How real is your faith?
Now that you've had some grounding, it is time to move to the next step. We are now going to approach five battlegrounds, five areas of conflict and controversy. These areas are sidelined or ignored by most Christians these days, because of the baggage that has become attached to them. But the reality is that there is a real cost involved in taking a position on these areas, because Biblical truth has been so obscured and Christian "political correctness" so insistent that we follow "modern interpretations". Do these people not know what is at stake here? Here they are:
Creation - six literal days or otherwise?
Israel - a prophetic or rejected entity?
Salvation - Jesus, the only way to God?
Hell - is it really as bleak as we are told?
End Times - how are things going to be wrapped up?
These five battlegrounds have endured repeated conflict throughout Christian history, fought by Greek and Hebrew antagonists. We will now visit each in turn and watch the battles as they unfold over history. By doing so we will get a handle on what Christians have believed and, more importantly, why they have believed. Two questions, though, should be scrawled on post-it notes in your mind's eye, to be constantly recalled:
1. What was Jesus' own understanding?
2. If Christians have deviated from this, what has influenced them to do so?
Do we accept that, while he was on Earth, Jesus had a perfect understanding of all areas we are considering? If we do so, then do we also accept that his understanding still holds? Do we hold Bible truths as timeless and as relevant now as they were 2000 years ago? Or do we consider that, for social, cultural, political or other reasons, the parameters have changed?
Let us allow the Bible to speak on this.
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
"For, 'All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.' And this is the word that was preached to you". (1 Peter 1:24-25)
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." (Matthew 24:35)
"Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens." (Psalm 119:89)
The Bible has spoken. It is now time for men to speak. Let the battles commence ... next week.
(This is an abridged extract from Steve's book How the Church Lost the Truth: And How it Can Find it Again)
You may also find the following interesting
Watch the above video by Steve Maltz - "Hebrew Roots - Bondage or freedom?".
Watch the above video by Steve Maltz - "Jesus from a Hebraic Perspective".