Advent for Adults #8

December 8th ….17 NIGHTS TIL CHRISTMAS




From the sounds of yesterday’s post it almost looks like everybody’s eligible. It looks like if you are Jewish, Jesus Christ is YOUR Messiah, and it looks like if you’re a Gentile, you are eligible for adoption.

Certainly everybody is eligible.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”  [1 Tim 2:5,4[1]]

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  [John 3:16]

God has made provision for ALL. All men (and women!) are eligible.

But do not make the mistake of believing that just  because ALL are eligible ALL are automatically accepted. Jesus Christ himself said that the gate to get into the Kingdom of God is VERY narrow:  “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait (narrow, tight) is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”  [Matthew 7:13,14]

People in this world almost all have the opinion that all paths lead to God. Whatever you want to believe, whatever religion or philosophy you choose, will get you into God’s kingdom. So if you are a Hindu, or Jew, or Muslim—  or Presbyterian, or Baptist, or  Catholic, or Anglican— that is your own chosen path and as long as you stick to it you will eventually arrive safe and sound in God’s kingdom.

In fact most people are offended by Christians who quote Jesus Christ’s own words, “I am the way, the truth, and the life— no man cometh to the father except by me.” [John 14:6]  People are becoming more and more intolerant of Christians who seem to suggest that not all ways are right ways.   But it’s true. The Bible says “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” [Proverbs 16:25]  Not all paths lead to heaven— or to adoption.

There’s a difference between eligibility and acceptability.

Let me use a recent example from my own life to explain.  I am in the process right now of selling my old 1989 Ford F150 truck. I am asking $500.00 O.B.O. I’ve already had 5 offers. All these folk are eligible to buy it—but not all offers are acceptable. Why not? Because I will only sell on my terms. Why? Because it’s my truck, and it’s been a reliable, faithful old workhorse and I am loathe to let it go— especially to somebody who doesn’t appreciate what that old truck has meant to me.

All those people who want to go to heaven and who are eligible, need to keep in mind that Christ is God’s only begotten son.  God sent him into this world to save the world. He didn’t send him armed to the teeth, threatening people to submit or be killed— He sent him weak, vulnerable, unarmed, into a snake pit. (Read Matthew chapter 2, the story of King Herod who had all the children 2 years old and under killed, hunting down the Christ child.)

God endorsed his son’s ministry by enabling Christ to heal the blind, the sick, the lame, the lepers, even raise the dead— and then God stood by as jealous and wicked men falsely accused him, gave him a mock trial, beat him half to death, and then nailed him on a cross to die.

The reason God allowed this is because SOMEBODY had to pay the sin-debt for the world. SOMEBODY had to give something to pay for all the offenses committed by human race. And if the payment required  was death (“for the wages of sin is death” [ Romans 6:23]) somebody had to die— either YOU or Jesus Christ.

That’s what it cost to turn you from eligible to acceptable. All men are eligible to be saved and become the sons of God by adoption— but only those who understand the price that was paid to buy them back from death are acceptable by God. In other words, you’ve got to be sorry for your own sin. You’ve got to take responsibility for the fact that you have lived your life oblivious to God’s laws, in many cases believing in religions and philosophies that ignore and even mock Jesus Christ.

Do you think that God would let you through the narrow door while you hold onto your stubborn, selfish beliefs  and sinful attitudes? If he offers you heaven for FREE, will you mock him and insinuate your own beliefs in payment for your sin— sin that Christ had to die for?

That’s why I titled this blog TO BE ANNOUNCED. Imagine an entire orphanage full of boys and girls all waiting to be adopted.  The day arrives when a large group of potential parents come to check out these children, to pick that child or children for adoption. Now they are all eligible for adoption. But those children who are arrogant, belligerent, and selfishly believe that they MUST BE adopted, on their own terms— need to be reminded that not all of them are acceptable. Not yet, anyway.  To come into the kingdom, to be acceptable, you must be contrite. That means willing to accept His terms, not demand your own  terms. “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” [Psalm 34:18]   “For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” [Isaiah 66:2]

Is EVERYBODY eligible? Yes.  Are all acceptable? Not yet.  Are all adopted? Not yet. The verdict is His to announce, not yours.



NEXT:   How to know for sure  you’ve been Adopted : PART ONE





[1] Notice the verses are quoted in reverse order. The reason for this is readability. It must be emphasized that the Bible was written by eye-witnesses to certain facts, and not in a format always conducive to quick quotation. If I quote a passage (like I quote Isaiah 66:2 at the end of this blog) I’m assuming my reader will be patient if I quote more than is needed to maintain context. But such long quotes are often distracting. It is sometimes difficult to maintain  smooth continuity in an argument while also quoting the Bible accurately,  because the Bible verses are often packed with information and are often  hard to condense into short quotations.— Ed.