For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God. John 3:16-18
The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is nothing new under the sun (see Ecclesiastes 1:9).
Those words were written by a wise individual and under the Holy Spirit's direction. For that reason I would not argue nor dispute them. That being said, every once in a while I come across a thought so strange I almost have to believe it is new and original.
For example, ask the Pakistani doctor, Jan Muhammad, "How are you going to get to heaven?"
Now since Dr. Muhammad is Muslim you wouldn't expect him to say, "Through the blood of Jesus Christ which has cleaned me of all sin."
Far more likely would be an answer which says
* "I will make my prayers at the appointed times each day";
* "I will make an annual pilgrimage to Mecca";
* "I will read and follow all the tenets of the Koran."
No, Dr. Muhammad says nothing so normal, so mainstream, so doctrinal. Ask him how he's going to get to heaven, he will tell you, "By fathering 100 children." Yes, you heard rightly: 100 children, not 72 or 86 or 99. He wants 100 kids, and his three wives have already produced 21 daughters and 14 sons.
And if you're wondering why Dr. Muhammad thinks 100 children can help him, he will tell you: "The prophet has said that those who increase the number of followers (of Islam) will never go to hell. With the grace of God, my children will help me go to heaven."
Now all of us have often heard folks say "Children are blessings from God." But have you ever heard anyone say, "My children are the golden tickets which are going to get me into heaven"? Nope, you've never heard such a thing because
* the true and Triune God has never told any prophet, evangelist, or apostle such silliness;
* Dr. Muhammad is just kind of making his theology up, as he goes along.
No, if you want to get to heaven, it most assuredly will not happen through the ministrations or existence of your father, mother, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters or friends.
No, if you are going to go through those pearly gates it will be because you have heard God's plan of salvation, which was accomplished through the sacrifice of Jesus, the world's Savior. It is because the Holy Spirit has called you to repentance and put saving faith into your hearts. It is because we are saved by God's Son -- and not by our sons and daughters.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, humankind has developed many plans by which they think they can earn salvation. They prefer to try and save themselves rather than trusting You. Grant that all may see the error of their ways and trust instead in the salvation that comes through Jesus' alone. In His 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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