One Desire, Two Attitudes
August 14, 2020
Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few (Matthew 7:13-14).
This is a letter written to a Melbourne, Australia, daily newspaper.
“After hearing Dr. Billy Graham on the air, viewing him on television and reading reports and letters concerning him and his mission, I am heartily sick of the type of religion that insists my soul (and everyone else’s) needs saving - whatever that means. I have never felt that I was lost. Nor do I feel that I daily wallow in the mire of sin, although repetitive preaching insists that I do.
Give me a practical religion that teaches gentleness and tolerance, that acknowledges no barriers of color or creed, that remembers the aged and teaches children of goodness and not sin.
If in order to save my soul I must accept such a philosophy as I have recently heard preached, I prefer to remain forever damned.”
Jesus made it very clear from the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount that people do not set the rules and regulations of God’s heaven, nor do they determine the means whereby we get to heaven. It is God’s Kingdom. He sets the standards. He determines the means whereby we enter His Kingdom. Say what we will, believe what we will, God has not turned the supervision of His Kingdom over to us. Jesus Christ is, and will always be the King of God’s Kingdom.
“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles - the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:15-17).
Repentance is the willful decision of turning away from our ways and means of saving ourselves, and turning to God’s only way and means of salvation - Jesus Christ. It is recognizing we are sinners unable to save ourselves from God’s judgment, and turning to Jesus Christ who is able to save us from God’s judgment for sin. It is turning away from the attitude that we are the lords of our own destiny (which ends in eternal damnation) and turning to Jesus Christ who must be the Lord of our destiny if we are to have eternal life. And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:3).
“Thank You, Lord, for the free gift of eternal life through Your Son, Jesus Christ. I grieve over the attitudes of those who are truly blinded to the truth of the Gospel. I ask that You will open their eyes to the truth of Jesus Christ before it is forever too late to be saved. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”