AND HOW YOU MAY ALREADY
BY: ERWIN W. LUTZER
Preface: From my heart to yours
Lie #1 - God Is Whatever We Want Him To Be.
Lie #2 -Many Paths Lead into God’s Presence
Lie #3. -God Is More Tolerant Than He Used To Be.
Lie #4. -God Has Never Personally Suffered.
Lie $5. -God Is Obligated To Save Followers
Of Other Religions
Lie #6. -God takes No Responsibility for
Lie #7. - God Does Not Know Our Decisions–
Before We Make Them
Lie #8. - The Fall Ruined God’s Plan
Lie #9. - We Must Choose Between God’s
And Our Own.
Lie #10. - God Helps Those Who Help Themselves.
To the God whose grace saved me when I was a child.
and whose power, wisdom, and mystery are my delight.
“Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise.”
You will immediately be drawn to the chapter that deals with your favorite lie, and we all have at least one. (Mine happens to be number ten - “God helps them who helps themselves” because everyone that was too busy to help me seemed to know that lie rather they knew Jesus or not.) But, you will turn to yours first – so get your hands on the book right now.
However—to peak your interest I have selected a few lines from here and there throughout the book to reproduce to give you a small idea of what he might really have to say about your favorite lie. For instance-------
The God of My Near-Death Experience
Betty Eadie represents that group of individuals who claim to have learned what God is like through a near-death experience. In her book Embraced by the Light, she tells about meeting Christ in the twilight zone between life and death; she even dedicates her book to Him.
Now, she says, she knows there will be no judgment at death, just glad. admission to the realm that can be best described as a place where everyone is nice. She appeals to the desires of all of us to enter Beulah Land, no questions asked.’ We also learn that the world is not filled with tragedy as most of us suppose, for humans are not sinful creatures after all.
But how can we believe in the nonjudgmental God of near-death experiences when Jesus predicted that all the dead would be raised and “those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:29)?
Ideas similar to Eadie’s are found in other popular books, such as The Celestine Prophecy and A Return to Love. They have common themes: when I encounter God, I am encountering an undefined being who is loving and affirming of who I am. I am a co-creator with God, I participate in the divine; evil is illusionary, and we are all on our way in evolutionary transformation. Such pantheistic ideas, the argument goes, connect us with the ancient masters, and at the end of the day, God is whatever helps me achieve my potential. Such books reduce religion to therapy, and the study of God to little more than a study of myself.
.............though now it’s a New Age one.
If secularism banished God from the heavens, spirituality has found God among us. In fact, according to current spiritual thought, He is in everything around us. The Creator is no longer sacred; the creature is.
We are told our self is sacred, the earth is sacred, animals are sacred, and so on. In his book Your Sacred Self Dr. Wayne W. Dyer writes that he wants to introduce us to “that glowing celestial light and to let you know the wonder of having your sacred self triumph over the demands of the ego self, which wants more than anything to hold you back.
I’ve had the privilege of leading tours to the sites of the Reformation. At least four times I have stood behind the table in Erfurt where Martin Luther offered his first Mass. I always relate how midway through, he froze. Beads of perspiration formed on his forehead. Paralysis struck him as he began to say the words, “We offer unto thee, the living, the true, eternal God. . .“ Later he explained:
At these words I was utterly stupefied and terror-stricken. I thought to
myself, “With what tongue shall I address such majesty, seeing that all
men ought to tremble in the presence of even an earthly prince? Who
am I, that I should lift up mine eyes or raise my hands to the divine
Majesty? The angels surround him. At his nod the earth trembles. And
shall I, a miserable pygmy say, ‘I want this, I ask for that’? For I am dust
and ashes and full of sin and I am speaking to the living, eternal and
the true God.”
Such words are strange to the modern ear. We hear people .........
I know you’ve heard someone say, “I have not left Christianity but just moved beyond it into spirituality.” This is a popular “progression”. these days. But strictly speaking, if you move “beyond” Christianity, you must abandon it. Whenever you try to add to it, you subtract from it. hose who surrender the uniqueness of Christ do not simply abandon a part of the gospel message; they abandon the whole of it. Mathematics, like all truth, reminds us that there is only one way to be right, but many ways to be wrong.
The next morning we met at one of the gates at the White House. hen we stopped at the first guard station, one of my daughters offered her purse to the officer for inspection, but he waved her on. “You are with him”. he said, nodding to the agent, “go on in.”
Then, as we actually entered the White House, we met another assembly of guards. They looked at the agent, glanced at us, and said, “You are with him. Go on in.” In the hallway we met more guards. Again they looked at the agent, glanced at us, and said, “You are with him. .. . Go on in.”
By now we were nearing the Oval Office; I could already see the open door. One more guard stood at the entrance. Glancing at the agent, he, too, waved us on toward the door with the understanding, You are with him. Go on in. Then we set foot in the Oval Office, though we were not allowed to walk far beyond the doorway.
Now imagine that all believers in Christ were to die together. When we arrive on the other side of the gate called death, Jesus comes to join us on our journey enroute to our heavenly home. We go past one sentry of angels standing guard on the path to the New Jerusalem. They look at Christ, then glance at us and say, “You’re with Him. Go on in.”
Then we pass another band of angels and yet another. Each time, they look at Christ and then glance at us and say, “You’re with Him. Go on in.”
Finally, we near the very dwelling place of God. We are almost blinded by what the Scriptures call “unapproachable light.” For a moment we have a flashback, remembering our sins and failures. Among us are women who had abortions; the prostitute referred to earlier is there with us. Former adulterers stand with homo-sexuals, thieves with the covetous; all of these were redeemed and cleansed by Christ’s blood.
Among the group also are many who were spared such evils, though they struggled with similar sins in their minds. The flashback is so powerful, so real, each of us protests, “I can’t go in! I can’t go in!”
But the angels at the gate of the dwelling place of God look at Jesus, and then they glance at all of us and say, “You’re with Him....Go on in!”
And so it is that Jesus ushers into the presence of Almighty God!.
God’s Standards Do Not Change
The Ten Commandments are not just an arbitrary list of rules; they are a reflection of the character of God and the world that He chose to create.
We should not bear false witness because God is a God of truth; we should not commit adultery because the Creator established the integrity of the family. “Be holy, because I am holy” is a command in both Testaments (Lev. 11:44; 1 Pet. 1:16). God intended that the commandments hold His standard before us. “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (Luke 6:35). The command to love the unlovable is rooted in the very character of God.
God’s attributes are uniquely balanced. He combines compassion with a commitment to strict justice, describing Himself as “the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation” (Exod. 34:6—7).
Though we die, nothing in God dies; He unites the past and the future. The God who called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees called me into the ministry. The Christ who appeared to Paul enroute to Damascus saved me. The Holy Spirit who visited the early church with great blessing and power indwells those of us who have received salvation from Christ. The Bible could not state it more clearly: God has not changed and will not change in the future. The prophet Malachi recorded it in six words: “I the LORD do not change” (Mal. 3:6).
TEN LIES ABOUT GOD
Copyright@2000 by Erwin W. Lutzer
Word Publishing, a Thomas Nelson, Inc. Company
P. O. Box 141000, Nashville, Tennessee 37214
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