Recently I was in a new member’s class at our new church. Pastor Chuck asked me to give my testimony. I started by saying, “I was saved because of the (a pseudo-Christian cult). Chuck’s eyes got real big, as I continued the story. Then, this past Sunday, having breakfast at the hotel, I noticed a man in a suit came in and gave a brochure to someone. He noticed me looking at him, and came over and gave his last brochure to me. The title: Would You Like to Know the Truth? The four pages contained six questions, with answers, which seemed a little off, if you accept the Bible as your guide. And sure enough, the brochure is from this same cult I mentioned earlier in the new members class.
Then, after finishing breakfast and reading the “would you like to know the truth” brochure, I went to a new church here in Memphis, listened to the message by Brother Steve, went to Sunday school, and enjoyed the book store and family resource center at the church. When I got home, I went to the church’s web page, and found some videos of past messages. One from 2009 caught my eye – What Happens When I Die? It caught my eye because the third question in that morning’s brochure was What Happens to Us When We Die? And the first thing Brother Steve talked about in that message from 2009, was what this particular cult believes about death. So I thought, I guess I should write a blog post about what I believe. – especially when it is so different from what some groups proclaim is The Truth, yet aligns perfectly well with the Word of God.
I have shared that the name of this blog – Good, Better, Best Love comes from the Spanish Book of Good Love written in 1330. One of this book’s first stories, the debate between the Greek and the Roman (which I shared on Nov 26, 2010), shows that a person’s interpretation of anything, including that book, maybe even the Bible, really depends on your preconceptions and inclinations, and what you use as a standard of measure. I have shared that you could make a case that any love shared is Good Love, and that through such things as gratitude and encouragement you can turn Good Love into Better Love. But most important, the Best Love is God’s Love, which provides us a model.
Many people know John 3:16 as a verse that describes God’s love, in sending His Son, to offer eternal life to us: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. But I really like the book of 1 John, and 1 John 3:16 says: This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. And I talked last week about the heart, and that both the Old Testament and New Testament command us to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We are to love God with everything, and everything includes our soul.
But what is my core belief, and why do I term that other group a pseudo-Christian cult? My friends Bruce and Johnny firmly believe in the importance of clarity. Well, I believe not only that Christ was God’s Son, but that He was both divine, was God, and also human while here. I believe that Christ was put to death, and did so to pay for everything we have ever done that falls short of what a holy and righteous God would expect to allow the granting of eternal life and entrance into His heaven. I believe that Christ was resurrected, bodily, on the third day, and demonstrated not only that He had conquered death, but that He offers us eternal life as well. And His Word, the Bible, is the proof and evidence that all this is true, and is the source of one of the main ways God communicates to us today. While some people talk of letting Jesus into your heart or giving your heart to Jesus, it is clearer and simpler than that. When you accept who Jesus is and what He did for you, that He paid the price for you to go to heaven and to have eternal life, and that by your faith you will seek to follow Him, you have the assurance that eternal life and Heaven have been promised to you. It’s a free gift, which comes from the grace that God has provided for us all.
I have exceeded the recommended length for one post, so I will continue this discussion next week. I’ll share a little more on the differences between what I believe the Bible has established as truth and what this cult says.