by Victor Knowles
Every man and his dog know that certain things are absolutely necessary to physical life: light, water, food, air, and shelter from the elements. Why is it that, when it comes to spiritual life, men immediately begin to deny the indispensable?
If a man is fortunate, he may live to be 70 or 80-maybe even 100. But that is virtually nothing compared to eternity. And God has set eternity in the heart of man (Eccl. 3:11). Sadly, however, many have chosen to expel the idea of eternity from their thinking and practice.
Madalyn Murray O'Hair called heaven a "delusional dream." Bertrand Russell once boasted, "When I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive." Corliss Lamont waxed poetic in his denial of life after death: "While we're here, let's live in clover, for when we're dead, we're dead all over." Foolish ones. Atheists, skeptics, and humanists like these are to be pitied. Professing themselves to be wise, they have become fools. For only fools dare proclaim, "There is no God."
Moral relativism is a dangerous philosophy afoot today. "What's good for you is not necessarily good for me; I determine what is good for me." Like Pilate of old they ask, "What is truth?" Absolute truth has no place in their world. It is no relative of theirs.
A recent poll revealed that 67 percent of Americans do not believe that such a thing as absolute truth exists. And 53 percent of those who say they are "born again" do not believe in absolute truth either! Little wonder that one out of every five Americans is now infected with a sexually transmitted disease!
"Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble" (Ps. 119:165). I've got a satisfied mind-and it hasn't come from reading Russell or listening to Lamont. Those who choose God have found a peace that "passes understanding," a peace that leaves foolish philosophies in the dust.
I believe that there are absolutes-things that are absolutely necessary to pleasing God and attaining eternal life. For me, these are simply indispensable-vital and fundamental truths that are not subject to being set aside or neglected.
Faith is simply indispensable. "Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:6). Jesus declared, "If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24).
Love for God and man is simply indispensable. The greatest commandments, according to the greatest Teacher, are to love God with all our being and love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-38). Gentle John said, "He who loves God must love his brother also" (1 John 4:21). We must not bust that "must"!
Conversion is simply indispensable. Our Lord gave double emphasis to this truth in Luke 13:3,5: "Unless you repent you will all likewise perish." All have sinned; all must repent. New birth is a necessity. "Unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). America's Pentecost will begin when preachers preach and sinners submit to Acts 2:38: "Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Having the Holy Spirit in our lives is simply indispensable. "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His (Rom. 8:9). Without this vital root there can be no real fruit (Gal. 5:22-23).
Abiding in Christ is simply indispensable. Jesus said, "He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Only the faithful and the fruitful will find favor with God.
Confessing Christ is simply indispensable. "Whoever confesses me before men, him I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 10:32-33). How we need bold confessors in these evil days, when everyone is "coming out of the closet" to openly parade their wickedness!
Seeking unity and holiness is simply indispensable. "Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14). Here are two crucial areas where the average church in America is as weak as tea: seeking unity and practicing holiness. Yet we will never see God until we start being peacemakers and begin to "cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Cor. 7:1).
These seven cardinal truths are not the sum total of the Christian faith and practice, but they are some of what is involved in accepting and following Christ. At least they will do for starters. Start today! It's simply indispensable!
From Double Exposure-66 of Our Favorite Columns in The Knowlesletter,
by Victor & Evelyn Knowles, ©1999 by Peace on Earth Ministries (POEM).
Reprinted by permission.