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By William W. Figley
US Navy - WW II
I've lived a long time - nearly 88 years, as of the time of this writing. And I've learned a thing or two, to be sure. I want to leave this legacy of Priceless Life Advice to the people who are living in my current time, to the generations behind me, and to those who are yet to be born. Love, peace and blessings to all who read.
Am I some special great person, with answers for everything and everyone? NO…As far as the Gospel is concerned…as far as Jesus Christ is concerned…I’m just a beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.
I don’t know of any writer who has, especially, attempted to link the great Gospel of Jesus Christ to the values of COMMON SENSE, but I do believe there is a connection. The old farmer used to say, of a situation…”That’s Horse-Sense!!” – Meaning, of course, that it would be only natural for a person to come to the conclusion he ought, just as a horse, or other farm animal would follow the path of instinct.
When we look at life, at false prophets and false leaders; as we look at liars who have power and authority, deceivers who have the ability to blind our eyes to the truth…(Yes, the truth they do not want us to see…); when we look at leaders who purposefully lead us down wrong paths, we see that common sense is something for them to avoid, as they entangle us in their net, in their unscriptural ways, in ways that lead us to poverty and defeat while it may elevate them (the false leaders) to a higher position of power.
I have yet to see, leaders and would-be leaders of men and / or nations, who put themselves first, before the needs and dreams of those they are leading, who are not mostly or totally selfish in their endeavors. Now, we are not talking about human error and poor judgment here; we are talking about deliberately leading others astray, and using one’s position to accomplish that goal.
Let’s talk about “the origin of man”. Where did man come from, anyway? By whose hand has he come into being? Now here, we need to use a little judgment and entertain perhaps a few statistics. We might speak of man (actually mankind) in this way – we are part of mankind – therefore, these questions may arise in relation to any man – or woman –
Who Am I?
Where did I come from?
Why am I here?
And, of course:
Where Am I Going?
We can choose to believe in the Bible, which tells of God as the Creator and the Supreme Being – or we can connect mankind to one or the other of the so-called great philosophers.
Confucius – A Chinese philosopher and teacher (551-478 B.C.) who taught a system of ethics (beliefs and behavior). I am quite sure there were some good things in his particular belief-system.
Mohammed - (the Arabian Prophet, the founder of Islam, and the Islamic religious system). Many people of the world give credit to his system of beliefs. There are many other so-called prophets and teachers who had a creed of behavior and belief throughout a long period of time.
Then there was Plato, the most illustrious of the Greek philosophers, and Aristotle, a celebrated Greek philosopher, a pupil of Plato.
Now let’s do a little comparing of philosophies. None of these philosophers were ever raised from the dead, as Jesus was claimed to be, and their essence was a creed of belief, really not a way of life, as Christianity is. Christianity is based on belief in a person, not just in a creed or set of beliefs. A person who believes in Jesus Christ as God, as Lord and Savior, is encompassing not so much a system of belief but a PERSON.
The Christian’s system of belief is because of a person and goes much further than a creed or mode of conduct. The Christian believes in A PERSON (Christ) in order to be saved and accepted, not in a creed (which is simply a system of rules).
With Christianity, we obey the rules as a result of our love for the Person, not in order to be accepted by Him. This is quite a difference.
Now let’s go further. Does it make sense to believe in an all-knowing God, to want to belong to Him, to obey Him, to depend upon Him and His many great and precious promises? I personally think so.
Now let’s cover another very important point here in our discussion of beliefs. Why Believe in God in the First Place?
We need to go back to the origin of man. How did man come into being in the first place?
God said HE created man from the dust of the earth. If there is a God, a Creator, could HE do this? YES, He could and did. The Bible says that man was created in an instant, not through long years of evolutionary change, as many belief systems may claim. It is documented that many scientists and non--scientists alike believe we came from one-celled animals or being of some kind. There is positively no evidence that man evolved from such or from some more advanced form.
When I was in college, around the year 1947 and onward, the theory that man evolved form reptiles was quite alive. Of course, there is no evidence for this. Men of science and others have been searching for the so-called MISSING LINK in the supposed evolution of man - for many, many ages of time. None has been found.
Although technically, the word evolution means growth, development and change, there is absolutely no evidence that growth or development has ever proceeded beyond each individual species. True, it does occur within some individual species.
