3/18/13 Anthony and Charles, early 20’s
Two young men in their 20’s, Anthony and Charles, were sitting at McDonalds today when I asked them if they would be willing to answer an interesting question. They graciously agreed, and we went on to talk about their beliefs. Both seemed to have very sincere general faith in a loving and forgiving God, but they lacked specific faith in Jesus and knowledge of the Bible. Many people fall into the same category; they seem to be “good” people but they aren’t followers of Jesus. Where do they fit in to God’s Kingdom? Is it possible to be sincere about following God without bothering to read His Word to find out just how we wants us to do so? Can we be serious about keeping the Ten Commandments, for example, without taking the time to actually read them? Anthony and Charles were like many “sincere” people who are sincerely wrong, serving their own ideas of God rather than checking to be sure their ideas line up with scripture. I respectfully warned them of the danger of holding to their own imaginary image of God rather than God’s picture of Himself as revealed in the Bible. A great sin of the people of Israel was that “every man did that which was right in his own eyes”. In contrast, King David actively read and meditated on God’s word, and we read that “David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite” (1 Kings 15) Anthony and Charles agreed when I told them “We need to be willing to follow whatever the Bible says, not just the parts that we happen to agree with because they are comfortable. Jesus said that if we love Him we will keep His commands. Well, we have to continually read the Bible to better learn just what those commands are, rather than merely following what we think they might be”. Ignorance is no valid excuse for disobeying God when the Bible is right there all along but we choose to ignore it.