary atonement in His one and only Son Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself told us "No man comes to the Father but by me." Only faith in what Jesus Christ has already done for you on the cross will save. That and nothing else. Anyone may come asking for mercy. But one can only come one way. Only God's way. Through Jesus Christ, and through Him alone.

God's salvation is deep and wide for all who find it. But the only place to find it is through the narrow gate. If you are reading this and have never come to God as a beggar with nothing but sin to offer Him. Let His Spirit break you from your pride today. Beg God to save you and you will learn He is mighty to save to the uttermost. We have Jesus' own promise that all who come to Him, He will in no way cast out. Come today and confess Him as your Lord and Savior. If Jesus has saved you, it is not you who did it your way, but Jesus who did it for you. What a truth to proclaim!

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