Birthdays and Anniversaries:
None this week
Kennedi Reames, thyroid surgery Feb 9.
Marilyn Jones maintenance chemo has been a little tough but doing well with physical rehab.
Darlyne Stewart, Karl’s sister, small cancer spots on liver, therapy ongoing.
Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, is not well.
Sharon Best, Steven’s mom, still recovering from surgery.
Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care
Eleuterio Oviedo knee replacement surgery was postponed until next month
Steve Weeks, sleep apnea, adjusted mouthpiece, we continue. Also, positive for Covid. Doing ok at home.
Paul Tyler also was positive for Covid this week.
Sharon Gerstman, regular member of our radio group, hip surgery in Feb 2.
Gary Nelson, dental surgery postponed due to Covid.
Robert and Sue Waller, health issues.
David Shaffer, being treated for leukemia, bone marrow transplant.
Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, stage 4 kidney disease, is some better. Wendi back home now.
Sean Brooks, friend of Paul’s, has covid.
Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.
Luis Camacho’s family has suffered a loss. His sister’s father-in-law passed away.
If you have more prayer requests, just message or text Steve and we will update!
“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6, ESV).
If there is an “unforgivable sin” in the minds of modern humanity it is that of intolerance and exclusivity. To claim to have a status before God (i.e., to be saved) from which others are excluded is considered arrogant, prideful, and prejudiced. For any religion to claim to have the only truth is offensive and unacceptable.
This attitude is contradictory to many Biblical teachings. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Peter taught, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Paul also taught the exclusive power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to save (Romans 1:16; 10:13-17). At ancient Athens he proclaimed,
“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed” (Acts 17:31).
There will be a time when all men will be judged by a single standard. That is the essence of exclusivity.
But, as I taught in my last article, physical Israel is no longer “true” Israel. The Church which Jesus established (Matthew 16:18) has replaced the genealogical descendants of Abraham for that title. But much of the same language and concept still pertains. Peter said to Christians of his day,
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).
We, therefore, teach that Jesus Christ is the only Savior, that God his Father is the only true, living God, and that the Church to which they add the saved is the only body containing those who have fellowship with them (1 John 1:5-7). Is this exclusive? Yes, because the Bible demands it. But is it arrogant and prideful? Is it prejudice? Absolutely not.
The key is that though there is only one truth and one way to forgiveness from sins, that way is open to all who will accept it, regardless of nationality, race, social status, or other material considerations.
“But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1b-2).
No passage is clearer than the “Golden Text” of the Bible: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Again, it is stated, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). These and many other passages teach that the gospel is available and effective to everyone who will hear and obey it. No one is excluded except by their own unbelief and disobedience.
God’s natural laws work in exactly the same way. The law of gravity applies to everyone within the earth’s atmosphere. No one can ignore it safely. If I warn a friend not to step off a high precipice, am I acting arrogantly or with prejudice? Of course not.
When Christians preach a gospel of salvation based on faith in and obedience to Jesus, they are simply fulfilling God’s command to share their faith and their hope of eternal salvation. Those who hear this gospel are free to accept or reject it. God allows all of us this choice. But God has also made his choice, to accept those believers as his people and to receive them in eternal fellowship. For this grace we are deeply grateful.
Michael Brooks, link to original article