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Minister’s Forum: Which group do you belong to?

Thurston Ott

Psalms 14:1-3, “The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt. They have done abominable works. There is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; There is none who does good. No, not one.”

I call these people atheists. Atheist Madalyn Murray O’Brien spent her life spouting tirades against Christianity. She was partly responsible for our having to remove prayer from our school classrooms. I’ll bet she knows better now. Bill O’Reilly had on his program an avowed atheist and biologist who argues that belief in God is delusional and deadly. His turn is coming. The psalmist King David writes in Psalms 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork.”

In 1969 I took my first airplane ride. I was a little nervous, but when we soared some two or three thousand feet, I looked out the window and saw tiny, little people running about. I laughed and remembered the words in Psalms 8:3-4, “When I consider your heaven; the work of your fingers, the moon and stars, which you have ordained, What is man that you are mindful of him…” I have no fear of the atheist. To paraphrase Psalms 2, “Why do the heathen rage and imagine strange things …”

The second big mistake mankind makes is believing they are doing the best they can. Some say that they believe in the Golden Rule. This, however, is not the path to heaven. Ephesians 1:8-9, “For by grace have you been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Nowhere in the bible is there even a hint that salvation, the forgiveness of sin comes by doing the best mankind could do.

God has taken out of mankind’s hand the necessity of giving anything to gain or merit salvation apart from the death of Christ on the cross. There is only one offense against God, that God cannot forgive: unbelief. Hebrews 2:3, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation …?”

The third big mistake mankind makes is to refuse to acknowledge his sinful and lost condition. Man was born a sinner, lives in sin against God’s moral code. Sin by definition is an offense against God. Sin is also described as an offense against any law, standards or codes. Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I John 1:8,” If we say that we have no sin, we deceived ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

Life is short, death is sure, sin the cause, and Christ the cure.


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