Infant Baptism and 5-Point Calvinism are Limited By Dan Delzell , Special to CP

Some spiritual practices and doctrinal positions held by Christians have definite limitations….and must be handled with care, lest people get the wrong idea about what it means to be spiritually reborn….and what it doesn’t mean….and what the Bible means when it states that “God is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

There are many mature Christians in the world today who believe that Scripture supports the questionable teachings of infant baptism and/or 5-Point Calvinism. I say “questionable” teachings because millions of their fellow believers (including mature believers) question these doctrines and find no support for them in Scripture.

Let’s start with the historic practice of infant baptism. Why should parents who practice infant baptism be careful with this approach? Well….a big reason is because there are so many teenagers and adults who were baptized as infants….but are not spiritually reborn through faith in Christ. Some ministers and parents seem to assume that a baptized person is definitely a Christian. That is not always the case. Quite a few teenagers who were baptized as infants want little to do with Christ. Other teens appear outwardly moral, but not all of them are spiritually alive and connected to Christ through faith.

One should be cautious about allowing infant baptism to give you a false sense of security for your loved one. Christianity is much larger than that particular practice. It involves a relationship with Christ through faith. (see Romans 3:21-24) Also, there is good fruit in the life of a born again person. (see Matthew 7:16,17) Does your loved one in question have saving faith in Christ, and good fruit….or just baptism?

What if Martin Luther had continued to assume that just because he had been baptized as an infant, he was already a Christian? What if Luther never applied the Gospel message personally to his own soul….through faith….by trusting in what Jesus did for him on the cross? Look at all his teen and adult years where Martin Luther was spiritually dead….even after he had been baptized as an infant. Many teens and adults are in the same condition today.

So just be cautious if infant baptism is something your church practices. It doesn’t guarantee that your child will grow up knowing the Lord….or will die one day knowing the Lord. Every person who desires to know Christ must repent and believe the good news, whether he was baptized as an infant or not. (see John 3:7) If he does repent and believe, he will then begin to follow Jesus. That’s what Christians do.

There will be many people who were baptized as infants who do not make it into heaven. Were you aware of that fact? Even though they were baptized in the Presbyterian church….or Methodist….or Lutheran….or Catholic….or in some other denomination, their infant baptism did not result in securing eternal life for them. Why? Because they lived a life devoid of a relationship with Christ. Without repentance….and applying the Gospel to yourself through faith….there is no forgiveness, and no salvation.

If you assume that everyone who has been baptized is saved, you are as misguided as the person who assumes that everyone who has ever gone forward during an “altar call” is saved. Those spiritual practices have meaning, but “what counts is a new creation.” (Galatians 5:16) “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (2 Cor. 5:17) If he is not a new creation, then he is not saved….whether he has been baptized or not.

God has used many different people over the centuries who held varying perspectives on infant baptism. For example, untold thousands were brought to Christ during the 18th century through the ministries of these men who practiced infant baptism: John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, and Jonathan Edwards. Does that surprise you? Whatever your view on infant baptism, just try to appreciate how God chooses to work mightily through many of His children who don’t share your view on that issue.

Infant baptism is not the only Christian practice which requires caution. One must also be careful with the system of theology known as “5-Point Calvinism.” The proponents of this view are convinced the Bible supports all 5 points. Many believers beg to differ, at least on one or more of the points. If you are not familiar with the 5 points, it is an easy thing to research as you acquaint yourself with these ideas.

I have the love of Christ in my heart for 5-Point Calvinists….and I am inspired by their zeal for the Word and for genuine discipleship. I wish all Christians loved the Scriptures the way most 5-Point Calvinists do. I am simply expressing the concern many Christians have about certain aspects of their doctrine. Hopefully, some 5-Point Calvinists will be open to reconsidering “limited atonement” and “double predestination.” I do not believe these particular doctrines are taught in Scripture….and therefore I do not believe these positions bring glory to the Lord.

Like millions of believers today, I find passages in Scripture that describe Jesus dying for His sheep. (see John 10:15) I find other passages which describe Jesus dying for everyone in the world. (see Hebrews 2:9) And I find still other passages stating Christ died for His sheep, AND for all people in the world. (see 1 John 2:2) But I do not find so much as one passage in God’s inerrant Word which says Christ died ONLY for His sheep. This is why “limited atonement” is such a disturbing teaching….because it is not taught in the Bible….and because it claims that Jesus died only for the “elect” who will believe….but not for everyone else….and that everyone else is essentially “ineligible” for salvation from the moment they come into this world.

