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The Quest

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3)

From the very beginning the world has been in turmoil in the name of religion. Man was created with a natural hunger in his heart for worship. Man has a burning need to believe in something bigger than himself. This attribute is a result of how he was created by God. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26) Man is created in the image of God in order for man to worship God more than anything. The Chief End of Man is to Glorify God. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Of all of God’s creation only man is able to admire himself. He is able to do this because he is created in the image of God the Creator. God as the Father of creation looks upon man to see if His children (man) appears as He is. Much as we as parents look upon our children to see ourselves growing in them. Therefore, the purpose and intent of God creating man in His own image was to see man reflect His glory. A. W. Tozer says it this way, “man’s supreme function through all eternity is to reflect God’s highest glory, and that God might look into the mirror called man and see His own glory shining there. Through man, God could reflect His glory to all creation.”

Man is born with the knowledge of his time of death but lives as if that time will never come. So a man who forsakes his final outcome sees no need to prepare for that quickening moment we he departs this world. Somewhere along the way a belief system of religion comes into play to provide a purpose for life and an ability to face the unknown without fear. Religion in the broad term is our greatest motivation and can cause us the greatest joy and the deepest despair. For most it is despair because the greater of the world’s religions do not fulfill the question of purpose for their life or the unknown life after. “Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:20)

There are many religions in this world and all save one is created by man. Some are common to man and organized within the group. They worship many different deities or objects. Then there are personal religions such as sex, money, power or self. Man chose to reject the truth of God’s Word and therefore God has given them over to the desires of their heart. “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.” (Romans 1:24) Man has become spiritually blinded to the truth from which he was created. Man’s heart hungers for that which he does not know and the adversary has taken entrance to the open door of man’s heart. “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) God is and shall always be the power over His universe and can heal the blindness of man. With God all things are possible and through prayer all things are possible to us through His Son Jesus Christ. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Man is but a spiritual being living in a physical body involved in a spiritual war for his soul. Man alone is not capable to overcome the spiritual forces in the heavenly places. The world in which we live was once the Garden of Eden, a perfect paradise created for man by God. Cursed by man’s fall into temptation from the evil one Satan. The relations of man and God were broken, the battle for man’s soul rages throughout the heavenly places, and man continually rejects the Father God who loves him. The wages for disobedience to God’s Word, (sin) is death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

It is the purpose of God that man accept the free gift of salvation from the coming wrath of God for the sin of this world. God sent His Son to be the sacrifice, the One to pay the cost of the sin of the world, my sin and yours, and to rise from the grave that through Him man might have eternal life with the Father. There is no other way, there is no other who could have paid the sin debt, and there is no place to find salvation except through Jesus Christ. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

All other religions in the world are deceptions of the Prince of the Air, Satan. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (1 John 4:1-2)

We now live in the age of grace where God pours out his love and mercy upon us through the redemptive power in the blood of Christ shed upon the cross. His arms are open to us and He is calling the lost sheep to come unto Him. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20) To those who answer Jesus will come into their life and rule upon the throne of their heart leading them down the dusty King’s Highway to their heavenly home with the Father. Like the earthly father who has paid the debt of his child and freed them from debtor’s prison so has our Father God freed us through the righteousness of His Son. Once dead in the wages of our sin now they are free to live eternally in the love of the everlasting Father. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

The burden has been lifted and no longer do they carry the weight of sin. They have been redeemed, the sin of the past has been removed and remembered no more, and they no longer live in the kingdom of darkness but thrive in the Kingdom of Light. Joy has replaced sorrow, hope has replace fear, and God’s love has replaced hate in their heart. Aimless drifting in the sea of humanity has been replaced by a purpose of life. The excitement of this gives the desire to share the Good News of what Jesus has done in their life, that greatest miracle that they have witnessed. They are now secure because they are the Children of God, they love their Lord and follow His commands. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

The follower of Jesus no longer lives for the world but lives in the context of being a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. We live in the example of the Master and grow into His image that people my see in them that they are Children of God. They are His representatives of His Kingdom. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20) The trials and tribulations of this world not only strengthen the follower of Jesus but begin to make sense as they perceive the meaning of the course of the world. The follower of Jesus no longer sees the meaning of life as themselves but the One who lives within themselves and they follow hearing His voice. “And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Mark 8:24) They are not spectators in the world but laborers to save the lost in the world. The follower of Jesus knows where the true treasure is. “And those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:31) Physical things of this world have no lasting value and will not follow anyone into the next. The treasure that has value is not physical but spiritual for they will follow us to the home we were created to live in. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” (Matthew 6:20)

As Christians we are to spread the seed of His gospel to all the nations. As members of His body, the Church, we are led by Him the head of the body to use are time, talent and treasure towards this goal. Many in the world are lost and cannot find their way and Jesus came to restore them to a right relationship with His Father God. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) Most will reject our work, many will persecute us, some may even kill us, but to those who accept the free gift of salvation they will not perish in the lake of fire that awaits the unrepentant sinner.

We are the sowers of His seed. We are, I believe, living in the end times and the harvest is near. There is much work to be done and no time to fraternize with false doctrines. We are to Love the sinner but hate the sin. I cannot condone what I know to be wrong. I must stand upon the rock of His true Church and point to Him. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matthew 6:24) There is but one way. This is my belief and upon this I have placed my faith. We are to spread His word by mouth and deed. Our own personal witness is a most powerful tool. Therefore, by our own action and lives people shall know Him. It is for us a labor of love for God is Love. “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

For I shall point to the sin, present the truth and the truth shall set them free. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32) It is His Holy Spirit working through me that convicts. If His truth and Gospel is rejected then I shall pray for them and move on as there are many in the world to be reached.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

May 7, 1988

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