Wednesday, February 28, 2024

To the Father

As I wrote the last words of yesterday's blog, a thought came into my mind, and I think it's important to take this little detour. 

Jesus said no one comes to the Father except through Him, and I can almost hear the world saying, "What if I don't want to go to the Father?" 

Seems simple enough, right? If the world doesn't care about our heaven, about eternal life, about the goodness of God and doesn't want any part of it, then the message of Jesus doesn't matter, does it?

And let's be clear about something else - God doesn't say these other gods that we read about in the Bible don't exist. Paul doesn't even tell the Romans the gods they are worshiping in the areopagus are fake. Rather, the consistent message is that they aren't good gods. The Lord Almighty is a good, loving, benevolent, powerful God and there is no other god like Him. 

But there are other gods. 

These other gods all have their own stories and their own promises. There are promises of reincarnation and a billion life cycles to attain Nirvana. There are promises of escaping this world and no longer being bound by it. There are promises of thousands of virgins. The god of science promises blissful, simple non-existence - that you just die and that's it. Nothing more. There are as many different promises as there are gods, and if that's the god you want to believe in, that's the promise you get. 

So if someone says they aren't interested in the promise of the Lord God - what if I don't want to go to the Father? - then what's the Gospel answer to that? 

The simple answer is to say that they get to go to Hell. That the other gods may have offers on the table, but the Lord Almighty is Almighty Indeed and His promise trumps every other one, to the point that if He determines to send you to Hell, you're going. Whether you believe in Him or not. 

That's the answer that Christians have given for a long time. It's the answer that makes the world bristle. The problem with that answer, though, is that it brings us back to the question about truth...and a world that isn't interested in truth. 

How can God claim to have the only possible truth - especially when His truth doesn't look as plain and obvious as, say, science? 

The world struggles to believe that there is a God so powerful, a truth so real, that they will actually go to Hell if they don't believe it. They struggle to believe there even is a place such a Hell (which is really a state of being more than an actual physical location, I believe). They struggle to believe there could be a truth that exists outside of their believing in it - if they don't believe it, can it even be real? 

If I don't want to go to the Father, then what legitimate power does the so-called Father have over me that He could send me to some so-called Hell? 

And that is precisely why getting the truth part of the Gospel right - and not shying away from it - is so important. 

Because our God truly is unlike any other. 

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