-You Can't Do It-
One of the common themes in this day and age is that you can do anything; anything you set your mind to do. Somehow, in some way, you can accomplish goals you otherwise might have thought to be impossible.
There are, however, limitations to what a human being can do, being a physical being. You cannot breathe water. You cannot eat dirt and expect to live long. You cannot quit breathing without making that condition permanent.
Most importantly, you cannot “save” yourself. You, as a physical being, are destined to die. You will someday cease to exist in a state of consciousness in relation to your body. Even if you, through science, managed to stop the aging process, and found a way to regenerate cells and provide for unlimited cellular division or replication, someday this earth is going to be consumed by the sun, and eons after that the sun will be reduced to a cold cinder. Even if you managed to “jump ship” and head off to the stars, looking for other habitable planets, in time, all will be exhausted. Life, as we know it, will become a thing of the past. It will be as though life never happened – a small blip on the radar screen of eternity. It would all have been in vain. If you are to survive, you must transcend the physical.
If you are into metaphysics, you may well conclude that your consciousness continues on after the death of the body, but what sort of existence is it with nothing else around you, given that the universe is going to all turn dark and cold? You might as well envision yourself in a dark cell somewhere, unable to feel, see, or hear. How long before you snap and go insane? It doesn't matter... given you have all of eternity to go nuts.
Working from the premise that there is indeed a Creator God who not only made the universe, but life on this planet, which frankly seems more plausible than a universe popping into existence for no apparent reason or cause, and created life rather than the statistically impossible auto-genesis from primordial soup, we read in Scripture that “salvation” from death is possible.
Sign me up then. By the way, what's the catch? What do I have to do to avoid perishing, whatever that is? After all, if I were to exist in that dark place with no sensations, I would hardly call that life.
Not so fast, responds God. I created an angelic host – beings created who are non-physical, and quite a number of them turned to the dark side of the force, having rejected my love, and I had to evict them from my spiritual realm, for I will not tolerate discord, and dissidence among those whom I have created to exist within My spiritual realm. It's My way, or the bye-way. Those beings rejected following Me. They decided to place their faith, trust, and alliance on another who thought he could become like Me, taking over as though he were Me. This particular being rejected faith in me for faith in himself, and chaos was and is the result.
This is in part why I created mankind as physical beings. As such, they can experience life outside of faith in me, so as to understand and experience the results of living without Me. They will have something to compare. The wise will compare, evaluate and contemplate. Those who are foolish will refuse to place their faith and trust in me, not unlike those angels who sinned. Those who learn the lesson of experience during their physical tenure I will exalt above the angels. Those who reject me, even after having seen the results of life devoid of My involvement in their lives, will suffer the same fate as those fallen angels. There is misery in this world because the world does not know Me.
This God declares that He truly loves us, and in demonstration of His love, made Himself like us, and suffered a most agonizing, painful, tortuous death in an act of reconciliation. For we were indeed created as physical beings, and subjected to a sinful nature so as to experience what life is devoid of God so as to better appreciate God and what He truly offers to us as His gift, which is a gift of great value.
The angels didn't have the “benefit” of having experienced life without God and the consequences of rejecting Him until some of them fell.
God wants to know now if we are ready to live and walk in faith, totally and completely. The reality we perceive is that there are many who profess faith in God and His Christ, yet reject true faith in Him in favor of self-reliance or partial reliance on someone or something else.
If there were to begin with three “arch” angels, Lucifer being one of them, in charge of a third of the angelic host each, how subtle was the transformation of faith off of God and on to Lucifer by those angels who sinned? Did they truly comprehend what they were doing? Could the process have been so subtle so that they were not truly cognizant of what was going on?
There are churches that insist one is saved through faith in Christ, but insist that only members of their particular church can be saved. How many people out there truly comprehend this is an example of a faith divided, which is no faith at all in God/Christ?
In the Scriptures, we see examples where Christ spoke about salvation based upon the actions of people, so that, should you truly contemplate what was said, you would see how He set up impossible scenarios. Yet the unthinking out there look at those same examples as things people must absolutely do in order to be saved.
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? ●And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. – Matthew 19:16-17
The careless stop there. Those with a mind-set contrary to true faith are content to conclude our salvation isn't all about faith in God after all; that they get to prove they too are like God is God by keeping the commandments, thereby proving themselves worthy and perfect in that regard. They get to stroke their own egos. They get to prove they are better than others. Yet the end of the matter says that no man is going to be able to save himself by keeping those commandments, for no one was ever created as a being capable of doing so, besides Christ, and God is not in the business of creating more Gods like Himself.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: ●But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. ●And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. ●And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. – Matthew 5:27-30
The next time you are in conversation with a legalistic type who insists we are supposed to keep the law, or at least the ten commandments, ask him (you can change the gender of this debate to suit your conversation) if they have ever had a sexual thought regarding a woman not his wife. If he says no, you are talking to a liar. But if he admits it, then ask him why he has not followed up on Christ's instructions regarding plucking out one of his eyes, seeing as his compliance with the command against adultery is not enough, according to Christ, and even the thought of adultery can send you packing off to hell.
And realistically, what happens, after you have plucked out an eye, should you see another woman with your remaining eye, and again have a lustful thought?
You may well fool yourself into thinking you can “keep the commandments” but you really have to stretch your denial in order to believe that plucking out an eye, or taking off your right hand; just about the most severe and desperate of acts you can do, will result in you attaining eternal life. No, even if totally blind, you can still have sinful thoughts, with the resultant condemnation associated with an evil imagination.
Jesus stated these severe things as required for salvation in order to prove mankind incapable of saving himself. Even the apostle Paul used this methodology in his writings, stating in Romans that not the hearers of the law would be justified, but the doers of the law. But what's the fact here? No one is a doer of the law. This often believed path to salvation is effectively closed off when confronted with the facts of life.
Only God can save you, and all He asks for – all He demands, is your faith; your total faith, undivided and undiluted.
Otherwise, you will not believe and follow God, and where will that lead you?
It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom. ; ) Acts 17:11