Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
This familiar verse of scripture is read across the world every year at Christmas time. It is a declaration from God as spoken by his holy angel. The extremism of this proclamation is found in the total message the angel gave, for the peace of God which is available to men on earth comes only by the Savior who is Christ the Lord, Lk.2:11. I say extremism because today we are told there are many ways for which mankind can have the peace of God, but God says there is only one way we can have his peace on earth. A mighty military is not the means of God’s peace, or great dialogue among nations, though these things may secure great benefit to a people.
The liberating peace which God offers mankind came at a price, the crucifixion of his only begotten Son. And it comes at a non-meritorious price to the sinner as well. Each sinner must swallow his pride and accept God’s offer of peace by admitting he is a sinner; that Christ came as the Son of God in human form to die for their sin. He must accept Jesus Christ as his Savior to receive this legal pardon from sin and the subsequent legal settled peace of God; a peace that forever removes all condemnation from the saved sinner.
Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This legal peace with God is obtained as God declares us justified from all our offenses by our faith in Jesus Christ. No religion, no good works, no self sacrificing, neither moral superiority can qualify the sinner for this pardon and this peace of God.
A recent survey conducted by Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life brought to light some interesting notions of Americans. Some 70% of those surveyed believe that many religions can lead to eternal life. Some 57% of those surveyed were supposedly Christian evangelicals who said “there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.” The findings showed that most individuals have come to define for themselves what they want truth to be. The acknowledgment that there is an absolute divine truth is rejected across America’s churches and it is seen in the responses of their members. The churches which are clear in their teachings and stand unapologetic in those biblical revelations are often thought of as archaic and out of touch. “The seeker-friendly church movement is drawing tens of thousands of worshippers. They believe Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation... They offer weekly Bible classes, but their sermons tend to be buoyant, hip and dedicated to self-help themes, rather than theology.” Secularism has crept into these churches, discipline has gone out the window and not even the pastors will challenge their people to learn Bible doctrine as fact. We are taught to be flexible and tolerant of all religions so much that we aren’t even convinced that ours is the right one. I think many churches in America want to stand for Christ without having to take a stand against other beliefs. This is not possible.
The peace God offers to mankind came in just one form, not many. God is very intolerant and inflexible when it comes to the way of salvation. He does not offer his legal pardon of sins and his legal judicial peace to those who attempt to come to him outside of faith in Jesus Christ. He still holds all men, who have not accepted Christ as Savior, in a state of judicial condemnation. If this is extreme, then we must be extreme to be saved. We will stick to the solid doctrines of the word of God. We will always present Jesus Christ as the only means of securing ones salvation, and we will teach the doctrines that exalt the Lord in our daily living and our future expectations. We do not believe this is extreme. We believe this is how glory is brought to God and peace can be had on earth.