Devotional: ‘Holy Boldness’

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We all know that America’s view of religion, God, and even Christianity, is rapidly changing. There was a time when it seemed that Satan’s primary aim was to try to destroy anything that had to do with God. Today his ; today he seems to be more focused on distortion.  Let me explain:

A few decades ago popular thinking included such phrases as ‘God is dead.’ That came on the heels of evolution, and it opened the door for people to live anyway they wished.  “Why not; isn’t God dead?” 

Today that is not necessarily the case.  Statistics show that America is becoming more and more interested in ‘spiritual things.’  That’s good – right?  Not exactly.  America is becoming more spiritually minded, but for many, their view of what is spiritual is anything but what the Word of God teaches.  Recently someone spoke with me about a guy sometimes seen on PBS named Wayne Dyer.  The reason I mention his name is because he is a good example of the direction America is taking concerning spiritual matters.  If you listen to Wayne Dyer for a few moments or read any of his writings, you will quickly notice that he refers to Jesus, but also to almost every other ‘religious leader’ in the history of mankind.  What he and so many others are doing is an attempt to bring together all the religions of the world and to make them to appear to be as one.  In conjunction with that, Wayne Dyer and others of the New Age Movement filter all the moral and religious teachings of the world through what they refer to as our ‘inner self.’  To them, the real god of the universe is ‘self’ and therefore ‘self’ has the ability to pick and choose what is good and right and to establish its own code of ethics.   By the way, many are saying that Oprah is becoming a major force in this movement with a recent endorsement of something being called, ‘A New Earth.’  Consider this quote from Eckhart Tolle, author a book entitled ‘A New Earth’ and one of the leaders of this movement, “How spiritual you are has nothing to do with what you believe but everything to do with your state of consciousness.”  “When I occasionally quote the words of Jesus or the Buddha…or from other teachings, I do so not in order to compare, but to draw your attention to the fact that in essence there is and always has been only one spiritual teaching, although it comes in many forms. . . there is no need to go elsewhere for the truth. Let me show you how to go more deeply into what you already have.” (quotes taken from Oprah’s website)

So where do we as Bible-believing Christians stand in all of this?  This is not Satan’s first attack against God’s truth, nor will it be his last.  Two thousand years ago Satan had another group of ‘false spiritual leaders’ called the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Consider carefully a confrontation between them and Christ’s disciples.

While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees.  These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead.  They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. . . The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem.  Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest.  They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man?  Do you want to know how he was healed?  Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead.  For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’  There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”  The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.   (Acts 4)

“There is salvation in no one else.”  That must be the cry of every born-again believer today and throughout all ages.  Though the world may scoff at us, consider us to be out of touch and even behind the times; we must be like Peter and John and have a holy boldness that will not shy away from proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.  God’s truth is this; “there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

Every time I read this account of Peter and John I am inspired; yet I also have to wonder what the Christians who will follow us, will say about our stand for God’s truth.  Will we inspire them, or will they say that we were the ones who dropped the ball?

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