Sunday, August 28, 2011

Heaven on Earth

Many eastern religions attempt to create a heaven on earth.  Hinduism has reincarnation as a main focus.  Buddhism teaches that life exists within itself, that there is no inherent meaning to life, other than to be happy and not suffer.  The one thing that ties many of these religions together is the worship of the self, since they do not believe that there is a God.  One of the reasons that a heaven on earth is necessary is that salvation is not a part of these religions.  There is no Savior to stand in to receive the just punishment so rightly deserved, so one’s behavior on this earth must be exemplary.  Many of these eastern religions have no expectation of life after death, so improving the world we live in must substitute for that heavenly aspiration.  The leaders and scholars of the ELCA also promote that we must create a heaven on earth.  They abandon their responsibility to bring the lost to Jesus while they engage in a headlong rush to lift up the goal of social justice over the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The false gospel of affirmation that the ELCA embraces has no need for a Savior, since eternal life with our Father is a foregone conclusion.
As Christians, faith in the Risen Christ is the only requirement necessary to be granted salvation.  For ELCA Lutherans, it is entirely up to you whether or not you believe or how you want to believe.  For ELCA Lutherans, new doctrines allow the individual to believe as they wish, because God so loves us that we all are going to heaven regardless of faith, chosen religion or non-belief.   Jesus Christ, true God from true God, of one with the Father said in John 3:16-21, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”  The leaders of the ELCA again convict themselves by choosing to disregard our Lord’s command, hide their lies in the darkness, all the while encouraging their membership to accept a false gospel that sounds so very appealing.  Those appealing words lead their members away from the Lord.  Overemphazing the love of neighbor over our love of the Lord places their membership at risk.  After all, we are called to love our neighbor as our Lord and Savior loved us.  Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”  And by very definition, our neighbor is anyone who happens to live on this earth, regardless of any differences among us.
Why is the ELCA so preoccupied with the things of this world and so driven to in their quest to create some kind of Utopia here on earth?  Why is the crusade for social justice the overriding element of their mission?  As the leadership of the ELCA continues to drive a wedge between themselves and our Lord, earthly preoccupations take precedence over their true calling to save the lost.  Would it not be more appropriate to teach those that have not heard the true Gospel of Jesus Christ rather than to dilute our faith in an effort to placate those that only want to believe on their own terms?   Once one truly surrenders to our Lord, we and our sinful desires are no longer important.  For certain, all who surrender continue to sin again and again, but if we truly desire to become Christ like, we will endeavor to place our needs secondary to our Lord’s will.  In 1 Corinthians 10:23-24, the Apostle Paul wrote about a believer’s freedom, “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. 24 Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”   If social justice is to truly prevail in this world, we must fill our hearts with the true love of Christ, striving to follow His law and the fulfillment of His will  2 Corinthians 3:4-6, Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.  6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”   Share the Good News of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and work to bring all who have not heard to Him.  Only when all come to Christ will we even approach anything remotely resembling a heaven on earth.  Our great reward is an eternity with our Father in heaven.  Whatever it is that we accomplish in this world, it is done to give glory to our God.

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