>Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father. Colossians 1:1-2
This summer we’re going to explore the book of Colossians. Paul wrote this book while he was imprisoned in Rome around 60 AD. Colosse was a church that Paul had never visited. It was founded by Epaphras and other converts from Paul’s travels.
Word had reached Paul in prison that the Colossians were confusing a few things in their faith. They were combining what they had learned about Christ with other philosophies and religions including paganism. This syncretism wasn’t giving the Colossians the best of both worlds. It was producing the worst of everything. They questioned the supremacy of Christ and in that, were beginning to lose their identity as children of God.
Their situation isn’t actually that much different from what many believers or “spiritual” people do today. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying, “It’s my way or the highway.” But, here’s the problem if we take a little from this church and that church, and then we listen to this preacher and that preacher, and then we borrow a little from this philosophy and that, after a while we end up with a conflicting, convoluted mess. Then, we wonder, “Why can’t I hear from God? Why isn’t anything working?”
God is a jealous God. Jesus said very clearly and unapologetically, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). How narrow-minded of Him! How unpolitically correct! Who does He think He is? Well, Jesus is the Son of God.
It’s not up to us to figure out how we want to approach God. God has pretty much spelled that out. There’s only one road that leads to God. All of the other roads may be nice or appealing, but they don’t end up at the same place. That doesn’t mean that Christians are better than others. It does mean that true believers are blessed.
It all comes down to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You could be a Buddhist who trusts the saving grace of Jesus Christ and get to Heaven. You could be a Baptist who attends church every Sunday and still go to Hell. What we think is right doesn’t matter? The Truth has been defined very clearly through God’s Son and through God’s Word. Outside of that, everything else is just speculation.
Who are the major influences in your life? What speakers? What authors? What strategies or philosophies? How do they line up with the Truth of God’s Word?
You see we can’t trust God for salvation, and then trust Warren Buffett for our security, and then trust Howard Stern with our love life, and then trust Oprah with our salvation. It just doesn’t work. Now, I know that even a broken clock is right twice a day. We can learn something from everybody. But, how does what they’re teaching compare to what God’s Word tells us?
If you’re upset about Oprah, shoot me an email. (I am out of the office this week, but I will respond just as soon as I get back. I promise). We can talk about what Oprah, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, and A Course in Miracles. If you’re upset about Howard Stern, I’m not sure that I want to have that conversation.
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