The doctrine of limited atonement robs Christ of some of His glory because it misrepresents what Christ accomplished on the cross. I understand that some faithful believers hold to the teaching of limited atonement (also known as “particular redemption“)….and I am thankful that we will enjoy wonderful fellowship with one another in heaven. Here on earth, however, we would be remiss to pretend that the doctrine of limited atonement is not really all that significant, one way or the other. I believe it is vitally important, and that is has definite implications for evangelism….and prayer….and the purity of the Gospel itself.

I would like to offer 7 prayers which could be prayed by 5-Point Calvinists….and are in accord with their positions. I offer these prayers without an ounce of disrespect for these men of God and brothers in Christ who love the Lord. I do not question the sincerity and the commitment of those men who subscribe to these doctrines. (Aren’t most 5-Pointers men?) I simply find myself being compelled, in love, to address these concerns.

If nothing else, perhaps some 5-Pointers will come to recognize that they don’t necessarily have a lock on the doctrine of predestination….and that they have overstepped biblical revelation by insisting that God predestined multitudes of people to hell.

So what are these 7 prayers 5-Pointers could pray? Well….here they are….and if you are a 5-Pointer, please receive this in the spirit in which it is given….coming from a brother, who like you, loves the Lord and is passionate about true doctrine and reaching others for Christ.

1. “Lord, save my unbelieving uncle….if he is one of the elect.”

2. “Lord, save my unbelieving neighbor….if she is one of the elect you died to save.”

3. “Thank you Lord for dying on the cross for those people who belong to the elect.”

4. “Help me Lord to be careful when I preach the Gospel that I do not give the impression that Christ died for everyone.”

5. “Lord, lead my teenage daughter to have faith in You….if she is predestined to be one of your sheep.”

6. “Thank you Lord for determining before a person is born whether You have predestined him to go to heaven….or predestined him to go to hell.”

7. “Thank you Lord for making me your child and a 5-Point Calvinist, as compared to the other perspectives of my fellow believers.”

It boils down to whether you believe the Bible teaches “single predestination,” or “double predestination.” One is biblical, and yet seems to be illogical. The other is unbiblical, and yet seems logical to some believers. The biblical doctrine of single predestination is not the only doctrine in the Bible which seems to defy logic. So also does the doctrine of the Trinity. Both doctrines are accepted by believers because the Holy Spirit gives us the discernment to believe them.

In the case of predestination, human logic teaches man that if God predestined believers to heaven….then likewise, He must have predestined the rest of humanity to hell. That is an abhorrent teaching, and it is found nowhere in Scripture. It is found only in the logic of man, including the logic of some Christians.

The doctrine of single predestination in the Bible has been placed there by the Holy Spirit to comfort God’s children with the assurance of their salvation. It is addressed to believers….and not unbelievers. Not a word is said in Scripture to support the unholy doctrine of double predestination.

Everyone is commanded to repent. (see Acts 17:30) Anyone can come to Christ. “Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Rev. 22:17) Salvation is available to all because “Christ died for sins once for all.” (1 Peter 3:18) The Scriptures make it clear that Christ is “the Savior all men, and especially of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:10) How much clearer could it be?

What if those believers who mistakenly use their logic to come up with double predestination were to also use their logic with the doctrine of the Trinity? Scripture clearly teaches that there is only One God. Human logic does not do well when trying to “fit” Three Persons into One God….and yet, that is what the Bible reveals to us….and it is what the Holy Spirit gives Christians the discernment to believe….even though it appears illogical to say there are Three Persons in One God.

If those who embrace all 5 points of modern Calvinism were to “back off” on their logical deduction of double predestination….and just go with what Scripture says about single predestination….there might be little disagreement among Christians on this issue. As it is, these conflicting views certainly do not keep either “camp” from being spiritually united with one another in the body of Christ. As St. John told us, “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

Dr. Ron Rhodes is a “4-Point Calvinist.” He writes, “If Christ died only for the elect, how can the offer of salvation be made to all persons without some sort of insincerity, artificiality, or dishonesty being involved?” He is right on target. So if you have bought into 5-Point Calvinism, the message here is….”buyer beware.”

