Which is Right & Which is an Illusion?
As we journey through this life our paths sometimes look very clear, other times not so clear. Life is made up in large part by what we hear and by what we believe. What we believe when concerning the Word of God is not as simple as it is sometimes presented to be. There are indeed as Scripture says so many voices, and as we listen we, by our very nature, make decisions as to which is right.
A song by a rock group called the Moody Blues years ago made this point in the lyrics “cold hearted orb rules the night, removes the color from our sight, red is gray and yellow white, and we decide which is right and which is an illusion.” Personally I thought about those words many times as I heard those lyrics as an unsaved man. I assure you I have thought about them a lot more after having learned the truth of the gospel of God and His Christ.
As men and women determine not to believe the truth of the gospel of grace and thereby fully trust in the salvation offered by God through Jesus Christ His Messiah, the enemy rushes in with any number of things to fill our conscious mind as well our subconscience with that which blinds mankind from seeing of the truth. As Scripture says plainly “the God of this world who is Satan has blinded the minds of those who chose not to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and His completed work for their salvation and eternal life.”
The Teacher Mentality
I personally entertain a concept in my thinking, one which I call the blinding by the ” teacher mentality” wherein people become willing students because of the renown or reputation of an individual. This can result in bringing about good instruction, useful for both spiritual and secular life. Since we start life with empty heads, we don’t have knowledge and we certainly don’t have wisdom. Yet we are created by the creator with a hunger to learn, to understand, to have something in which we can be confidently assured that what we believe is the right thing.
Enter here the possibility of extreme misinformation which is available concerning everything we encounter on our journey through life. The advantage of the Internet to gain knowledge has created possibilities, unlimited possibilities of variations of what you might decide to call truth. Remember the words to the song ” we decide which is right and which is an illusion.” Herein lies a great problem for man, outside of God’s opening of our minds we cannot understand spiritual truth.
As I write these words I am reminded of Job 33:15-18 where young Elihu speaks as he is prompted by the Holy Ghost. He says “in a dream, in a vision of the night when deep sleep falls upon man, in slumbering upon the bed; then He opens the ears of man, and sealeth their instructions, that He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit and his life from perishing by the sword. God works in our subconscious as well as in our conscious mind.
One of the greatest shocks of life is how many things, so-called facts, that you have to unlearn once you have learned what you now consider to be true.
Things concerning the gospel of God, the eternal life that is only found through Jesus Christ is the epitome of information that we need to get right, dismissing that which is proven by Scripture to be fallacy or misrepresentative of our God. As someone wisely said “most error in the church results from believing something about God which is not true, or emphasizing something that is true to the exclusion of another truth of God.” A most crucial question for anyone to ask of themselves is this – do I love the truth? As I heard someone today say “everything in our life is ultimately decided as our consciousness moves toward eternity by what we believe about God as we travel through this mortal life.”
Have you ever been introduced to someone, spoken to them perhaps for a short time, or maybe spoken to them several times only to find in the final analysis they don’t know you and you don’t know them. This would constitute an introduction with no ensuing depths of relationship. On the other hand if you are married or you have had someone you can call a good friend for many years you may well say “I know them.” That would constitute a relationship.
Conversion or Redemption?
I want to insert something here written by Oswald Chambers in which he brings forth the concept of being introduced to the truth but not embracing the Christ to the extent of salvation being received. This is a portion of My Utmost for His Highest titled the “The Opened Sight” to open their eyes….that they may receive… Acts 26:18 —— The first sovereign work of grace is summed up in the words, “that they may receive remission of sins.”… When a man fails in personal Pseudo-Christian experience, it is nearly always because he has never received anything. The only sign that a man is saved is that he has received something from Jesus Christ. Our part as workers for God is to open men’s eyes that they may turn themselves from darkness to light; but that is not salvation, that is conversion—– the effort of a roused human being. I do not think that it is too sweeping to say that the majority of nominal Christians are of this order; their eyes are opened, but they have received nothing. Conversion is not regeneration! This is one of the most neglected factors in our preaching today. When a man is born again, he knows that it is because he has received something as a gift from the Almighty God and not because of his own decision. People registered their vows & their pledges and determined to go through, but none of this is salvation. Salvation means that we are brought to the place where we are able to receive something from God on the authority of Jesus Christ, viz, remission of sins.——– Then there follows the second mighty work of grace— “an inheritance among them which are sanctified.” In sanctification the regenerated soul deliberately gives up his right to himself to Jesus Christ, and identifies himself entirely with God’s interest in other men.
I believe what is written here by Oswald Chambers is fortified by the passage of Scripture in Ephesians 1:13. Where we see four important words trusted, heard, believed, and sealed. These four words all have a separate action that takes place concerning them.
Trust takes place after the action of hearing the word of truth…… Believing is an option made available to the awakened soul, but it is only an option…… Being sealed with the Holy Spirit is the result of trusting the word of truth to the point of being saved….. Being sealed by the Holy Spirit does not take place because a man hears the truth! There is a reason these actions are separated in this Scripture.
We’ve all heard the phrases, you know like one that says do you know Jesus, or have you been introduced to Jesus? When I hear those types of questions it always brings to mind the sower sowing seed and that type of ground on which it falls. The seed in each instance is the same seed, yet in each scenario it yields a different product or end result.