Thursday, 30 May 2019
Jesus: The Cure for Hatred
Only in Christianity can a person be saved by God's grace and not by any meritorious works they've done. Ephesians 2:8 and 9 (BBE) explains, "Because by grace you have salvation through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is given by God: Not by works, so that no man may take glory to himself."
Though Israel was given many commandments, they had one thing in common. A certain scribe asked Jesus which is the greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-40 (BBE) shows his answer. "And he said to him, 'Have love for the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest rule. And a second like it is this, Have love for your neighbour as for yourself. On these two rules all the law and the prophets are based."
Many religions are hostile to other belief systems, Islam being the most obvious example. But Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-45 (BBE), "You have knowledge that it was said, Have love for your neighbour, and hate for him who is against you: But I say to you, Have love for those who are against you, and make prayer for those who are cruel to you; So that you may be the sons of your Father in heaven; for his sun gives light to the evil and to the good, and he sends rain on the upright man and on the sinner."
Another aspect of Christianity's uniqueness is that we are adopted into Christ's family. Paul explained this mystery when contending with those who wanted to go back to observing the law which Moses gave Israel. Galatians 4:4-6 (BBE) explains, "But when the time had come, God sent out his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, That he might make them free who were under the law, and that we might be given the place of sons. And because you are sons, God has sent out the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, saying, 'Abba, Father'".
And as for apostasy, we don't kill those who leave the faith like the Qu'ran orders its adherents to do. As the Apostle John noted in 1 John 2:19 (BBE), "They went out from us but they were not of us; if they had been of us they would still be with us: but they went out from us so that it might be made clear that they were not of us." Therefore, we need not punish them but admonish them to return and repent.
I could write much more on this subject but I'll save it for my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? We need to realize how precious God's gift of salvation is and take what Christ said with all seriousness.
On Saturday, I'll post about the ultimate interstellar alien and his future invasion of planet Earth.