In contrast to the “5-Point” prayers, here are 7 prayers which Christians who believe in single predestination and unlimited atonement could sincerely pray:

1. “Lord, save my unbelieving uncle….and I have absolute confidence from your Word that Jesus died for him and wants him in heaven.”

2. “Lord, save my unbelieving neighbor….and thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for her sins.”

3. “Thank you Lord for giving your life for the sins of everyone in the world, just as your Word says.”

4. “Help me Lord to be careful when I preach the Gospel that I make it clear that Christ died “once for all.” (1 Peter 3:18)

5. “Lord, bring my teenage daughter to faith in You….because I know you love her and want her in heaven.”

6. “Thank you Lord for determining before a person is born that he or she, like all people, is eligible for salvation through repentance and faith in Christ.”

7. “Thank you Lord for making me your child and for teaching me the truth about single predestination and unlimited atonement, and thank you for my fellow Christians who have different views than my own on this issue.”

One day, we who are in God’s family will all be together in heaven. Perhaps the Lord will sit us down and fully explain these issues to us….or perhaps He won’t need to do so. “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Cor. 13:12)

In the meantime, we can thank the Lord for all that He is accomplishing in His kingdom through faithful Christians who hold different views from one another on baptism….and on predestination and limited atonement….and yet, are in complete agreement with one another that only the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. Where we agree with one another in God’s family is greater than where we disagree.

At the end of the day, all believers are related to one another through Christ’s blood….and we have an eternal connection with each other because of the love of God. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (Ephesians 1:7) How cool is that!

And besides….I have never heard of a family where everyone agrees with one another on every issue….have you?

http://www.christianpost.com/news/infant-baptism-and-5-point-calvinism-are-limited-88498/#ckRtyVokdRTqROsR.99

What Abortion Has Cost America’s Future By Jim Denison , Christian Post Columnist

Every year, 32,000 people die on America’s highways. Every 10 days, that many abortions are performed in our country.

This week marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that struck down many state laws restricting abortion. Surprisingly, only 44 percent of Americans under age 30 know that Roe deals with abortion. Even more surprisingly, 53 percent of Americans think abortion “is not that important, compared to other issues.” Here’s why they’re wrong.

Since Roe, more than 55 million lives have been aborted. According to the Movement for a Better America, the resulting labor lost to our nation will cost our future GDP some $45 trillion. By comparison, our national debt stands at $16 trillion. Consider the impact on Social Security: each day for the next 19 years, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65. At current trends, Social Security will be bankrupt in 21 years. One major reason: of the generation under 45 whose taxes support Social Security, a third was aborted.

How can you make a difference on this issue?

First, if you are pro-life, can you defend your position? It is vital that we speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), giving a reason for our faith “with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). For more on the legal, theological, and ethical issues involved in abortion, I invite you to read my essay, “Abortion and the Mercy of God.”

Second, if you believe life is sacred from the moment of conception, what are you doing to act on your conviction? My wife and I are strong supporters of the Council for Life in Dallas; what pro-life organization could you support in your community? Is God calling you to walk through pregnancy with a woman considering abortion? To share God’s mercy with a friend who chose abortion? To consider adopting a child into your family? Dietrich Bonhoeffer warned us: “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

Each time I visit Israel, I am deeply saddened by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. As you know, six million Jews were murdered during World War II, one-fourth of them children. As much as we should grieve the Holocaust, let’s remember that 10 times more lives have been ended by abortion.

One of the first panels at Yad Vashem displays this statement: “A country is not just what it does – it is also what it tolerates.”

http://www.christianpost.com/news/what-abortion-has-cost-americas-future-88860/#Oe1rU0MyVFIlCUzG.99

Armed Robber Flees Home After Women Chant the Name ‘Jesus’ By Jeff Schapiro , Christian Post Reporter

An armed robber interrupted a jewelry party in Lake City, Fla., on Friday but left empty-handed after the women in attendance began chanting the name “Jesus,” according to police.

The suspect, who was later identified as 24-year-old Derick Lee, allegedly invaded the home of Jacquie Hagler during a Premiere Jewelry party attended by between 14 and 18 people (there are conflicting accounts between News4Jax.com, local police and Hagler about the exact number).

While wearing all dark-colored clothing, including a bandana to cover his face and a ski cap on his head, Lee allegedly entered the room where the party was occurring, pointed a handgun at the women and told them to give him their money and phones.

