I have found it nearly impossible, and that is probably an understatement, to engage anyone today in a discussion on the teachings of the Bible without being asked, sooner rather than later, what I believe it takes to get to heaven. Most simply ask straightforwardly, “What must a person do to get to heaven?”
Not much has changed in the past thirty-five to forty years. I remember trying to raise support for my ministry in Portland, Oregon. I was following through with a contact that had been given to me from another Christian who had decided to support my ministry. He felt that this friend of his would respond also. So I entered this man’s business and told him of my ministry with college students and of my need for monthly support. At the end of my presentation, he turned around and grabbed a note pad and pen off his supply shelf and wrote a question for me to answer. He said, “Before I’d consider helping you, you have to answer this question: ‘What must a person do to go to heaven?’”
We have been taught all our lives that the most important thing we can do for a dying relative or friend is to lead him or her to faith in Jesus before he or she passes into the next world unprotected. This scenario has been recently, and I must add, powerfully, set before us in the movie God is not Dead. In the last scene of the movie, the greatest antagonist against the belief in God is hit by a car on his way to a concert being helped by the protagonists who want to glorify God. While it is apparent that the antagonist is repentant and desirous of changing his ways as he makes his way to the concert, a minister, with whom he has had a couple of dialogues, sees him lying in the street during a pouring rain. He runs up to him and gives him a simple, last chance to trust in Jesus. And he does. The scene actually gives the viewer chills; it is so exciting. It did that for me at least.
Study Bibles have been around for a long time now. The first one could be said to be the Geneva Bible published in 1560. Its study notes were intended to promote the Reformed Theological tradition. Then around 1917 the Oxford University Press published the Scofield Study Bible. It became the standard for the next seventy years. Then between 1985, when the New International Study Bible was published, and the turn of the twenty-first century, there was a great proliferation of study Bibles, climbing to over one hundred in number. Every denomination and most of the larger sects had its theological perspective now enshrined in its very own study Bible.
I’m like a lot of avid sports fans. I can tend to be a little on the fanatical side of enthusiastic. My love is college football.
I love the fall because it is the time for head to head competition. I love the spring because it is the time for the first glimpse of what my team will be like in the fall. I definitely hate the summer though because there is nothing happening that is football related unless you want to follow college recruiting. But that, I’m told from very reliable sources can cause insanity.
The root cause of temporary insanity, depression, frustration, anger, high blood pressure, and general overall stress is the “flipper!”
The flipper is the prized football player who flips from my team to another team. And the heavens above must be called in for protection if a player flips to my biggest rival’s team! Flipping side
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