Daily Post: None
Everyone is welcome in our home. We make no judgments on who they are, or where they’ve been, or what they’ve done. Someone comes to the door, knocks and has the time, we invite them in. It’s Texas hospitality, it’s the way I was raised. Perhaps there is a PollyAnna naivety to allow someone entrance to my home without knowing them very well. But there you go, you can’t take that West Texas cordiality out of the boy, no matter how hard this ole world tries.
I’ve knocked on a few doors in my life, where I discovered I was not welcome. When cable television first came to Amarillo, Texas, I was a college student and worked part time going door-to-door attempting to convince people how good it would be for them. It was an interesting, and at the same time very depressing, lesson on how some people treat people they don’t know at the doorway of their home. I was cussed, shouted at, and told to leave or they would call the cops. I also made some sales to folks who took pity on a college student just trying to pay for school. Others were genuinely pleased that I had come by, because they were looking forward to cable TV. Sometimes I felt like an alien on the planet. Other times I was grateful for the hospitality shown to me.
God taught the ancient Hebrew people a lesson about how to treat strangers in Leviticus 19:33-34:
When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.
This seems pretty straightforward in both meaning and intention. It’s about remembering that they were aliens and strangers in the land of Egypt, and it wasn’t pretty how they were treated there.
In a very real sense, Israel never learned this lesson. In the first century, when someone who seemed strange to them arrived on the scene, they treated Him with disdain. As He began to teach and preach the Kingdom of God, they bowed their backs instead of bowing their hearts before Him. When the right time came, they determined He was a blasphemer, and deserved nothing but death. Regardless of which side of the debate they came down on, none of them understood what was really happening, or the role they were playing, in completing the will of God on earth.
At one time Jesus told His closest followers, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9) How can someone be a passageway? How could Jesus be a door? The Aramaic Bible in Plain English translates this same verse this way: “I AM THE LIVING GOD, The Gate; if anyone will enter by me, he shall live and shall go in and out and shall find pasture.” I love it when we find ways to discover what the original languages actually say and mean.
This verse helps us understand a simple truth about “NONE.”
On the night of his arrest, earlier while sitting around the table at Passover, Jesus was explaining events about to occur in the very near future. He was leaving them. He was going to die. He would send them a Comforter. His Spirit would lead them from then on. He was going away to prepare places for all of them to come join Him in residence. They understood none of it. Then He said:
I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
People have trouble with the dogma of this statement. Around the world, ecumenical leaders cry out, railing against the exclusivity of this statement. “Surely there are more ways to God than just through this ego-maniac Jesus,” they say. And that’s the crux of the matter right? Each individual human has to determine for themselves regarding the words Jesus spoke of Himself. It sounds audacious. It sounds like the ravings of a lunatic. It sounds like self-aggrandizing nonsense. But is it true? What if it’s true? Then what?
If it’s true, then two words become critical to our understanding. “No ONE” is all-inclusive regarding humanity. Every single person must determine on their own to believe in “the way, the truth, and the life” of Jesus. Otherwise, they are excluded from the Father’s grace. The antonym for none is “all.” The ecumenical movement wants us to believe that “all” will be saved ultimately, that it doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you believe something. But this is not the teaching of the Bible. No one, not one, none, will come to the Father, but through Jesus, the Gate, the Door of salvation.
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