Monday, January 26, 2009

"When I see God, I'm going to ask Him about..."

I have become a confirmed “fence-sitter” about many things, and even about a number of Christian issues. AND THAT’S OK!

I have been blessed by God with an inquisitive and curious mind. I have always wanted to discover how things worked. And there’s nothing wrong with that – it’s good. But after 77 years of seeking definitive answers to every question that pops into my mind, I have arrived at a conclusion: God doesn’t require me to take definitive stands on one side of the fence or the other. I CAN sit on the fence and survey both sides of the fence on many issues.

In fact, the more I have used my mind the more I see that I am not able to jump down off the fence to land on solid ground on either side. I admit that at times I have leaned down on one side or the other hanging by my toes from the fence. But when I do, I don't touch the ground.

What are you saying, Lou? That you can be wishee-washee about everything and that is OK? That you don’t have to step forward and make decisions?

Not at all. God gave us free-choice and decision-making for a definite purpose – so that we would choose HIM. We have free-choice to choose Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of our life. We have free-choice to continue in spiritual growth by the power of Christ within us.

But we also have free-choice to “sit on the fence” about Christian issues that don’t involve the basics of faith in God and morality.

Throughout my life, I have jumped off the fence to the ground on one side or another of many issues of life, including Christian issues. On some things, I have jumped back up to sit on the fence again; on others, I have jumped over the fence to the ground on the other side. My inquisitive mind kept me searching for the “right” position.

But the “right” position is always God’s position – and God does not always reveal His position definitively! A friend of mine used to always say, “I’m not sure and when I see God, I’m going to ask Him about it.” This is THE answer that we must give in a number of Christian inquiries, because, let’s face it, the Bible does not cover every facet of every issue.

You know what? I have learned to LOVE THE VIEW from my perch on the fence. I can see farther and better from up there than I can down on the ground on one side or the other.

Let me talk about some specific issues that I am on the fence with, and then on those issues where my free-choice from God were really meant to apply.


Throughout most of my life, I was right down on the ground on the side that you were either saved to heaven or condemned to hell by your responses to God in this life. But some put forth a persuasive argument that all will ultimately be saved somewhere out there in the future – and they have scripture texts that certainly seem to suggest it.

How God will accomplish salvation and how many humans will make it is up to God and His plan. The Bible gives hints about it both ways but we won’t know for sure until we see and ask God about it.

I know this from the Bible: God wants us to spread the word about salvation NOW and He has persuaded me personally to accept Jesus Christ for MY salvation and Lordship. I can sit on the fence about the rest.

What Is Hell?

In my younger years, I was scared to death of “burning in hell”. I was firmly on the ground on that side of what hell was. And that certainly was a factor in the back of my mind as I came to accept Christ for salvation.

But after my new birth in Christ, my inquisitive mind discovered there are about three concepts of “hell punishment”. 1 – eternal torment by fire 2 – eternal separation from a loving God 3 – eternal annihilation.

I am on the fence here concerning what I have been saved from. But the key here is that I have chosen and jumped to the ground on the side that Jesus has saved me – a basic of faith that required me to jump to the ground and not sit on the fence.

Prophecy and The Book of Revelation

Here again, in my early years I was firmly on the ground about prophecy. It seemed like Jesus Christ was coming again to Earth in my lifetime. I put possible dates on everything. The Book of Revelation was practically all future for me.

But here in my later Christian years, I have discovered other Christian views that most if not all prophecy was fulfilled with the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70AD. This is called a “preterist” viewpoint. And believe me, they have some powerful arguments and proofs from the Bible to back it up.

Thankfully, God has allowed me to jump up and sit on the fence and survey both sides. I don’t have to ground myself on either side of the fence because, in all practicality, only God knows and it doesn’t matter definitively to me right now.

The important and basic doctrinal issue is that God has called me now, God is saving people now, Jesus Christ comes to live by a new birth in Christians now. Did Jesus come back to be with His people in 70AD, or is He coming physically at some future date? The necessary understanding is that HE IS HERE NOW LIVING IN GOD’S CHILDREN!

Where We Can’t Fence-sit

We can’t sit on the fence about our personal salvation. We must choose to jump to the ground and accept by faith that Jesus took the punishment for our sins on the Cross; that we are risen with Him to a new nature and life; that by making Him the Lord and leader of our life, we can and will grow into the lifestyle that God wants for His children.

We can’t sit on the fence about whether we choose to live our lives dependently on God or independently from Him. He has made it clear that there is only one right side of the fence and we must be grounded there.

Too many people try to make black and white issues out of things that are not definitively revealed to us by God. One of the great joys of heaven will be sitting around the throne of God getting the answers that our inquisitive minds have wondered about. There our All-knowing, All-loving Father God and Son, Jesus Christ, will also take pleasure in seeing our inquisitive minds receive some fabulous information.

We think we live in a computerized information age now – wait until then!

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