Thinking it was a practical joke and a part of the party, one of the women pushed the gun away and said, “It’s only a water pistol.” Lee then yelled at them, telling them he was going to shoot somebody and that it wasn’t a joke. The women took him seriously after he showed some of them the bullets that were already loaded in the gun, Hagler told The Christian Post on Monday.

“The boldness of the Lord came up in me,” said Hagler. “I stood up and I just pointed to the door that he’d came in from. I said, ‘Get out of my house in the name of Jesus.'”

He threatened them again, and she told him to leave once more before the rest of the women in the room began to repeatedly shout the name “Jesus.” Lee briefly looked around the room while they shouted, though Hagler says he did not appear to be looking directly at any of the women.

“I promise you, I believe he saw angels. I think he saw who was on our side, and he just turned around. The look on his face was just, like, astonishment. He was totally captivated by whatever he saw. He just turned around and ran out the door,” she said.

Based on the description of the man provided by the women, Lake City police officials came up with two possible suspects living in the immediate area. Several of the women identified Lee in a photo lineup as the man who had threatened them.

Lee is also a suspect in a separate robbery attempt that occurred while police were investigating the home invasion later that evening. A 62-year-old woman said a man dressed in all dark-colored clothing, including a ski cap and bandana, pointed a gun at her and tried to rob her after she used a walk-up ATM. She yelled at the man, however, and he fled on foot.

Officers arrested Lee just a few hours after the incident at Hagler’s home. He was booked at the Columbia County Detention Center on a $200,000 bond for home invasion robbery.

“We’re just praising God that He’s getting all this glory, and that Jesus’ name really, it has authority,” said Hagler. “And He says His Word is true and He says He’ll be there for you in [the] time of trouble. When you call on Him, He’ll be there.”

http://www.christianpost.com/news/armed-robber-flees-home-after-women-chant-the-name-jesus-89031/#yee1qw1qxTCpshHI.99

I Could Have Used Some Help When I Was A Teenager By Christopher Doyle , Op-Ed Contributor

When I was eight years old, I was sexually abused every week for an entire year. This created a lot of sexual confusion for me. When I became a teenager, I struggled with unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) as a result of that abuse.

At the age of twelve, my father took me to see our church pastor after he discovered I was experimenting sexually with some classmates. While my pastor was a good and decent man, he did not have the necessary skills to help me open up about my struggle with SSA. I left that meeting with a tremendous amount of shame and guilt, and vowed never to discuss my sexuality with another adult. After that counseling session, I didn’t seek help again until I was in my early 20s.

Ten years passed. Ten years of sexual confusion. Ten years of sexual addiction. Ten years of unwanted homosexual feelings, desires, and behavior. Ten years of pre-marital sex. Ten years of compulsive pornography use. Ten years of smoking, drinking, and experimental drug use. Ten years of rejection from other guys. Ten years of bullying because of my perceived sexual orientation. Ten years of anger. Ten years of tears. Ten years of heartache. Ten years of pain.

If I had a competent, knowledgeable counselor to help me work through the sexual abuse, I might have avoided those ten years of pain and confusion! But in spite of those negative experiences, I healed from that abuse and resolved my unwanted SSA. I am married to a beautiful woman who is understanding and supportive, and together, we have two wonderful children (and one on the way)! Today, I am a professional counselor that helps young men struggling with their own sexuality. Every week, I get calls from mothers and fathers who are concerned about their teenagers’ homosexual feelings. I have worked with many of these teens in therapy (as young as 13) to help them understand and resolve their unwanted SSA. My hope is for these young people to work through their issues now so they don’t have to deal with the pain and heartache when they are older, like I had to do.

However, as you read this, anti-ex-gay activists are trying to convince state and federal lawmakers to make it illegal for licensed mental health practitioners to help young people overcome unwanted homosexual feelings. Currently, two federal lawsuits are on the dockets in the state of California from clients and counselors whose rights have been taken away by SB1172, the bill in California signed into law by Governor Brown that has outlawed sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) for minors.

Additionally, a resolution has been introduced in the United States Congress to ban SOCE for minors, and two additional bills have been introduced in state legislatures (New Jersey and Pennsylvania) that are similar to the California legislation. The anti-ex-gay activist’s plan is introduce similar legislation in every state for minors. After they succeed, they will attempt to outlaw SOCE for everyone, adults included.

