(Jesus said) "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." Mark 16:16
In a world where people seem to want the latest and possess the newest, it's not uncommon for them to shuffle their faithful pastor and their traditional faith off to the side.
That was the way it was for one pastor whose people thought he was an old "fuddy-duddy." On the day he retired, he answered his critics this way: "Some have found fault with me. They say I am old-fashioned and out of date; I am always quoting the Bible. They would rather have me be more modern." And although the people shook their heads in disagreement, they knew that's what they had thought.
The pastor continued. This he did by bringing to their attention a widow lady that many of them knew. Having already received her permission he said, "This poor lady not only lost her husband, she also had to bury her only boy."
She wants to know if she will every see them again.
I will wait and put my Bible away as the modern world gives its answer. There was a silence ... a long silence. After a minute the pastor spoke again, "The questions are will this woman see her son again? Where is he now? Does death end everything? Those of you, who rely solely on the newest fads, tell me, what do you think? How does the world answer?"
After another pause he added, "This woman's heart is breaking. What does this world share with her?" Then he added, "If these have nothing to say in reply, then it is right for us to once again pick up our Bibles." Reaching for his well-worn Scripture and turning to the appropriate page the pastor read, "The dead shall arise. .... That which is corrupted must become incorruptible; this mortal will put on immortality. ... Give thanks to Jesus Christ, who takes away death's sting" (see 1Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15).
Then, closing the Book, and patting it affectionately, he said, "I will stick to the Book."
I do hope the people who heard him that day were in agreement. I hope so because a great deal depends on whether they believed these passages and others like them. Indeed, eternal life depends on whether an individual trusts God when He says, "Believe on Jesus Christ and you shall be saved and if you don't believe you are damned."
My friends, it is all very simple.
Acknowledge you are a sinner and God will save you through His Son who took your place on the cross. If you don't do that you are free to try to save yourself.
That is what every other religion -- and some parts of Christianity -- are now teaching: you have to save yourself. The problem is we can't do it.
This is why our eternity depends on whether you believe in a changeless Christ who came to save a changing world.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for a faith in the Redeemer who saves, I give thanks. Today I pray for those who do not believe, who seem to follow every philosophy and accept every idea as it if were the Gospel truth. Use me, if possible, to let them know the Gospel truth is the truth, which is found only in Your Gospel. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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