Sunday, February 15, 2009

Theology majors still in the minors

This last weekend I went to listen to a pastor that now is Director of Ministry for our local church conference. He has spoken at conference meetings before and it was really good. It seemed that he was always bringing out topics that I had great interest in and enjoyed to find him put facts to my already held presuppositions.

If anyone knows me they will know that what impresses me in a speaker is not their title, but their ability to carry over a heavenly message of truth in a simple understanding. I believe that truth is always simple and easy to understand. If you find yourself lost in a sermon, you probably are being confused. This is not your doing, but usually the doing of the preacher. His own confusion is carried over into his sermon. The Bible is a book with many layers to be understood, but just like Jesus' parables, they are all easy to understand when you look at them with innocent eyes. Therefor we need to become like children again. We need to let the Spirit open our understanding and not think that the preacher's inability to do what God called him to do is our problem.

Well needless to say, this preacher missed so many points and brought me to one very clear understanding and that is that he had no clue.

His expressed purpose was to assure the congregation that God is not judging you by your deeds, but by the life and blood of Christ. The message he was teaching was essentially true, but was also fraught with his, personally induced, trip-ups. He wanted to condemn perfectionism, but instead his points were weak and allowed for confrontation. It became clear that he himself is still struggling to completely grasp the fact that Salvation is the priceless gift of God through the acts of His Son. And since this gift is not something you send in the mail in response to an application for salvation or hand to only those who love you, but assessed to your character even though you are not receptive to it. It is because of this fact that the Spirit wrestles with you to realize in you what your reality is.

Eternal death is only for those who insists on being judged by their own merit. Because that removes the Saviour from the picture. As long as the Saviour is allowed to do His work - He saves. After all, this is what Saviours do, they save. Now to fully get what happens on your behalf you need to understand that God the Father send His one and only child to do this very important super hero job. If He (Jesus) comes back empty handed or with only a few, then He was the wrong one to send and the Father who can not make a mistake, mistaken.

So it ends up being very simple. If you think you are better that your neighbour and more worthy of being saved, well then, you are very lost. If you are amazed that God would save even someone like you and gladly accept what ever He does for you - you are saved.

(Eze 34:16) I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.


Searching said...

I found your blog through your daughter's blog. I was researching Zimbabwe projects and Operation Love Zimbabwe came up. I read through the older posts and came across the link. You have a daunting task ahead of you. I wish you success on this journey.

Am I understanding that you are saying that Jesus failed in the mission if only one repentant soul believes? What then becomes the measure of success? What is the threshold?

Hendrik Maritz said...

When you know the end from the beginning you don't have to theorize and guess about the reality of the end. So yes - if God saved only one, He would have failed since He tells us that many will stand in the end. That would mean He was wrong and He is never wrong. Where is the threshold? What is His measure of success? God is great and He does only great things. So for One who is into salvation as an occupation - I'd say a great multitude, above and beyond 144,000, that couldn't be counted is about right, wouldn't you?

Rev 7:9-17
(9) After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
(10) And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
(11) And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
(12) Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
(13) And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
(14) And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
(15) Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
(16) They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
(17) For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.