If you are a ministry leader or a part of a faith-based organization that counsels men and women with unwanted SSA, do not think for one second that you will escape this persecution! Anti-ex-gay activists will not rest until all of our rights are taken away to give and receive counseling, and teenagers are left to deal with the pain and sexual confusion by themselves, much like I had to do in my youth.

To battle this injustice, I have initiated an online petition to deliver to U.S. Congress, New Jersey Assembly, and the Pennsylvania Legislature, asking them to oppose any legislation or resolution that would infringe upon our constitutional rights of self-determination.

Please click the web link below and sign the petition, share it on your Facebook page, e-mail your friends, and include a blurb of the petition on your ministry or church website so others may sign too. Don’t procrastinate or think your voice doesn’t matter! Together, we can reach tens of thousands of concerned citizens and send a clear message to Washington DC, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the anti-ex-gay activists, that we are united and ready to fight to protect our rights and our children!

To support the human right of self-determination for individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction to receive counseling and psychological treatment, click here and/or visit: http://www.comingoutloved.com/sign-the-petition

http://www.christianpost.com/news/i-could-have-used-some-help-when-i-was-a-teenager-89019/#eUq0Y4rLVdbfoGpW.99

Why Sinning Will Never Quench Man’s Thirst By Dan Delzell , Special to CP

You are out in the middle of the ocean….all alone….in a small boat….and dying of thirst. You know that drinking the saltwater will not solve your problem, but only make it worse. So what do you do? You could get a momentary fix by drinking it, but that will only make your thirst stronger. Or you could resist the urge to drink the saltwater.

This is man’s dilemma in the real world. He has a thirst for something refreshing which will satisfy his soul….but he also experiences cravings to quench the thirst of his sinful nature. Should man give into temptation and get a momentary fix, or resist the urge to drink the “saltwater” of sin? It seems that man is in quite a predicament.

The biggest problem with sin is that it violates God’s law and His standard for us. But another huge problem is that it never delivers the desired outcome. So sin is really just a big phony….and a fake….a counterfeit. It pretends to have this great solution for your thirst. So you drink….and oops, your thirst just skyrockets. Thanks sin for lying to me about your real effect. And boy did I buy it….hook, line and sinker.

I guess this is what God means in His Word when He tells us, “A man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” (2 Peter 2:19) Sin is not neutral. It doesn’t leave you in the same condition when it is through with you. It moves you into a state where your thirst for more sin only increases. Sin is kind of like that drug dealer on the corner who tries to get people in his neighborhood hooked on cocaine. So he makes it easy for people to get started on it. That is what sin does….as it deals its deadly drug to our soul.

Sin makes us less content with the things of God….and even more compelled to engage in sin again. Hey….if sinning could really quench man’s thirst, then sinning would actually be a way to curb the cravings for more sin. How crazy is that? But that is not the way it works. Everything sinful is by definition addictive. By giving into temptation, you are assuring that the temptation will only get greater in that area of your life.

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34) That pretty much sums it up. That explains why trying to quench our thirst by sinning only increases our thirst for more sin. Why then are we so reluctant to believe the Lord on this one, and on everything else He said about sin and grace? As if the Lord’s words are not enough, we also have our own personal experiences. That is something which has taught us firsthand about the addictive nature of sin.

Think about this for a second. If you are not a Christian, when has your sin of unbelief ever done anything but perpetuate more unbelief in your heart. When has it ever helped you to stop rejecting Christ? Precisely. Sin breeds faster than rabbits.

Likewise, if you are a believer….when has your “pet sin” ever stopped growing and growling after you fed it? If you are honest about it, you will admit that pet sins grow into larger animals….with louder growls….and greater appetites. Right? I mean when does it ever play out differently?

So what desires and affections are going to rule your life going forward? Will they be the desires of your sinful nature, or the desires of the Holy Spirit? (see Gal. 5:16-18) You get to choose….everyday….in every situation….and so do I. The bottom line is this….do we love sin more than Christ? No one can serve two masters. So who, or what, is your master?

In other words, who or what is the greatest love in your life? If you are unsure, simply examine which desires and affections you spend the most time trying to satisfy. That examination shows us who, or what, we love the most. It also helps us to understand why sinning never quenches man’s thirst.

The psalmist gives us a beautiful description of the person who thirsts for the Lord. “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1,2)

When that desire becomes the yearning of our heart, we are getting closer to having the deepest longings of our soul fulfilled. I guess it makes sense that He who created us is the only One who can truly satisfy our thirst. Imagine that.

