A few weeks ago I shared how theology was important to faith and how Dawkins destroys many theologies with his book, The God Delusion. Then maybe a week later I see a new survey showing the theological beliefs people have and shared one of those points with you. Theology seems to be what God is putting in and around my life so here is another one of the statements from the survey and the response – “An individual must contribute his/her own effort for personal salvation.” 38% agree strongly, 33% agree somewhat, 7% not sure, 9% disagree somewhat, 13% disagree strongly. How would you answer that? I would guess that most people I know would agree with the statement on some level – since 71% agree. But I don’t want to be a Semipelagian! I suppose it is better than just being a Pelagian.
John 11:43-44 – When he had said this, he shouted in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The one who had died came out, his feet and hands tied up with strips of cloth, and a cloth wrapped around his face. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.”
My belief that God is sovereign in all things is not the most popular belief. And fear sometimes prevents me from sharing this belief. I believe the fear is very similar to the fear I recently stumbled upon with some atheists and agnostics I know. The fear is that we will get viciously attacked with no free, fair, and open discussion. This isn’t necessarily intimidating but honestly not worth our time or effort. If you are just going to “yell” then I’ll see you later.
Why do I believe God is sovereign? We are dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:5) – spiritually dead like Lazarus was physically dead. Physically dead people don’t bring themselves back to life unless they are the Son of God. Spiritually dead people don’t come back to life unless they have the Son of God. I did the same amount of work overcoming my spiritual death that Lazarus did for his physical death – nothing. Grace is not grace if I contribute.
Let’s try one more. How about this statement “There are many ways to get to heaven” – 21% agree strongly, 23% agree somewhat, 14% not sure, 12% disagree somewhat, 30% disagree strongly. This means almost half believe that you can get to heaven through a method other than Jesus. I know many “Christians” who believe there are many ways to get to heaven. I have asked them what Jesus meant in John 14:6 when he said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one gets to the Father except through me.”. I have never received an adequate response.
It seems pretty clear that if you believe the Bible and Jesus, then you have no alternative but to believe there is only one way to the Father and heaven. I only selected one verse but we can honestly look at the Bible as a whole and see the same answer.
There were plenty of other statements in the survey so maybe I’ll find another one and write again. Only if you are lucky? 🙂