Now, the possibility that man evolved from a one-celled animal, or from any lower form of being is so astronomical that the odds could be several trillion to one that such could have occurred. So why then, is it so wrong and out-of-bounds to believe in the faith way, that God, the Creator, created man in one complete act, with no evolvement or development?
I would have to conclude that the reason God and the Gospel is rejected by so very many is simply because people seek to avoid any responsibility to any being for their actions. They do not want to owe anything to anyone, and so God and the truth of man’s origin is left for others to believe, if they choose, but not for them.
They are more interested in what they can gain in life – power, wealth and prestige – than in humility and acknowledgement of God. They dwell on the fact that man is here now, not on where man came from.
But let’s suppose that man could have, or actually has, developed from some lower form of being, into a man. Does this man then, have any responsibility to a lower form of life, since he may have descended from that lower form? I THINK NOT! And now, please get this – neither could MAN, then, have any responsibility to any form of life, or being, or ultimately to any man – for his status as a man, a human being.
So then, if we could assume what I have said about man’s origin, then he, man, has no responsibility to anyone but himself for how he lives or acts. Now, let me go back just a bit to lighten up this theory – I will admit I have known men (and women) whom I night imagine, by their actions and lifestyle, have descended from reptiles. Of course, this would not really make it so. ;)
Do You See Any Pattern of Avoiding Responsibility in Our World Today?
Now let’s go on. In our country and in our world today, we see and can document the fact that there is a grievous lack of responsibility among men and women. Too many people live as if they had absolutely no responsibility to anyone but themselves. This way of life will sooner or later result in stark tragedy and ruin for any who have this belief and for all those around them.
Read on to learn about the Two Kinds Of Responsibility – Good News Ahead!
There are two kinds of responsibility in the life of man – Man’s responsibility to other people, and his responsibility to God. There can be no responsibility to lower forms of life or to plants and trees, earth and sky, etc.
Proper responsibility to God will result in forgiveness of sins and eternal life according to the Bible.
Let’s Go Back to the Beginning
If God made the world, or created it, including man and all earthly things, surely our responsibility as men and women should be to God. Then, of course man ought to have responsibility towards other humans, be they men or women
It must be pointed out at this stage in our conversation that very few people ever go god’s way because of common sense. This is something I can personally attest to, and positively embrace. Unless you are saved, in accordance with the Bible definition, you simply cannot see the common sense view of life. You can see it as a Christian, but seldom as a Non-Christian.
Now please allow me to place this view of God in perspective. In the Bible we see in Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning, god created the heavens and the earth. Then of course, as we proceed, God creates the land, the water, the animals on the land, and in the sea, and lastly, in Genesis 1:26, we read – And God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, etc. (Gen 1:27) – so God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him - male and female created He them.”
God and Man FAQs
Q: How Are God and Man Different?
Now let’s fast-forward a little and show how God and man are different.
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return into the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to out God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
Then Isaiah 55:8 says:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. “
Now, understand, that being right with your fellow man is important and good, but there is a great fundamental difference between that and being right with God!!
As God’s creation, we all fall short of god’s glory and righteousness. Observe how many times God calls this to our attention:
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Psalm 14:1-3 – The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that does good, no, not one.
Isaiah 53:6 – All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.
Isaiah 64:6 – But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rage; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Romans 3:9-12 – What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: For we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Q: Is There a Great Consequence to a Life of Sin?
John 3:18 – He that believes on Him (Jesus Christ) is not condemned; but he that believes not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God (Here we begin to see the remedy for sin and how to avoid the condemnation or judgment for it).
John 3:36 – He that believes on the Son has everlasting life, and he that believes not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
The everlasting life spoken of here is the life after death. The Bible teaches that each life will continue after our earthly life; there will be no ceasing to exist, as some say.
Q: What Is God’s Remedy for this Big Problem?
The basis of God’s remedy for our sin is the free gift of eternal life, which God offers to each person. This gift of eternal life has been purchased by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, for your sins and mine. This gift is available only through Christ.
Receive Christ and you receive the gift of eternal life –
and the forgivness of your sins. Otherwise, sadly, the condemnation and judgment for your sins remains.
God’s Love is the reason He has provided a remedy for our sin – a way to be justified before God, even though we are clearly sinners.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world (the people of the world) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life.
I John 5:5 – Who is He that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
I John 5:11-12 – And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.
Q: So What’s The Difference Between the Father and God, The Son?