If it wasn’t for His living water (see John 7:37,38), we would really be a mess. As it is, it’s messy enough being a sinner saved by grace. Won’t heaven be glorious? No sin….no temptation….no unfulfilled longings….ever. Only a full and satisfying quenching of every kind of thirst we will experience there. A person could get used to that sort of existence, although we will never tire of it.

But that’s for a later time, when the Lord comes back down here to gather His children for heaven. For now, you are out in a boat….and dying of thirst. If you are a believer….and you are tempted to drink the saltwater….just remember who it is that sits next to you in the boat….and remember the living water which He makes available to you 24/7 to truly quench your thirst.

Let’s see….the water out there in the ocean? Or the living water from my eternal Savior and Friend sitting with me here in the boat? Hmm.

When you put it that way, it’s hard to see how a person who loves the Lord would ever allow himself to “go for the saltwater.” And yet we find that sometimes we still do. Go figure. I guess being a disciple of our Lord really does boil down to a moment by moment lifestyle of Hebrews 12:2. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

http://www.christianpost.com/news/why-sinning-will-never-quench-mans-thirst-88074/#vDiG8ArSmchzwBKb.99

It’s Not Good to Be Alone

“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone’ ” Genesis 2:18

While reading through the creation narratives in Genesis for the umpteenth time, I was struck by God’s commentary on Adam being alone in the garden. What caught my attention was the observation God made after each stroke of his creative power: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Until, that is, He made Adam. At that point, something was not good: “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). So He fixed it and did something really good—He made Eve!

A couple of thoughts race through my brain at this point. I couldn’t agree more with God’s assessment—man needs woman! Left to ourselves we would be more like untamed savages than decent, sensitive specimens of humanity. I have no idea how off track my life might be if my wife Martie had not come along. She is a consistent check to my social insensitivities, to my self-serving male perspectives on life, to what color combinations work and which ones don’t, and to making life better for our kids and grandkids. To say nothing of her sensitive heart toward God that stimulates me to want to serve and follow Him with greater enthusiasm. Thankfully, for all of us guys, God didn’t get carried away with how good it all was but saw the single flaw and did something to save the world from men left to themselves! Bravo for that stroke of creative genius. As the French say, Vive la difference!

The other thought that caused me to stop reading long enough to let it sink in, is that being alone is not a good thing for anyone. God made us in His image—which means that we, like Him, are relational beings. In the beginning, it was a literal paradise of fulfilling relationships as God in an unhindered way walked with Adam and Eve in the garden and they enjoyed the fullest experience of intimacy with each other. So, where did loneliness come from? How did the demon of loneliness that haunts many of our hearts today alienate us from the others that we so desperately need?

I want to be clear here and admit that loneliness isn’t always brought on by us or our choices. So this is not a guilt trip. But as the story unfolds, we see the damage of alienation haunting the landscape of life. Adam and Eve hide from God out of fear of getting caught, and Adam blames Eve for his disobedience, which clearly drives a wedge into their flawless intimacy. And the deep fellowship on every satisfying level is now replaced by alienation, blame, distrust, and shame.

Which leaves me wondering, how could people who had it so good end up with everything so out of sync? It all started going south when Eve believed that to live for herself and her own gain was more important than living to love God and Adam. And to make matters worse, Adam followed suit.

The lesson here is huge. Living for what’s “best for me,” while ignoring the needs, wishes, and interests of others always brings alienation and aloneness.

Thank God that He has made a way for us to restore relationships and to recapture a portion of the intimacy of Eden. When we follow the way of Jesus and live to love and serve others, aloneness gives way to intimacy and our self-serving acts of alienation dissolve into a bonding that gets us wonderfully stuck on each other again.

And guys, that should probably start with us since it’s not a good thing for us to be alone!

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • Can you think of a time when living for “what’s best for me” has produced alienation and aloneness?
  • How do you react to God’s assessment that we are not meant to be alone? When have you felt alone? Can you identify the cause of your aloneness?
  • Make a list of the most significant relationships in your life. Where does God rank on that list? What are you doing to keep the intimacy flowing with Him and with the people He has placed in your life?
  • As Adam and Eve discovered, self-centered acts of disobedience drive a wedge in relationships. Search your heart today and ask God to reveal any areas of self-serving disobedience that need to be confessed and reversed in order to restore the relationships that are troubling you.

http://getmorestrength.org/daily/its-not-good-to-be-alone/