Posts in this series
In the previous posting I listed a number of things the original apostles had done while being with Jesus for 3 1/2 years, living and ministering in His name (Mat. 7:22). These men, through their writings, have told future converts what they must do in order to qualify for eternal life. Yet we are not told that the thief on the cross had done ANY of the things. So what prompted Jesus to promise Him in a place in paradise? Jesus is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). He was bound by His own commission to treat this man no differently than He treats all other people. If we do not obey His commands we die in our sins, the wages of which is death (Rom. 6:23). Was this thief an exception to this rule? If so, what other exceptions did He make. What other rules, given by the Father, did He break. Did (does) He practice “Situational Ethics?” The honesty of the Lord is at stake. Can we take Him at His Word or not? We must answer these questions. And the Bible is the only source of the answers.
As was noted in a previous series, the Word “IF” IS ALWAYS THE DECIDING FACTOR relative to the Lord’s promises and their fulfillment. The thief’s situation was no different. In this case, what was not written is as vital and important as what was written. In order to glean the Truth in this matter, we must obey God’s command found in Isaiah 28:9,10,13. We must study His Word “precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little” (totally) in order to tie ALL of His Truths (Scriptures) concerning the subject together in order to find THE ONE Truth. Like a picture puzzle, every piece is a part of the “truth” the picture depicts. One must place each of the pictoral “truths” in its proper place in order to create THE TRUTH–the completed picture. That is what happens when one find all Scriptures (truths) concerning a subject and, by combining them, finds THE TRUTH.
The Lord’s “cause and effect” principle is at play in every situation of life whether one is churched or unchurched. The C & E principle EXPRESSES THE BASIC APPLICATION OF GOD’S LAW (Genesis to Revelation). A more detailed description of God’s C & E system is plainly laid out in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 for all to study, believe and act upon. However, with the exception of God’s tiny remnant, those within professing Christendom totally reject His system to their peril. Faith, they proclaim loud and incessantly, is all that is needed to receive salvation. There are no separate “truths” to be joined together to produce a “truth.” One piece is all that is needed in that it is the whole picture.
Also, according to basic church theology, there are no negative consequences of sin because, as I was told from a pulpit, God “… can’t see through the blood” which supposedly covers all church-joiners’ sins automatically. We are told that “everyone” knows these things are true. Satan always manages to turn “everyone” (except God’s “Little Flock”–His “Very Elect”) from God’s Biblically stated way to his (Satan’s) church stated way. The thief on the cross episode is no exception. “Everyone” knows that, though he had no prior knowledge of or relationship with Jesus Christ, he was instantly saved, born again and would soon be on his way to heaven. Is this true?
It is ultimately important for those who truly seek to know and obey God to study the entire Bible above all else, or as the Lord tells us, INSTEAD OF all else. ETERNITY IS AT STAKE. If, as we are told in 1 Peter 4:18: “THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SCARCELY (BARELY) BE SAVED,” no one led by God’s Holy Spirit–a true son of God (Rom. 8:14)–would waste time watching t.v., reading novels, playing on the internet, etc. knowing that knowledge of, belief in and obedience to God’s Holy Truth (Jn. 17:17) must be demonstrated in order to receive eternal life. The problem, of course, is that Satan has lulled the religious masses into a spiritual stupor through his false prophets, false gods and false religions. Not having a God app, church people ignore Him (except on Sunday morning and at meals) while spending countless hours filling their minds (hearts) with whatever the world has to offer, not one bit of which glorifies Him, which all Christian beliefs and actions are to do. What does not glorify God denigrates Him. One is either gathering (souls) with Him or scattering (souls) from Him (Mat. 12:30). Rather than waste hours listening to Satan’s drivel and watching his people perform, why not allow the Lord to speak out of His Holy word while painting mind pictures of what those Words are saying? The only costs are time and social standing. The question is, are we willing to pay those costs? L.J.