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Old 02-27-2023, 09:20 PM
phareztamar phareztamar is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Chapter Seven


Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

The Apostle James here echoes the word of my Lord through the prophet Isaiah:

Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Ah religion. Man’s search for who made all of this, and why he did. Incredible and bizarre ideas litter our history about how mankind got here, what he’s supposed to do here, and where he goes from here. Of course, this writing is biased, insisting that only the scriptures are to be believed and studied. Yet for perspective we should contrast, across time, just a few of these other ideas.

The Greek beliefs were largely based on the Hesiods Theogony. Main players: Gaia, Uranus, Cronos, Zeus, and Aphrodite. The Chinese belief originates with a cosmic egg containing Yin and Yang. Main players: Pan-gu, Nuwa. The Japanese go back to a cosmic bridge, where stands Izanagi and Izanami wielding a magical spear. Mexico traces back to a ball of feathers falling from the sky. Main players: Coatlicue, Coyolxauhqui. And so many other fantastical creation stories: Hindu, Babylon, the Persians, Norse, Egyptian, and a host of others.

While we may chuckle at some (or all) of these ideas, we are quickly sobered at the shocking number of human souls who lived and died on Earth believing such things. These were kingdoms and nations of millions and millions of souls, living their entire lives, believing their religion. Nor was there a lot of freedom of religion. If your city, state, or kingdom believed in Ra, then you believed in Ra. The Hebrews and Jews had no global evangelistic efforts going on.

Considering this global scale of humanity, something becomes painfully clear. The overwhelming majority of all souls lived and died never knowing Jehovah, and never seeing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Never hearing the law of Moses or touching a bible. If, as estimated, there are to be @100 billion souls at the great white throne judgment, at least 98 billion have never seen the scriptures and never knew God. They had only the creation, conscience, and their religion. Bible’s simply did not exist. It was mostly providence, not choice, that placed them where they were, and when they were, just as yourself.

When Saul received his commission directly from Jesus, it reveals my Lord’s estimation of all religions of the world. Because there are only two kinds of folks in this world: Jews and Gentiles. Jews…and the rest of humanity.
Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom I now send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God; that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

My Lord summed up a world full of people and religions as having their eyes closed, residing in darkness, and under the power of Satan. These were families, family gatherings with relatives and children, armies and army wives, craftsmen and peddlers. Billions of souls living and dying with their eyes closed, in darkness, and under the power of Satan. As blind as Pontius Pilate, who gazing into the very eyes of truth, asks Him: “what is truth?”

Paul would introduce to this dark Gentile world a religion new and contrary to all he would meet. A veritable light unto the Gentiles, and a beacon of hope on a dark landscape. Moreover he would propose that in this new and living way alone could one receive the forgiveness of sins, and inheritance with the saints. How insane such a proposal must have seemed to a world of millions, living religions handed down from their forefathers. And how slim a sliver then are the few there be that find it. Nearly six thousand years of religions, societies, kingdoms and nations were both wrong and in vain.

It is such an unspeakable act of grace, mercy, and love that the gospel of Jesus Christ even crosses your busy path. Add to this that you were born in a free country, raised literate, and able to digest a now widely available word of God. The extreme rareness of such a blessing cannot be measured when contrasted to the six thousand years of human souls who preceded us. Again, providence, and not choice, has placed us here. To have received this grace, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and the printed word of God, is the rarest trifecta in human history.
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