When relationships strain their connecting tendons, we often sanitize the accompanying heartache with talisman disinfectant. Rather than dealing with our offenses or sins, we have that human tendency to sidestep the hard work of finding a real cure to our ailments with superstitious phrases of popular culture.
They never really fix our problems, but we do seem to survive for another day.
In Claiming Christ, we pursued our devotion of discovering what the word of God has to say specifically about being Christian. What we found, among many other things, were repeated warnings to Christians who may well have succumbed to the popular notion that real life will continue as is, no matter what we do.
As one popular minister stated, in promotion of the common belief in irresistible grace, “we can’t even sin our way out of the Kingdom of God”. Is that Talisman or Truth?
If we intend to label truth as something defined by Scripture, this is what the word of God says to Christians about Christians:
“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves.”
The assurance of salvation is a right and good concept for believers to grasp, but not according to misplaced ideologies that conflict with what Scripture teaches. Those who want to be identified by Jesus as “truly my disciples”, will “hold to my teachings” rather than supplement their hope with Talisman tales of lifeless effect.
Sadly, much of what masquerades around as Christian theology is little more than repackaged “phrasolatry”: sound-bites designed to amp up the popular acceptance meter with the least amount of cultural resistance.
So Tomorrow is another day, but the real question is whether we ought to expect it to be any different as a result of what has occurred Today. For those of us who claim Christ, that translates to “do my choices Today, make any significant impact on my expectations for Tomorrow?”
For Truth to triumph over Talisman in what we believe, Scripture must have its say. So again to Christians about Christians, the Spirit of God declares that annihilation remains possible:
“God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
“If you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off.”
And in spite of the belief of the foolish virgins, they were denied entrance into the kingdom of God. And for all those who did amazing miracles in Jesus name and who called him their Lord, Jesus still denied knowing them. Nearly every book in the New Testament confirms this same caution against the tendency to claim guarantees of hopeful expectation in spite of our decadent behavior, mistreatment of others around us, or just for trying to live a double life: part Christian, part friend-of-the-world.
The scriptural gospel extends salvation to believers with the following condition:
“It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.”
What are you doing to expose the Talismans of your beliefs?