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I Did It My Way...

"Then I saw a great white Throne and Him Who sat upon it; from His presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the Throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and if any one's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15 RSV)

The Holy Bible Today, hundreds of millions of people in the world identify themselves as Christian. On face value, that's wonderful. But, when one looks at how divided that Christian-professing people are in their beliefs and behavior, and their sometimes very unChristian attitude toward one another, one might ask the question, "How many really are Christian?"

"I Never Knew You"

The words of Jesus Christ:

"Not every one who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many mighty works in Your Name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you evildoers.'" (Matthew 7:21-23 RSV)

Most of us today are on constant guard against the very real possibility of being deceived by other people, but perhaps the greater danger is the deception within ourselves. We humans tend to believe what we want to believe; we tend to rationalize and interpret the Scriptures so that they conform to us, rather than us to them. And what does the Word of God have to say about that?

"There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death." (Proverbs 14:12 RSV)

"Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart." (Proverbs 21:2 RSV)

"This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' You leave the Commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men." (Mark 7:6-8 RSV)

"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience." (Ephesians 5:6 RSV)

"See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ." (Colossians 2:8 RSV)

"For they are a rebellious people, lying sons, sons who will not hear the instruction of The Lord; who say to the seers, "See not"; and to the prophets, "Prophesy not to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more of the Holy One of Israel." (Isaiah 30:9-11 RSV)

"I did it my way..."

There will come a day when every one of us will face judgment for everything that we have said and done. Those who have repented, truly repented, who have turned to obey God on His terms, who have done it God's Way, according to His literal Commands and instructions, will have a very good chance of being granted eternal life. God loves the humble and the obedient.

On the other hand, the defiant ones, the self-righteous ones, those who refuse to obey God according to His Word, who behave as though God was created in our image rather than us in His, who choose "many different roads to the same place," are risking the lake of fire. But they will have no one but themselves to blame for such a horrible and avoidable fate. With no offense intended to Frank Sinatra, those who burn will do so because, "I did it my way..."

Fact Finder: What is the only way to eternal life?
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