It’s interesting how scripture can and will lead you on a journey, if you let it. This morning, for example. I sat down at the kitchen table to read, and my bible was still bookmarked in Acts from church this weekend. A reference to Deuteronomy 30:14 caught my eye:
No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
The word is in my heart.
I struggle to find time for it sometimes. There are so many more important things. Things like breakfast, and Facebook, and fooling around on the computer.
The word is in my heart so I may obey it.
This led me to Deuteronomy 30, so I could get the context of verse 14.
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
I look at verse 17 and 18 and it makes me so aware this is where so many are headed in today’s culture of self-absorption, self-gratification, and moral relativism.
We’ve become “tolerant” of so much as a people–as a country–that things have become permissible and even encouraged that would have landed people in chains not long ago.
It really gives me this sinking feeling when I think about it. Knowing what the world was made to be and could have been and then juxtaposing that with what it’s become is heartbreaking.
So many “religions” are coming to prominence these days that are turning heads and hearts from the only real deliverer.
The names and small g gods don’t really even matter because they are all the same, and lead to the same place.
Which isn’t heaven.
Heaven isn’t simply a state of mind, or a cornfield in Iowa. Nor is Hell.
These places are real, and the truth does not lie in Universalism, or Mormonism, or Hinduism, or any other ism. It’s great to make people feel better about themselves, but they also need to know the truth.
Wide is the path that leads to destruction, and lots of people walk it. More every day.
If you want to know the truth, and you want to avoid the destruction promised in Deuteronomy 30, you need only look to the red letters of John 14:6 (they’re red in my Life Application Study Bible, anyway):
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
It’s pretty simple, really. It might not be a popular view. It may not be thought of as “tolerant” of other religions. Some people might think it arrogant of Christians to think it, much less say it.
But it’s the truth.
Our job, believers, our only job, is to bring that truth to people and places that don’t know it. To government officials who don’t practice it, but pay lip service to curry favor and win elections, to people that hate us, and hate God.
We aren’t meant for destruction, and we need to put our petty denominational squabbles aside and do the work we were given.
I think of a song by the band Switchfoot;
we were meant to live for so much more, have we lost ourselves?
We need to stop trying to make the popular kids like us, and start telling them the truth.
We need to be unpopular. We need to diminish ourselves, that He may increase. So people that don’t know him will Choose life, and their families will live.