The Rev. Louis B. Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
I’ve been thinking a lot, as I’m sure many have, about the state of our world. The world again witnessed evil. Islamic terrorists perpetrated murder in the name of their god. I’m not about to write an article on Islam. But, I do know that the range of practice within Islam depends upon one’s interpretation of the Koran and the writings of Muhammad. Actions are dependent upon either a literal or liberal interpretation of the source documents.
Learning what world religions believe, especially Islam would be beneficial. But, more important than knowing about world religions is to know the true religion, which expresses worship of the one true God.
Just a cursory reading of the basics of Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. reveals that they contradict Christianity. Whether one is a believer or not, it is readily obvious that the one true God revealed in the Bible and fully in Jesus Christ is not the god of Islam or Judaism. Even though both are monotheistic religions (believe in one god).
Jesus said that He is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him, John 14:6. Jesus said that eternal life is to know the one true God and Jesus Christ, the one whom He sent, John 17:3. Jesus said that before Abraham was “I Am”, John 8:58. Jesus is the “Great I Am”!
Christianity is exclusive. God’s revealed truth contradicts every other religion. God’s word broke into the pagan culture that surrounded Israel. God said, “In the beginning (He) created the heavens and the earth”, Genesis 1:1.
The issue of relevance ought to be a concern of every man and woman. Relevance means “relation to the matter at hand”, Webster’s Dictionary. Our faith relates to the matter at hand because it is true. It guides our actions.
The object of our faith is the one true God revealed in His only Son, Jesus. Further, Christianity is grounded in the word of God written which is without error, reliable, sufficient and clear. Therefore, Christianity is relevant in every situation and circumstance.
How is our faith relevant in the face of such evil as was witnessed in France? It is relevant because the word in which it is based shows us that which is good, right and true.
Relevant application begins with recognizing evil. God declared a woe to those who call evil good or good evil, Isaiah 5:20. God’s word calls us to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with Him, Micah 6:8.
Genuine Christians confess Jesus as Lord and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead, Romans 10:9. Therefore, the relevance of the Christian Faith calls us to confront evil. We are to do what is in our power in standing against those who murder in the name of their god. We see them as agents of Satan who is the real enemy of all that is good, right and true.
We who are Christians expect our leaders to do what is right. When we see otherwise, the natural tendency is to despair at the weakness and ignorance of some of our elected officials. Yet despair should be far from those who profess Christ.
Christians do not place their hope in men. Our hope is in God. We know that He is holy and that He will execute His wrath against all unrighteousness.
We have hope because God has given us eyes to see and ears to hear the voice of the Savior. The hope that He gives is eternal. No one can rob us of the joy that is in Christ Jesus.
God sees the evil that men do. He will execute judgment against all evil doers.
Every genuine Christian has been given the Holy Spirit. His grace works in everyone who belongs to Jesus to live in accordance with His will. He is the Rock who gives us the strength to stand against evil.
I am not discouraged. I am filled with certainty. I don’t place my confidence in men. My certainty is in the God who spoke and all Creation came into being. My certainty is in the One who said, I will never leave you or forsake you, Hebrews 13:5. My certainty is in the Risen Lord Jesus who will come again to pour out His wrath on evil. The relevance of Christianity is demonstrated by living it.