Hedging Your Bets

If you put several coats of white paint on a wall you can truthfully say the wall is white. If someone sneaks in and puts a tiny black dot in an inconspicuous place on that wall you can no longer be totally accurate if you say that the wall is white. A Christian asked a cab driver if he knew that he would go to heaven when he died. The cabbie said that he was Jewish but just in case he was wrong he donated money to buy a brick used in building a Baptist church. That is called syncretism and it doesn*t work.

Matthew 6:24a: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. . . .

James 1:8: A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

James 4:8: Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Syncretism was tried in Old Testament times and it didn*t work then either.

Zephaniah 1:5: I will cut off them that worship and that swear by the Lord, and that swear by Malcham.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon:

Such persons thought themselves safe because they were with both parties: they went with the followers of Jehovah, and bowed at the same time to Malcham. But duplicity is abominable with God, and hypocrisy His soul hateth. The idolater who distinctly gives himself to his false god, has one sin less than he who brings his polluted and detestable sacrifice unto the temple of the Lord, while his heart is with the world and the sins thereof. To hold with the hare and run with the hounds, is a dastard*s policy. In the common matters of daily life, a double-minded man is despised, but in religion he is loathsome to the last degree. The penalty pronounced in the verse before us is terrible, but it is well deserved; for how should divine justice spare the sinner, who knows the right, approves it, and professes to follow it, and all the while loves the evil, and gives it dominion in his heart?

My soul, search thyself this morning, and see whether thou art guilty of double-dealing. Thou professest to be a follower of Jesus-dost thou truly love Him? Is thy heart right with God? Art thou of the family of old Father Honest, or art thou a relative of Mr. By-ends? A name to live is of little value if I be indeed dead in trespasses and sins. To have one foot on the land of truth, and another on the sea of falsehood, will involve a terrible fall and a total ruin. Christ will be all or nothing. God fills the whole universe, and hence there is no room for another god; if, then, He reigns in my heart, there will be no space for another reigning power. Do I rest alone on Jesus crucified, and live alone for Him? Is it my desire to do so? Is my heart set upon so doing? If so, blessed be the mighty grace which has led me to salvation; and if not so, O Lord, pardon my sad offence, and unite my heart to fear Thy name.

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Evangelist Wil Rice devotional on 2 Corinthians 11:3 entitled Simply Good News:

Have you ever heard a story of someone who everyone thought they knew but turned out to be leading a secret life? I assure you that you don*t have to look far to find a husband or wife who is married but is living a double life with another person. That is bizarre to be sure because a marriage that involves more than one*s spouse is not a really a marriage.

Paul uses the picture of marriage to remind us that a Gospel that involves more than one Christ is not really the Gospel. A Gospel that is not *simple* is not good news. You cannot possibly have a marriage as God intended with three people, and you cannot possibly have good news with more than one Christ. Nothing is more complicated than falsehood; nothing is simpler than truth!

There is one God and one Savior. There are many falsehoods and many gods, but that only complicates the issue. There are not many ways to God*s Heaven; there is only one Way: I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. That is simple. That is truth.

Be plain (simple) with the Gospel. If there is only one Savior, be plain. If there is only one issue-faith in Christ-be simple. What you do with Jesus Christ is the only decision upon which your eternity hangs. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. The Gospel is good news, and the Gospel is simple. May God help us to give it that way.

Care to discuss Hedging Your Bets with Ron?

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