I am ending the site, though I will keep it here for a while. Jesus’ ministry lasted but three years, ending when he had covered all that was necessary. Over the years I have covered everything from the four covenants God had made with man (Adam & Eve, Abraham, Moses, Jesus), posts on all of the books in Scripture, and the lesson that Jesus tried to get across to the Jewish leaders of the day.
Today I will summarize what I have tried to explain over the 7 years I have been posting, with the hope that those who read it will find enlightenment and understanding.
In the beginning God made a covenant with Adam and Eve, a simple one: don’t be concerned with what is right and wrong, just live in peace and eternal life will be theirs. God would protect them from them from the evil around them. They failed. Mankind was cursed with a short hard life.
God renewed his covenant with Abraham, allow God to be their god and he would protect them from the evil around them. They failed.
God made another covenant with Moses, providing 10 Commandments to follow. Obey them and God would protect them from the evil around them. They failed.
God has given us one last chance, a covenant from Jesus. Follow His teaching and eternal life will be ours again when we leave this life. Have you failed? Let’s examine this final covenant, then decide for yourself which side of it you are on.
Jesus’ goal was to simplify things. The Jewish leadership had gone overboard, taking the 10 Commandments that Moses had received and expanded them into near 1,000 rules that were impossible for anyone but the leadership to actually observe, if even then (Jesus continuously reminded them of how they broke their own laws). Jesus commandments were simple ones:
Love the Lord God. How were we to do this? That’s where the second commandment came in:
Love your fellow man. Love him as you would yourself. He made it simple to determine just who among mankind you are to show love:
(RSV) Mar 12:31 You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Who is your neighbor? Jesus made that abundantly clear:
(RSV) >Luke 10:30 “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, 34 and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
But, Jesus did not stop there, for to love someone who shows you kindness is no great feat. As Christians we are to go beyond that:
(RSV) 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
That makes it is easy: if you see someone, show them Christian love. I don’t mean a hug and a kiss on the cheeks, that’s not love, that’s showing off. If they are in need, and you have the ability, help them. If they are being persecuted for any reason, stand up for them. If they are/do anything that offends you, show them love, not hate.
If you are truly a follower of Jesus you will love them regardless of whether their skin color is different than yours; if their sexual orientation doesn’t match yours; if their religion isn’t the same as yours (that includes other Christians as well); whether they are billionaires or are begging at the street corner. Jesus didn’t differentiate. He showed love to Jews, Samaritans, and Roman soldiers, they are all children of the Father.
Don’t envy/hate the rich and powerful, they are His children as well. They were given what they have to use it to help those less fortunate. That doesn’t mean to give it all away, but to use it to help. Hospital wings are named after people who have given of their wealth to help others. Same with libraries, parks, charities, and other things. Those things need money to create and run, they wouldn’t happen if everyone’s wealth was equal.
Don’t stick up your noses at the people you see begging. Sure, some are pulling a scam, but some are really in need. Help if you can, don’t worry about which you are helping. You are richer than they are, you are their billionaires. You can’t build them a home, but you can give them a meal.
Instead of buying that 60” 4D television set because you’re tired of the 40” HD set, take that extra money and help people who can’t afford a 10” set. You are their billionaire.
If you have extra time, instead of heading out for another round at the golf course give a few hours helping at the Red Cross, Salvation Army, local soup kitchen, become a volunteer Fire Fighter. Walk a few miles for some cause (cancer, homeless, etc). You are their arms and legs.
This is how you gain salvation. Yes, salvation is not by acts, you can’t work your way into heaven. But, if you’ve truly accepted Jesus as you Lord then the works will flow out of that love. If you’re just going to church one day a week and saying, “I don’t have the time/money to help” then you really haven’t accepted Jesus as Lord, for He gave the ultimate price to help you, you surely can give of your time/money to help others. After all, that 60” 4D TV set isn’t going into the grave with you, but that person you passed on the corner without helping just may be the St. Peter who says Yeah or Nay to your entry into Heaven. Remember the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man (notice how Lazarus gets a name but the Rich Man doesn’t), all the Rich Man had to do to gain entry was to offer Lazarus something to eat and drink.
This is God’s desire for us. This is the lesson Jesus tried to teach us. If you haven’t gotten it by now then, like with Jesus to the Pharisees, you ain’t gonna get it. Yes, everyone following Jesus’ commands will be welcomed into the banquet, whether they began from the start or started at the 11th hour, but if you intentionally hold off until that 11th hour…what if you miss it?
This ends my posts and my teaching. Learn it if you will, ignore it at the cost of your soul.
Salva Issusu Christu! – Glory to Jesus the Christ!
Mike, the Modern Theologian