Summary: God initially gave man the way, with a free will and we should never set up our free will against the holy will of God. The Everlasting way (eternal life) was in man’s hands from the beginning, and now it is not.
The Way Described
Have you ever noticed that in most cities, or towns or villages, there are no roads named after God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit?
As I begin this “Way to Jerusalem” series, I experienced a number of thoughts concerning roads, streets, paths, alleys, tracks, causeways, expressways, sidewalks, crosswalks, overpasses, and even, yes, animal paths. The world is crisscrossed with ever kind of path imaginable. And, every path must have a beginning and an end. So, is it any wonder that Jesus said to Thomas, (and the rest), in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”?
Many people enjoy traveling. Some cultures enjoy it more than others, while in some countries, certain days of the year are famous for millions of people traveling or leaving their homes and visiting distant locations such as their parents, their hometowns, or gravesites of ancestors. Every journey that is begun by these people follows a path, a road, a street, or more simply put it follows a way from beginning to end. Without a way there would be no arriving at the final destination.
There are three points in this message:
1. WHY do we need the way?
2. Why do WE need the way?
3. Why do we NEED THE WAY?
WHY do we need the way?
When God created man, He created man with a free will. Meaning, He created Him with the capacity to think for himself, to make his own decisions or choices. But, there was ONE stipulation. In Genesis 2:17, God told Adam, “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
So much liberty was given to one man. There was no pain, disease, or death, and, man was able to SEE God in His true image and true form.
God told Adam, that if he was to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, that he would be dead in his dying. In other words, he would die spiritually and ultimately die physically, but while dying, he would experience the dying. Confusing? It shouldn’t be. God tells us that the way it once was, (i.e. no pain, no death, but most importantly, face to face fellowship with God) would cease.
God initially gave man the way, with a free will and we should never set up our free will against the holy will of God.
The Everlasting way (eternal life) was in man’s hands from the beginning, and now it is not. In order to claim it for ourselves we must follow His way!
Transgression against God has forfeited our right to our Maker’s favor and we have on our heads, His displeasure. But, not only that, because of our nature now, we rightfully deserve His displeasure with all of the awful effects: pain, disease, and death.
Our beginning parents, Adam and Eve, had everything. Unlike us, they did not have to worry about thinking bad things about their friends or relatives, or even someone they didn’t know. Unlike us, they did not have to worry about the conflicting thoughts that run through our heads when we first meet someone. And, unlike us, they did not have to worry about SARS, cancer, leukemia, traffic accidents or even the common cold. They did not even have to worry about the Ten Commandments, because they would never have had the evil thoughts within them or the influence of others around them to give them a chance to break the commandments.
Yet, due to the free will of man or man’s liberty to make choices, man chose the way of destruction. Whether you want to believe it or not, whether you want to accept it or not, when born, man is under the Divine displeasure of God. This is shown daily by almost every action carried out in our sinful thoughts and lives. We need God!
What is the beginning? Do not think of the beginning as something that was passed down from Adam, because, in your sinful state you will rationalize that you are not to blame for Adam and Eve’s sin and ultimately this will lead you to not only you rejecting God, but, more importantly, Him rejecting you. You should rather think of it this way, “whether it was Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Elijah or you, one of us would have ultimately have eaten the fruit and sin would have entered the world because of the free will of man”, therefore I am sinful. Why then, you ask, did God give man free will if He knew man was going to sin? Because God did not want robots! But, more importantly, Because God works everything according to His purpose (Romans 8:28), His thoughts are beyond my thoughts; His ways are God’s ways and not mine to counter or to question with meaningless rhetoric that has its basis in my questioning the almighty God (who are you, oh man?).