The Son, Jesus Christ, is declared to be God in many, many Scripture verses:
Hebrews 1:8 – God, the Father, speaking of the angels and of Jesus Christ, says in this verse – “But unto the Son, He says, Thy throne, O, God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom.”
So God the Father declares the Son (Jesus Christ) to be God in this verse.
I John 3:10 – Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation (covering, atonement) for our sins.
* John 5:26-27 – For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
John 10:30 – (Jesus says) – I and My Father are One.
John 12:44-45 – Jesus cried and said, “He that believeth on Me, Believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me – And He that sees Me sees Him that sent Me.
John 14:11 – Believe Me that I Am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.
Now, how does one appropriate the love and forgiveness of God that the Father Himself offers?
Romans 10:9-13 – That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus (Jesus as Lord), and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek (Greek = Gentile); for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him – for whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.
Some favor another verse to demonstrate how to be saved.
Revelation 3:20 (This is a picture of Christ at the doorway of the sinner’s heart) “Behold, I stand at the door and knock (says Jesus); if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup (eat) with him, and he with Me.
Of course, if you attempt to come to Christ in a flippant and insincere manner, and are not truly repentant of your sins, you will not become a child of God.
Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:18a – He that Believes on Him is not condemned….
John 3:26a – He that believes on the Son has everlasting life…
I John 5:12 – He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.
This is always a good question. Here are some helpful verses from the Word Of God.
John 8:12 – Then spoke Jesus again unto them saying, I Am the Light of the World: He who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life.
I John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as He (Jesus) is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son Cleanses us from all sin.
Hebrews 12:2 – Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Micah 6:8 – He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
Now as a further summation of what I have tried to say – it seems to me to be apparent that if man does not recognize and accept God and His Plan, he is little better than the animals, who lack wisdom and brain power, but who have instincts that are far greater developed than man’s.
Animals do have instincts that are pretty highly developed. They do not have, for the most part, the ability to think on a high plane, and cannot compete with man in this regard. Any man who refuses to accept responsibility for himself, and chooses to be his own law is, in a sense, more like the animal than like the man.
It is my sincere hope, that having penned these many thoughts in as much of a sequence as I could, that some might come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
At any rate, any believer with just a little ability and awareness could profit by some of the explanations and answers that the Bible provides. I believe that most declarations of truth need something to back them up. There is maybe one more item to discuss properly.
1. Fulfilled Prophecy, through the ages. The sheer number, volume and accuracy of prophetic prophecies already come to pass cannot possibly be shown to have been patched together, as some contend.
2. Evidence of Changed Lives on the part of millions who were non-believers and then were saved, in accordance with the Scriptures.
3. The Bible portrays a God of Love, of Concern, of Mercy and of Justice. Other so-called ‘philosophies' have no God such as ours. One system of belief, Islam, portrays a God who is hateful and vengeful, seeking to be pleased at all costs, and actually hating his subjects.
It is a good thing that the God of Islam is a figment of man’s imagination, and of power-grabbing militants, and that such a God does not really exist. He takes his place with the false gods so prevalent in the Old Testament history of the many nations surrounding the people of Israel.
The Bible declares that one cannot be saved or accepted by God by keeping the law or by laws.
In Romans 4:3-5, it is stated:
For what says the Scripture? Abraham (Old Testament Person) believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that works is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that works not, but believes on Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
In the Bible, in the Book of Galatians, we read the following:
Galatians 2:16 – Knowing that a man is not justified by the
works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in
Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the
works of the law. For by the works of the law shall no flesh (person) be justified.
Galatians 3:10 -For
as many as are of the works of the law are under the cursse. For it is written, cursed is every one that continues not in all things that are written in the Book of the Law to do them.
Galatians 3:11 – But that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident; for the just shall live by faith.
Now allow me to say, if God rejects the Law as a means to salvation (and this refers to God’s very own law – the 10 commandments) how can it be that there is any good and valuable thing in man-made laws that can justify a person for his actions?
Then, go further and read Galatians 3:13 –
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: For it is written, cursed is every one that hangs on a tree.
Now the Bible Book of Galatians goes on to say (Galatians 2:20) – I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Dear Friend - Have you been crucified with Christ? If you have received Him as Savior, you have. Then live FOR HIM, and tell others of Christ’s great power to save. Jesus said: “He that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life!”