Thursday, April 21, 2005

No One Really Knows the Father Except the Son

Matthew 11:25-27 - {Jesus said} "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth from those who think themselves so wise and clever, and for revealing it to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way. No one really knows the Son except the Father, and no one really knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." (NLT)

When I read this the other day, I thought "Wow, this makes it sound like God chooses not to reveal Himself to some people." And this seemed contradictory to the Gospel (Good News) message. And then I thought about a group of people who helped clarify this verse for me in context of the whole teaching of Scripture.

In internet chat rooms, I have talked with people about the Lord. They have "arguments" that they feel disproves Christianity or at least makes it look inconsistent. And I have gotten excited at times like this because I have an "answer" to their question, objection, argument or whatever. But then I go from being excited to being frustrated because no matter how effective the answer to their question, objection or argument, they won't change their mind. I got to the point where I wanted to ask, "OK, if I answer or disprove what you just said, will you quit arguing and admit the Bible is right?" I never said it that way, but these "debaters" wouldn't quit debating anyway. I was so frustrated because the answer to their questions was right there in front of them, but they could not see it.

And then I came across Hebrews 11:6 again. "So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him." (NLT) Christianity doesn't "make sense" unless one is willing to take that first step of faith toward God. The more I study the arguments of the critics of Christianity, the more sure of my faith I am...the more it "makes sense." But I took that first step of faith. If one could debate somebody into Christianity, there would be no need for faith. And, as Hebrews says, without faith, it is impossible to please God.

2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent. (NLT) So coming full circle, God doesn't want anyone to die not knowing Him, but He chooses not to reveal Himself to anyone outside of that initial first step of faith. Once we take that first step of faith saying, "God, I believe you are there. Reveal yourself to me", He will.

By the way, I got my screen name, e-mail address, blog address, etc from Hebrews 11:6 because of the impact this verse had on me after talking to these "professional debaters" ... Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. I had to add the "17" because "seekhim" was taken. My birthday is on the 17th of the month.

- Rob

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