July 5, 2015
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame." Romans 10:9-11
America just celebrated her Independence Day.
Here's another story from those days. Colonel Ethan Allen, leader of the Green Mountain Boys, was a profound unbeliever. In complete contrast, his wife, a Christian woman, taught their daughter about Jesus and how Jesus saves believers.
The girl continued to live in this divided household until she became quite ill.
Her father was asked to attend her bedside. As she neared the end, she asked, "Father, I am about to die. Shall I believe the principles which you have taught me, or shall I believe what my mother has taught me?" Allen wrestled with his conscience and then he wrestled to find the right words.
Finally, he answered, "Believe what your mother has taught you." Colonel Allen almost had it right.
I would say believe what your Bible has taught you; then believe everybody else, as long as their teachings coincide with, and are supported by, the truth of the Bible.
* Believe how Jesus Christ was born into this world, not because He had to be, but because His Father wanted Him to be.
* Believe that Jesus loved you enough to be perfect when you and I would have been impious; caring when we would have been cold; holy when we would be hateful.
* Believe that Jesus -- so that you could be saved -- took your place, died your death, and then rose to show the truth of His words and all that He had done.
Now if you do as is suggested here, I can tell you that the world will think you foolish. That's what Colonel Allen had thought about believers. He laughed at them; he mocked and ridiculed them. But when push came to shove, he had nothing better to give his daughter. As her life ended, he had no hope, no wisdom, no skill, which could bring her comfort.
Only the Savior found in God's Holy Word can do that.
And the same is true today. Right now the world is filled with cynics and skeptics. If you encounter them, I give you this question to ask:
I UNDERSTAND YOU HAVE NO USE FOR THE SAVIOR.
IF YOU WISH TO TAKE HIM AWAY FROM ME, WHAT WILL YOU GIVE ME IN HIS STEAD?
Don't be surprised if they look stunned, and don't be shocked if they become belligerent. Since they have no answer, they've got to respond in some way, and those are the things they usually do. If that happens, and it probably will, then be at peace: you have the Savior of Scripture, the Savior of your soul.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, as I live out my days in this world, which still mocks the Savior, may I hold fast to Your truth, my Bible, and my Redeemer. This I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries