The Exclusivity Of Salvation Through Jesus Christ Alone PART 4
1 Corinthians 16:22
“If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord!“
It just does not get any more straight forward than this. Does it? There appears to be no gray area here. No room for debate or discussion. Either you love the Lord, or you are cursed. Let us examine this even further.
Paul opens the chapter with instructions to God’s people and his travel plans to come see them. He understood that there were great opportunities for him to share the gospel. He realized that there were many people who were against him as well. There were people who hated him for preaching the truth about Christ. People who despised him for boldly proclaiming the gospel message.
I want to take the time here to discuss the nature of “truth”. By its very definition, there can only be one “truth”. Everything else is just blatantly false by comparison. There is no such thing as “my truth” or “your truth”. There is only “the truth”. Everything else is just a lie. The more that I study God’s word, the more I see there are no gray areas when it comes to what God says. A stance is either right or wrong, good or evil. Unfortunately, it is the very nature of humanity to create these “gray areas” in the bible in order for us to justify our sin and to prevent the gospel from being labeled as offensive to someone who does not want to hear it. But Paul did not do this. He spoke the truth. And because of that he had many adversaries. Likewise with us, we cannot compromise biblical truths just to be appeasing or less offensive to the world. To do so diminishes the truth of the gospel and it compromises our calling to be witnesses of Christ in all the earth.
In verse 13, Paul gives us this message as it pertains to speaking the truth about Christ and his Word.: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” Why would Paul advise us to be on our guard? Simply put, he knew that for us to speak the truth, it will cost us something. It will cause people to rise up against us. But even in times of danger, we are still required to stand firm in our faith. If they hated Jesus, how much more so will they hate us??
In verse 14 Paul instructs us to “Do everything in love”. If you love someone, truly, you will tell them the truth. Real love does not lie to you to make you feel good about a situation. True love tells you those things which often you do not want to hear. Therefore, is it so important for us to be truthful about God. It is vital that we explain that apart from Christ, we have no hope. Without the saving sacrifice of Jesus, we all are subject to God’s wrath on judgement day. Neglecting the truth brings upon us an eternal curse after we die.
And it is for those reasons that Paul says, truthfully, in verse 22: “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed!” There is no sugarcoating. There is no gray area. God is literally saying that either you love me, or you are cursed. And the only way that we can be saved from this eternal curse and torment is through the person of Jesus Christ who is the literal embodiment of God’s love for us. As you can see, even in this short verse, the exclusivity of salvation through Jesus Christ alone is exemplified.
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What I want the most is for this to not be about me. But rather the focus be placed on Jesus Christ; the author and finisher of our faith. I am just a vessel willing to be used by him and for him.
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