I recall always debating about this in my teens. Endless it seemed. Then came a time when you couldn’t be bothered which was right. In the last 5 years or so I have been extremely disturbed by unequal opportunities (amongst other things like crazy miraculous claims, good ‘old’ prosperity news et cetera). In the context of “salvation” – what if I was born in a war torn country or simply say in a different place where my exposure to life / God is limited.
Would I in still “believe”?
- Is Paul right? Do I just need to have faith alone to be “saved”? Will I lose my ticket to heaven if I didn’t say the “Sinners Prayer”. It’s a pretty straight forward prayer if I you just recite it in simply from rote.
- Or is James right? Do you need works & actions to back up faith. A common middle road taken is when people believe that good actions will naturally follow your good faith.
Only now have I realised this “Faith vs Works” is kind of a moot debate. There is little to worry about because there is nothing really to argue about. The answer lies in Judgment! Just explain yourself when you see Him then. Don’t be afraid about what others say about you now because what is to follow applies to them as well (all). No pre-existing favourites I am afraid.
Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil–for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good–for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism. Romans 2:4-11.
So really the key to the next step is the same for everyone.
Regardless of your present creed, colour or orientation – there is a little meeting where we will finally face God (made possible through unmerited favour / Grace & that was made possible through Christ) where you need to speak up. I.e, it’s a free common test!
There you go. No one is left out to face our final Viva examination. Jew, Gentile, you, me and Rahab the prostitute. By the way, Rahab passsed.
I hope this succinctly explains my thoughts.
(Although this isn’t meant to be a religious blog, I think my belief in this has changed such that my Non-Christian friends or perhaps even more so my Christians friends should read it)