In the aftermath of the greatest loss of life the United States has ever sustained on its own soil many people are now calling for tolerance like never before.  But in this call for tolerance, we as born again Christians must be on our guard.  Time and again this week I have heard statements made by clergy and non-clergy alike declaring all religions are on equal footing.  They claim there is no distinction between Christianity and other religious systems.  This is not true.  It breaks my heart to hear these statements, but I am especially troubled when a man or woman who presents him or her self as a representative of Christ makes these statements.  Is Christ to be brought down to the level of other gods and prophets?  Never!

Virtually every belief system, aside from Judaism and Christianity, are inclusionary, meaning that any and all philosophies are accepted and that a person may choose their own "path" to God.  They then believe that God in His benevolence will honor and accept a person's religious or spiritual search and that person will be able to ascend to heaven or be reincarnated or whatever the particular practice believes is the next "step" after this world.  By their definitions all religions are the same though their names and individual practices may vary.  Judaism and Christianity are quite different from these other systems.

Judaism and Christianity are the only two religions that worship the same God.  While Christianity is the fulfillment of the promises that God gave to Abraham, never believe for a moment that God is finished with the Jews or Israel, for He is not.  It will in fact be Israel that seeks and ushers in the final, physical return of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).

As born again Christians we are called to be different than the world around us.  It is our responsibility to hold high the name of Jesus.  We must see to it that Jesus, who is fully God and fully man, the Son of God, the Lamb of God, is not torn from His rightful place.

Many accuse born again, Bible believing Christians of being extremists and intolerant.  This is far from the truth.  Biblically based Christianity is the only "religion" on the face of the earth that removes all responsibility for salvation from the person seeking it, and places that burden squarely on the shoulders of God Himself.  We are freed from having to carry out any works at all in order to maintain our salvation.  It is a free gift from a merciful God who doesn't want to see any perish, but must be heartbroken over those who have chosen spiritual death instead of life.  To choose spiritual life, all we need to do is accept the atonement that Jesus provided for every man, woman and child.  No, we are not tolerant of sin and neither is God.  He is holy and righteous and therefore can not condone or accept anything less, which is why He provided the perfect atonement so each one of us can be reconciled to Him.  This practice of Biblical Christianity is far from a religion or religious system as the world would define it.  It is a continuing, deepening, personal relationship with the God of the universe - the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

While we cannot condone sin and its consequences, we are called to love those involved in the sin, regardless of what that sin may be.  Yes, we are even called to love and forgive those who committed these unspeakable acts of terrorism.  We are called to pray for their salvation.  Even sins as grievous as the ones we witnessed on September 11, 2001, have been atoned for by the blood of Jesus if only those in need of the atonement will accept Christ's sacrifice for them.  That doesn't mean that they might not suffer the consequences of their actions in this life, but they would be assured of spending eternity with the loving God who made them rather than suffering eternal punishment and separation from God.

Ever since Lucifer fell from the appointed position God created him for because of his defiance and lust for power and control, he has known his ultimate fate - eternal torment in the lake of fire.  And since that time it has been his objective to take as many humans as possible with him.  He deceived Eve in the garden of Eden and has been deceiving humanity ever since.  His tactics haven't changed all that much.  If you distill any of the belief systems, including secular humanism, you will find the common lie - man is inherently good and contains god within, and we are the master of our own destinies.  This is spiritual poison.  Man was never intended to know anything but unfettered communion with the God who made us.  But we can not meet God on our own terms.  

From the beginning, God made it evident that mans' efforts to atone for sin and bridge the gap between ourselves and God were wholly insufficient.  Adam and Eve made coverings of leaves to hide their nakedness (to cover their sin).  This was not sufficient.  God Himself slaughtered animals, spilling innocent blood, and made garments to cover their sin.  From that time until the atonement made for us by Jesus, it was only through the sacrifice of animals and the shedding of their blood that sin could be covered.  These sacrifices were imperfect but pointed to the cross.  With the sacrificial death of Jesus and the perfect atonement His blood provides, our sins are not merely covered, but removed.  All we need do is tell God that we know we are inadequate in ourselves to come to Him and accept the work that Christ finished on the cross nearly two thousand years ago.  When we tell God the wrongs we have done He will be faithful to apply the blood of Christ to them and forget them forever.  He will take us into His holy family as He has yearned to do from the beginning.  He will call us His own and shower us with His love, mercy and grace.  He will give us His own spirit to comfort and guide us.  He will give us joy unspeakable.  All we need do is ask.  If you would like to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus now, please click here.  And if you'd like to let us know that you've entered the family of God, please feel free to drop us a line.  We'd love to rejoice with you!

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