1 09 2012


True faith is not sentimental, nor is it sloppy!  It is not random, scattered or vague!  It actually must exclude more than it embraces. Being “born again” is not cultural, political, emotional or simply a feel good warm and fuzzy religious exercise.  Being “born again” is not right wing, republican, a pseudonym, or an invitation to cultish like behavior.  Being “born again” is not an option to Christianity but a command from the Lord Jesus Himself!  In the gospel of John, chapter 3 and verse 3, it was Jesus who clearly proclaimed, “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Faith is surrender, allegiance and the submitting your own heart to that of God’s word, will and way!

When you catch Jesus declaring something in scripture, it is probably a wise thing to do to pay extra attention to the statements flowing from his heart!  When you see Jesus beginning a sentence with “I tell you the truth,” it literally means, “Pay Attention! This is your Captain speaking and if you ever want to get to a destination worth going to- you won’t want to miss this!” To be born again is for you to allow God to do his “holy do-over” in you.  The Bible’s theological big word is “regeneration!”  It is a miraculous spiritual transformation that takes a person out of the darkness and brings him or her alive into God’s glorious light and everlasting life!

What I do love about Jesus is that when he first made this definitive statement about the need to be born again, he didn’t preface it by also adding- “And by the way- you aren’t allowed to ask any questions!”  If you ever hear that true believers ask no questions- ignore it because it is pure bunk! When nobody asks questions- it is probably a good indication that “nobody cares!”  As a pastor, it deflates my spirit when there is not enough wrestling over the facts!  The first thing that happens after Jesus makes his bold statement is that there are legitimate questions being asked!  ‘How can this be?”  Good question!

The word skepticism in our society has gotten a bad rap!  When it is genuinely defined- being a skeptic is a very good quality to own!  The word skepticism actually means to examine a matter closely, to scrutinize it, to study with great care- and minute detail!  Based on this definition, I would summarize that the church today needs more skeptics! 

Now I have met more than one person in my life who tells me, “I am not a believer because I am a skeptic.”  My first question to that individual is a sincere, “So what did you think when you read and studied the Bible?”  When I hear in reply, “I have never read the Bible” I know that this person is misguided and not a real student at all!  Skepticism is someone who will investigate and ponder and gather data!  One thing that a skeptic is not is lazy!  And I know that too many Americans misuse the title of “skeptic” as nothing more than an excuse that keeps them from making a meaningful and deep search of what they truly believe! A true skeptic is a hunter and a detective that stalks the evidence, laying ambush, rummaging for clues and dredging the river bottom!  A skeptic is passionate about discovering the whole truth and wants to believe- but uses safeguards against the hypnotic power of wanting something too bad- so they do the proper homework to get the answers right!

Thomas is the disciple in the Bible that I believe gets wrongly labeled a doubter when he really is nothing more than a real skeptic!  Thomas doubted not to excuse his belief but to establish a robust and real faith!  He doubted so that his belief might be based on something more than rumor and bandwagon wishful thinking!  Thomas said, “Unless I see it with my own eyes and touch it with my own hands, I will not believe.”  “Unless I see,” is not an expression of a lack of faith but rather an expression of his honest heart position.  He wanted his faith to be found in something concrete, something authentic and something of substance!  And when Thomas’ eyes are finally open- he immediately makes a bold proclamation of genuine devotion when he says to Jesus, “My Lord and My God!”  Thomas didn’t hem or haw or dilly or dally!  He was totally in and went to his death because of his solid beliefs!

But just be reminded along your pilgrimage of asking questions!  The basic flaw of doubt is that it will never be fully satisfied.  Doubt by its nature wants to consume you and not complete you!  You must remember that in your entire quest for evidence- and there will be plenty of that along the way- you must still allow and leave room for the infinite!  You must surrender to the notion that finite can’t put God in a box!  God is supernatural and without faith is it impossible to know God and please God because somewhere along the line- man must admit that he is not God! 

Coming to the Lord means admitting your helplessness and we humans don’t do that easily.  The problem goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden when we were duped into thinking that we could really do all that God does!  We thought that it couldn’t be that hard! We thought wrong! Not only is it too hard for us- it is impossible to pull off!  God wants us to come to him- not empty headed but empty handed!  There is a huge difference!  Ask your questions!  Ask them often!  Ask them regularly!  But know that it does take faith to believe in what you might not see with your eyes- but definitely have witnessed the evidence of in your heart, soul and spirit!  And if you want to experience the reality of a “holy do-over in your life” then you must hand over the driving to the Savior!  Jesus take the wheel is not only a hit song- it’s an awesome way of new life!  It is the only way to new life!        






2 responses

6 09 2012

very inspiring Rudy! I love how you write the way you speak.
And I’m trying to increase your blog subscribers : )

6 09 2012

very inspiring Rudy! I love how you write the way you speak. I can hear you saying it!
And I’m working to increase your subscribers : )

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