From: David McDonald [mailto:David.McDonald@westwinds.org] Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2006 10:40 AMTo: ****: RE: Do I get it?
hey b. - glad to see you're still wrestling with all of this!
one clarification i'd like to make, though, concerns the idea of 'acknowledging jesus.' if we're talking in very strict terms, i don't think the bible supports the idea that merely acknowledging jesus is "sufficient" for entry into the kingdom of heaven - after all, even demons know and acknowledge that jesus is lord, but it seems unlikely to picture heaven being full of red devils and horned monkeys, right?
so, there has to be an additional piece other than simply admitting that jesus is divine/supreme/lord and i'm convinced that piece is all about following jesus.
the disciples literally followed jesus from town to town and tried to imitate him
the other followers of jesus - those he taught in the mountains, who witnessed his crucifixion, who listened to him at the temple - were identified as 'christians' because they followed jesus of nazareth like puppies follow little boys. and it is through our emulation of jesus that we have greater access to himto the benefits of knowing himto learning his likes/dislikes/preferences/ethics
so, the value in following jesus is really a kind of "on earth as it is in heaven" value
it's the value of making his world our worldof heaven colliding with earth
it is possible to be a christ-follower and be miserable
but the more we know jesusthe closer we get to himthe harder it becomes to stay miserable
because our perspective changes
because our source of security and identity changes
because our family and our resouces change
because following jesus is a whole other way of living that goes way beyond a "belief"
it is a "way"
we are followers of the way
jesus is the way
"salvation" is about more than avoiding hellit's also about reducing hell on earth
ok - talk to you again soon!