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Stairway To Heaven
Witnessing Tools
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Pete Garcia

''I find no fault in Him.''...You can find fault in anyone else, but you can find no fault in Jesus.  Holy, harmless, undefiled, sinless: there He is!  Christ is God's way to man; Christ is man's way to God.  Christ is the true Jacob's ladder.  By Him the penitent sinner, the believing soul, the redeemed child of God may come unto the Father and enter into the house of many mansions."~George W. Truett

Since the beginning of time, mankind has been promised everything under the sun, to include god-hood, if they could only meet God halfway in the salvation process.  Cain sought it in his vegetable offering.  The Israelites sought it in adhering to the law, while the pagan world sought it in worshipping everything from pieces of wood, to the constellations in the heavens.

Everything has been tried and found lacking outside of the Bible's prescribed method of saving mans immortal soul.  There is only one bridge which gaps heaven and earth, and that man is Jesus Christ.

Since the Garden of Eden, those who worshipped Jehovah looked forward to the day a Messiah would come:  Eve was promised this, Abel understood it, Enoch preached it, Noah experienced a type of it, Job knew it, and here, Jacob dreamed of it.

"At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep.  As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.  At the top of the stairway stood the LORD, and he said, “I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants."  Genesis 28:11-13 (NLT)

They looked forward to the day a Messiah would come, today we look back.  The fulcrum of history pivots entirely on what Christ did on the cross.  He, the only perfect man, died a brutal death He did not deserve as a sacrifice for the rest of humanity.  His death was payment in full, once for all time, on behalf of mankind who had no way of achieving it for ourselves.

Religion and Philosophy

And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4

The best man could do was at the Tower of Babel.  Babel not only put on display the arrogance and pridefulness of mankind, but laid the foundation for mans future attempt at saving himself.

The world is full of religions and philosophies that promise paradise, for only a little obedience.  They say, if you do this or that, you may gain entrance.  Join our group they say, for only we are enlightened and know the 'real' truth.  If you join, you soon find yourselves busy, trying to follow their rules and  regulations.  You might feel good about yourself at first, thinking your doing your part for the higher good, but when all your best efforts fail to remove that emptiness, it will consume you.  Their enlightenment, does nothing to lift the burden of sin that you must still carry around.  You will find as much meaning in a works-based salvation as does a hamster find freedom on an exercise wheel. 

Pride

This world, outside of Jesus Christ, at best can only offer what creature-comforts fortune and fame in this life.  It has no authority or power in the next, so through the use of rather effective propaganda, it has made the central slogan in humanity to date, 'get what you can, while you can'.

This propaganda comes wrapped in many different packages: patriotism, wealth, piety, fame, and renown to name a few.  If for nothing else, you want to feel as if you've led a life of accomplishment, with a tombstone that bears: 'here lies ____, a man/woman of vision'.  You may want to be remembered as having died a hero, or having left behind something that benefits mankind.  Maybe your name was made in academia, having achieved a level of elevation that your thoughts and opinions somehow carry greater weight than the average man.  Whatever pursuit you have sought out for yourself in this life, without Jesus Christ as your foundation, what good does it do you?

"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" Mark 8:36

Jesus Christ

Christianity on the other hand, is God reaching down to mankind and bridging the gap between Heaven and Earth through Jesus Christ

Christianity says that mankind could never be good enough to do it for themselves, because it is impossible.  We miss a vital ingredient in meeting God's perfect standard of righteousness.  The law was given so that mankind could realize the extent of his/her sinfulness.  A good example of the purpose of God's law would be the bathroom mirror, soap, and water.  The bathroom mirror, like the law, was meant to show man how sinful and decrepit he really was.  If you had no mirror, you would have no way of knowing how dirty you really were.  Yet, the mirror has no ability in and of itself to clean you, it can only expose the filthiness.  The blood of Jesus Christ then is like the soap and water, applied once, forever makes you acceptable in the sight of God.

The law, good works, personal righteousness, and morality are good things, but they can't bridge the gap between God and man, because a man by nature is sinful, and God perfect.  There needed to be something (or someone) who could close the space, being both.  Jesus was fully human, and also fully God.  He could not be an acceptable sacrifice on behalf of mankind if He were any less, or any more than He was.  That is why belief in the Virgin birth, sinless life, and resurrection are vital to believing in who Jesus was.

If you take any of those away from who you believe He was, than He would not be sufficient.  He would be 'another' Jesus incapable of saving your soul.

The Mormon's, Jehovah Witnesses, Muslims, and any other group who replaces the Jesus of the Bible with another Jesus, might be morally holy, pious, and admirable people, but still fall short of God's standard of perfection, therefore, doomed like the most heinous of the wicked to spend an eternity separated from God.

It might seem completely unfair to man, who has been taught so long that he must earn his keep, that he has no real ability to affect his or her own salvation.  It is unfair.  God did all the work.  All we can do, is what Christ said we could do to be saved...that is to believe in who He is and accept that sacrifice in our stead.

Although we don't fully comprehend God's plan for mankind, we know He desires to spend eternity with those, who by freewill, choose to know and love Him.  God knows who will come to Him, and yet, has left the door open to all which to my tiny, feeble mind, still seems incomprehensible.

Why would God, who spoke the universe into existence, be mindful of me?  I know, that someday, this will make sense.  For now, I am just grateful that I do know Him as Lord and Savior.  But I'll leave you with this excellent example from Dr. Harry Ironside,  that maybe puts this into a little bit of perspective.

“This illustration is of the sinner coming to the door of salvation (John 10:9). Above the door was a sign which says, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17). The sinner responds to this gracious invitation, trusts Christ and he is gloriously saved. He now turns around and looks at the door through which he had just entered. He sees above the door another sign which says, "Chosen...in Him before the foundation of the world" (Ephesian 1:4). Both are true. Both are taught in the Bible. Both must be believed.”

About Pete Garcia

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