Saturday, October 25, 2014

SERMON: Salvation lies in Jesus Christ

By DAVID BILDERBACK, Special to The Ottawa Herald | 6/20/2014

In the 19th Century, Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher, announced the death of God.

Nietzsche noted that Western civilization no longer needed to rely on religion as a moral compass and source of meaning. This announcement was met with great anticipation as Western civilization embraced the idea that man had outgrown his need for God.

In the 19th Century, Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher, announced the death of God.

Nietzsche noted that Western civilization no longer needed to rely on religion as a moral compass and source of meaning. This announcement was met with great anticipation as Western civilization embraced the idea that man had outgrown his need for God.

To accommodate this notion, three specific areas of development were identified for human civilization: Infancy, adolescence and adulthood.

The infancy stage was identified as the stage where man depended on and need God. The adolescence stage was man’s first steps alone and was characterized by philosophical thinking. The adult stage identified the use of new tools and equipment, technology and education to define man and his independence from God.

It was felt that through self-improvement man was getting better and better, thus man could solve the issues of disease, war and poverty without the need for a super human deity.

The onset of World War I diminished this idea. It proved not to be the “war to end all wars,” as such euphoria was destroyed with the onset of World War II. By that war’s end, a state of pessimism engulfed Europe. No longer did it appear man was capable of a self-improvement program that could bring the prosperity that everyone longed for. A culture of drugs and alcohol evolved as people began to search for ways to deal with the pessimism that pervaded culture.

While this remains today, materialism — the desire for personal possessions — has become the No. 1 pastime for the 21st Century. Over-indulgence has led to government bailouts, bank failures, individual home foreclosures and a general eroding of the home and the family. As long as man operates on the horizontal plane — self-improvement, education and technology — and ignores the vertical plane — the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ — he will fail. Time has proven this.

Man has made great strides, lengthening life, elevating the standard of living and other similar improvements, but is that all there is to life? The question I have to ask is what happens to you and I when we die? The Apostle Paul tells us, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him, for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2nd Corinthians 5:10).

Maybe you don’t want or feel like you need Jesus. Regardless, you and I will face a judgment. We will either face it on our own merit or face it under the grace of God.

Salvation lies in a person, not in a system or method.

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