Salvation is a Gift

Apart from Christianity every religion of the world directs man to his own good works for salvation. Even a corrupt Christianity directs a person to his own acts of penance to make things right with God. This is the natural way of humanity. One must pay his own debts, even with God.

In contrast the Bible says, “If righteousness comes through the law (something I have to do), then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:21).  Christianity centers around what God in His great love for humanity did through Jesus Christ. “Christ died for our sins” (1 Cor. 15:3). “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). “God made Him who knew no sin to be made sin for us, that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). Because of Jesus Christ’s death upon the cross the Scripture affirms, “By grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works’ (Eph. 2:8,9).

True Christianity is unique among all the religions of the world. Only Christianity recognizes salvation is a gift (Romans 6:23; John 3:16; Titus 3:5-8). This teaching comforts the one who is troubled because of his sin. It gives all credit to God (Revelation 1:6). Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, AR, to hear and rejoice in this Good News. Sunday service time 10:00 a.m.

Universalism

Universalism is the belief that all people will eventually enter heaven.

Universalism also implies that all religions are equally good. Along with multiculturalism every way of life growing out of a religious belief is considered equally valid. This is the conclusion Tony Blair, while professing to be Christian, draws in an article in PARADE magazine of September 12. Many professing Christians draw the same conclusion.

If held consistently Universalism and Multiculturalism would eliminate all conflict over religion, though it seems illogical that religions that mutilate little girls, inspire suicidal efforts to destroy people and property, or practices human sacrifice and cannibalism as did the Aztecs, should be on the same level as that which teaches “love your neighbor as yourself,” or “love your enemies.”

The early Christians in the Roman Empire were hated because they gave no credibility to the gods of Rome nor venerated the Emperor as a god. It may be considered narrow minded to profess that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. It may be viewed as arrogant that Christians should seek to persuade those of other religions to become Christians. They have the words of their Lord, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). Spoken to those of another religion, “Salvation is found in no one else (no one else than Jesus Christ who died for the sins of all) for there is no other name…by which we may be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, AR, to hear that this Savior is for you. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

God’s Good Earth

If the Christian appears to be a “Johnny come lately” in environmental concerns, it is not because of what the Bible teaches. God created a perfect world. Humanity, Adam and Eve, were placed in the world, beginning with the garden in which God gave them. They were placed there to care for it. Rejection of God’s Word, “Did God really say,” brought death to themselves and a curse to the world. Entropy, not evolution, is evident. The vast array of fossils and fossil fuels indicate a far more verdant world that once was. We live in a world growing old and running down. The Christian recognizes Adam, and also his own sin, brought on this decline.

He is further saddened in repentance for the current exploitation of the earth which has led to air, water and ground pollution, mercury-laden fish, the loss of topsoil, carcinogous chemicals used to grow food, the run off of nitrogen rich fertilizers polluting ground water, rivers and ocean. This is part of our sinful failure to be good stewards of God’s wonderful creation. It belongs to our loving Father who invites us to confess the times we have devalued His creation, receive His priceless gift of forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ, and then by His Spirit’s power, do our part to protect His good earth.

Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, AR. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

True Christians

“They are not all Israel who are of Israel” (Romans 9:6). The context shows that “Israel” designates two different groups of people. One meaning is the nation, the physical descendants of a man named Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28). “Israel” as a second meaning designates “the children of promise” (Romans 9:8), that is, the true believer in the promise of God that He would send a Savior. This is the remnant of Isaiah 1:9 and quoted in Romans 9:27. The Israel of God in this sense are all believers in Christ from among Israel the nation as well as all non Jewish people. In Galatians 3:29 we read it this way:

“If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.”

In a comparable way one could say, “They are not all Christians who are Christians.” Many people think of Christian as a person of above average morality. Such a person may know little about Jesus Christ, who He is, or what He has done. The Biblical meaning of Christian is one who recognizes from God’s Word he is a sinner and would remain under God’s anger unless Jesus Christ God’s eternal Son had not become man to take that anger in Himself on the cross. This Christian trusts God’s promise that in Jesus he has forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, AR, to hear and receive this Word of Promise. Sunday service time is 10:00 a..m.