To the Unknown God
~ To the Unknown God ~
No Longer Winking
According to the Bible, one can have a doctorates degree in religious education and still be clueless as to scripture's life applications, as knowing about God is quite different from knowing Him.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:
for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. 2:14
And, unfortunately, it is human tendency to be lazy toward our own spiritual growth; allowing others to tell us what to believe. However, that isn't necessary. You already know the verses. You just need to hear from God as to their application. 2 Tim. 3:14-15
Now, here's an example: "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:3
Do we believe that? Do we really believe it? Because if we do, we might also consider this verse paraphrased.
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,
whether they be clergy, or doctrines, or denominations, or religions: all things were
created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn
from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col. 1:16-18 (par.)
Notice, Who gets the preeminence ~ certainly not a preacher, or doctrine, or denomination, or religion ... or whomever else we give to be our guide.
How's that for a shocker? Ok, so maybe you had figured that out, already. But, do you really realize what this means?
There was a purpose for Communism as there is a purpose for Muslims; just like there is a purpose for Jews, Christians, Catholics, Mormons, etc. ~ which likely began with the destruction of the tower of Babel and should be a hint that we could actually learn from each other.
Sure, people claiming other faiths have done some pretty horrible things; but, so have some who claimed to be our faith, too. Additionally true, there are also a lot of untruths in other religions. But, news flash, there are a lot of untruths in all religions. Why? Because an abundance of knowledge tends to make one prideful, wherein one's faith is no longer based upon Spiritual discernment.
It took a cross to make peace amidst such diversified faith systems. Col. 1:20-21 And yet, within all faiths continue the practice of name calling. We use to call them things like sinner, backslider and hypocrite. But, finally realizing we're guilty of the same things, the choice of words became more refined terms; like heathen, pagan, and cult.
It is said that Jesus is God while condemning every faith that does not call God 'Jesus'. However, within the same faith system, it is rare to never that God's other names are used ... and He was the God of Salvation even before the New Testament. Ps. 68:20
The bottom line is, when we stand before our Maker, it won't matter what we believed but Who. And praise the Lord, Jesus made provision wherein the tower to heaven could be rebuilt; only, this time, not so we could be God ~ but so we can 'know' Him.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Ephes. 4:11-16
Yet, in order to come to that place of unity, we have to begin listening to each other instead of debating ~ to consider what portions of each other's faith is actually truth and how it ties in with the truth we already know.
... I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, or even tents made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's doctrines, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all religions of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto knowledge, or ideals, or beliefs, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. Acts 17:22-31 (par.)
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. 1 Tim. 4:9-10
For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. Romans 14:2-4
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. 1 Cor. 4:5