“Hello, my name is Keith, and I’m a handyman” is how my introduction went at a recent factitious meeting of “HA.” Handymen Anonymous where participants can share their DIY failures in the safety and understanding of other DIY fellows. When I become aware of any needed repairs my visceral reaction is to think that, “I can do that myself.” Most of the time my optimism is propelled by the consideration of how much money I’ll save. Instructions? Oh yes, I’ll probably spend some time downloading some detailed instructions, but I usually prefer finding a You-Tube short-cut video. Regardless of my preparation the final result is usually satisfactory. Oftentimes though it seems to me that I am particularity handy at finding the most difficult way to accomplish a repair, and in failure I have had to pick up the pieces and take them to a true professional. Then I console myself that in the long run I am still (at least in dollars) ahead. Isn’t rationalization great?
Many people approach their earthly and eternal purpose similar to how I approach an appliance repair, “I can do that myself.” There are two distinct aspects to this approach that I want to clearly address:
1. Doing it completely by myself, in other words “winging-it.”
2. Doing your own research soberly in consideration of the importance of your eternal disposition. This aspect will be addressed in the next post.
While “winging it” is the choice of most people as their devoted belief, I don’t recommend it. Because when it comes to the question of your eternal destiny there are only two choices:
1. Doing it the way God (The Creator) has offered.
2. Doing it any of the hundreds of “other ways” that mankind has invented.
Put yourself into the Creator’s place for a few minutes. You are the Creator, and you have created everything, including mankind which for the sake of “eternal fellowship” share many of Your attributes. In order to provide “choice” (because love requires it) you progressively reveal to mankind more and more about Yourself and Your plan that restores a relationship with mankind. You reveal Your righteous attributes and expose mankind’s sinfulness through The Ten Commandments and the related sacrificial system given to your chosen people Israel. Your prophets foretold that Your only Son was coming to be the sinless, perfect lamb and described the things He would do to validate that He was God… like healing the deaf, blind and lame. They even gave a time frame when He would arrive. Your Son came as expected and did all the things the prophets said He would do. Now your anger grows as you witness the travesty of justice at His court proceeding. Your heart breaks as Your perfect and sinless Son endures the torture while being beaten, spit upon, mocked, His beard pulled out, and nailed on a cross between two thieves. Your Son faithful to the task at hand has not called a halt to the proceedings as He could of, but instead trusting in Your plan He has endured the prolonged torment.
Now the prelude is over and something worse has arrived. The Son that you love is hanging there spiked to the cross and taking the responsibility for, and baring upon Himself all the sin of mankind, past, present and future. You, His Father, are in complete anguish because in Your perfect holiness, you turn away from your Son who is now saturated with sin. Your relationship is broken. Note: Before the cross, Jesus always addressed His Father as “Father.” On the cross when bearing the sin of the world He address His Father as “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”
So with you still in God’s shoes, here is the question: Since the gift of salvation came at such a arduous, torturous and heart-rendering cost, how likely is it that You would call some other “man-made” way of salvation OK? Seems unlikely to me.
Taking into consideration the extreme measures that God has taken to save us, I think that replacing or modifying God’s plan would not only be foolish it would be terribly insulting to Him. God’s offer is a gracious and simple proposition. Our Creator has basically “bent over backwards” at great cost to offer eternal life to those who simply are willing to change their minds and accept His way of saving us. Say “yes” today, and put your trust in Him and His plan. Your conscience with be clear and a clear conscience makes for a “soft pillow.”
Extra Info: Read the account of the near-sacrifice of Isaac in Genesis 22 and give special attention to the anguish of Abraham’s heart. In doing so, you will catch a Glimpse into a little of what our Heavenly Father experienced with His Son.
Next Time: Eternal Disposition – Not Leaving it to the Professionals