Monday Musings for October 09, 2017

Good morning, Musers,

Where do we draw the line of salvation? … or more to the point… can we draw such a line? The problem is that we can (…or at least we are told what we should find on either side of such a line if we looked, Galatians 5:19-26). But also… we can’t — because nobody really knows who else is saved. That’s between the person and God (1 Corinthians 2:11). So, although we could draw those lines all day long, whatever would they mean?

Well, they’d mean something… because we are given tools, criteria and admonitions to do that type of measuring. But the problem is that fruit-inspection is an unreliable enterprise — if for no other reason than non-believers seem to have some fruit, too. But also, the wheat and tares (Matthew 13:24-30) look so much alike that the Master of the Harvest insists that they grow together until maturity… and that the tares not be pulled out until then. These are just two reasons why sorting out who is in (and not in) the Kingdom of Heaven is tricky business.

Another reason that line is hard to draw is that the Bible reveals just how easy it is to obtain salvation in Christ — which is a soul-winner’s delight! But it never had easy-believism in view… much to the disappointment of some. Christ wants disciples, not converts… and discipleship is not an earthly version of harps-and-clouds; it is the spiritual version of weight-training, wind-sprints, sensible diet and rest.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24–27, NIV)

Nevertheless, there is not a lot of difference between a Christian’s day-to-day living and that of a moral secular person’s. Perhaps this is why James talked about this same problem two millennia ago… although he didn’t mention any line per se (James 1:22-27). But he did warn us that if we were known as believers to at least look like we have drawn the line for Christ.

That being said, we need to give each other a break. Our lives — both physical and spiritual — are journeys… and our paths are composed of points. But it is the nature of points that when they are taken out of context, they may look less than glorious. Yet, when we assemble them into a line so we see the whole journey, the points glorify God.

The rule to apply here is the golden one… do unto others (and all that) … which is a good rule for all humankind, not just for believers (Matthew 7:12). But we believers understand that we should be patient with others because God has been patient with us. And that “because” makes our line a different color… one that only God can see.

Enjoy the musing.

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