A close friend wrote me a text that he was doing a study on predestination vs. free choice to accept Christ. As a growing Christian, I encouraged him to study it out. Anytime you can gain insights to what people believe, it can be a healthy exercise. As long as you take the next step…which is asking yourself, “What do I believe?”
Over the years, I have seen so many disagreements about doctrines, biblical practices and tenants that people believe. I was introduced to this whole world as a young believer when I saw two “learned men” argue for three hours about Calvinism vs. Armenianism. I have heard about everything from speaking in tongues, which Bible translation is real, should we lift our hands and when is the sabbath. There is a lot of passion behind each of these arguements. Good people who emphatically believe their “way” is the only way.
Taking my own advice, let me tell you what I emphatically believe. Jesus said this:
Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments
Love God. Love People. If Jesus said these are the two greatest things we can do with our lives, I am going to focus on that. Do I have beliefs on all the other topics – yes, I do. Yet, in the end, what do you gain if you are actually right? Not a whole lot. I will gain everything if I choose to accept Christ as my Lord and savior. I will gain everything if I choose to live a life the best I can that honors him. I will gain everything if I respect and value others where they can make their own choice to accept Christ. I will gain everything if I live a life that helps others grow in their relationship with Christ.
“But they will miss ___ if they don’t _____.” You will not miss God if you put your focus on Christ. You will not miss God if you live a life that desires to grow closer to him. You will not miss God honoring someone else before yourself. You will not miss God when you put Him first.
What is your bottom line?