Daily Devotional for Wednesday July 16, 2008
Without Jesus You Have Nothing
(Luke 14:23; Titus 1:16; Galatians 6:1-12)
You can have it all by the standards of this world, but without Jesus, you have NOTHING! The world mourned the loss of a great actor 6 months ago, Heath Ledger. At just 28 years old and with an already impressive list of acting credits on his resume including an Oscar nomination, Ledger was a major star in the movie industry. Like many of the stars in the entertainment industry, he was also very troubled. His battle with heroin led to the break-up last September with actress-girlfriend Michelle Williams who is the mother of their 2-year-old daughter. Reports are that he battled with depression and insomnia. It really makes you at least wonder how much affect playing some of the dark roles he did, the gay cowboy in "Brokeback Mountain," a heroin addict in the movie, "Candy," and his latest role as the dark and macabre Joker in the newest "Batman" movie to be released this month, had on his real life.
Sadly, there is no hint of any faith in Ledger's life. He recently spoke of death in an interview, dealing with the subject from the typical perspective of someone who sees death as simply the end of life. Like so many in the entertainment field, their faith is in themselves and in this fleeting life that ends sooner than anyone expects it to. The cold hard reality of this life is that it will end one day for each of us. Usually before we are ready for it to end. At that moment, in that instant, we will immediately be standing before God our Creator. God is not going to be interested that we were a successful Hollywood actor or whatever our profession may have been. The only thing God will be interested in is do we have a personal relationship with Jesus by faith, nothing else.
Please take a moment today and pray for Heath Ledger's family, friends, and many fans. I pray that his untimely death will be a reminder to all of how brief this life really is. I pray that those who mourn his loss will find the comfort and strength of Christ and that they will turn their lives to Him. If you have not accepted Christ into your heart and life yet, the Bible says that today is the day of salvation. I would invite you to go to my website, and click on the button that says PLAN OF SALVATION. Read those words, pray that prayer, and accept today God's gift to you, the gift of His son Jesus.
Knowing that there is the better percentage of two full generations living today that don't go to church, were not raised in a Christian home, and have no spiritual foundation to their lives, I am motivated daily to bring these people the Truth of God's Word and the hope and love of Christ before they fall into the hands of the many cults and false religions that exist today. Let me help you understand something. When man sinned and his relationship with God was broken, there became a void in man that only God can fill. Deep down, sinful man knows something is missing in his life, something that the things of this world can't fill, and he begins a search to fill that void.
Everyone who lives has to deal with the trials, the pain, the challenges of living in this sinful and fallen world. Those who have no spiritual foundation to their life will spend their teen and young adult years trying to fill that spiritual void with the things this world promotes such as alcohol, drugs, relationships, sex, money, career, material possessions, and all the other temporal things of this life. It is usually when a person hits their 30s that they realize that the things this world offers simply do not fill that void they have in their life. That is why during their 30s and 40s so many people begin to explore the spiritual side of their life.
Those of us who know Jesus Christ as our Savior, who know the Truth of God's Word, have the ONLY answer these people are looking for. That void in their life is there due to their broken relationship with God their Creator and can only be filled by being reconnected to God their Creator thru faith in His Son Jesus Christ. What upsets me more than anything else is to watch the cults and false religions of the world boldly and aggressively market themselves to the lost and hurting in this world as the answer they are looking for. They don't do this by creating their own subculture and hoping people will come to them, they actively go out and pursue people, using the resources of this world to reach them with their lies and false hope.
Let me be blunt. While we have become content with building beautiful buildings with all the modern conveniences and technologies of the world for our people to enjoy, while we have set up our own TV, radio, music, and publishing empires to preach to ourselves, the cults of the world like the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Kaballah, Scientology, Moon's Unification Church, the false religions of the world like Islam, Buddhism, B'hai, Hindu, and the many New Age philosophies, are reaching out to the lost and hurting in this world through secular TV, radio, music, advertising, and publishing vehicles that reach the world's masses each day.
We have forgotten that Jesus told us to, "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." (Luke 14:23 KJV) At some point it became too much work to go out and reach people and much more financially profitable to simply preach to the choir. So we abandoned the world, retreated to the subculture we created for ourselves to enjoy, and in the process have left the souls of men to the scavengers of satan who are having a field day leading the lost into eternal damnation, while we sit in our $20 million buildings singing about going to Heaven.
SHAME ON US, AND GOD WILL JUDGE US!
One of the fastest growing cults today is Scientology. As I have shared with you in the past, cults and false religions are nothing new to the time we are living in. Man has been trying to find ways to fill that void created by his broken relationship with God since the very beginning. You don't go too many chapters into the Book of Genesis until you come to the story of the Tower of Babel. That story is literally about men who decided to create their own religion. The cults and false religions of this world are all traced back to the hearts and minds of men who lived in rebellion to God.
The Mormon cult came from the imagination of that pedophile murderer Joe Smith, another pedophile murderer Mohamed dreamed up what we know of today as Islam, Mary Baker Eddy created the Christian Science cult out of her blackened heart, and Charles Taze Russell created the Jehovah's Witness cult. Every cult and false religion can be traced back to a man who lived his life in rebellion to God and created the cult or false religion out of his imagination. The Truth, the Christian faith actually started in the Garden of Eden and comes directly from God Himself, the very God who created the heavens and earth and made man in His own image.
I am always amused at people who reject the story of Christ and God's simple plan to redeem fallen man, yet buy into the wild theology of cults like Mormonism and Scientology. Christianity requires that you use your God-given intelligence to make the choice to accept Christ as your Savior based on reality. Cults like Mormonism and Scientology require that you abandoned all intelligence and blindly believe wild stories based on no facts. I have to be honest with you, I will never have enough faith to believe the fantasies of Mormonism or Scientology, but many who are hurting and lost and looking to fill that spiritual void in their life, will.
I love you and care about you so much. I pray that you will not neglect the commandment we have from our Lord to share the hope and love of Christ and the Truth of His Word with those you meet along your journey. The Lord didn't sit in a church and wait for people to come to Him, HE WENT TO THEM! Christ is our example and we need to not only follow His example but His words to, "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." (Luke 14:23 KJV)
This is not complicated. We have the better percentage of two full generations of people out there who have never been to church. They are living their lives void of Christ and His Truth. We know they have a spiritual void that at some point they will try to fill. That is why now more than ever we need to be bold and aggressive in letting people know that there is only ONE TRUTH in this world, there is only ONE ANSWER for their problems, and there is only ONE WAY to fill that void in their life...FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST!
God's desire is that none be lost, that all come to repentance. May that become our desire as well. Those who follow cults like Mormonism and Scientology are on a conveyor belt to hell. Let us bring them the Truth of God's Word and the hope and love of Christ, so that they can get off before it is too late and get on the conveyor belt to HEAVEN!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller