Paul’s Prayer for the Colossians

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask:

  • that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 
  • that you may walk worthy of the Lord, 
    • fully pleasing Him, 
    • being fruitful in every good work and
    • increasing in the knowledge of God; 
    • strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 
  • giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.  Colossians 1:9-12

We Are Not to Judge Other Religions – a Window Into the One World Religion

“We are not to judge other religions; we just know that Jesus Christ died for us.  Besides, what about all those people who have never heard of Jesus?”

Response: Thank you for the stimulating conversation on our recent road trip.  I wanted to pursue the issue we discussed about Christians judging other religions. 

The Bible is clear that there were other religions in place at the time of the Old and New Testaments, and they were judged and condemned by prophets in the Old Testament and Christ and His apostles in the New Testament. 

  • Moses directly confronted the spiritual leaders of Egypt, who espoused another religion.  He could have said: “Perhaps you worship God in other ways, so who am I to judge?”  No, he rejected their religion and their gods, and each of the plagues brought upon the Egyptians demonstrated that their gods were impotent against the God of Israel. 
  • There are many other examples of Old Testament prophets rejecting pagan gods and their practices such as sacrificing their children by passing them through the fire.  (In similar fashion, since 1973, our nation has sacrificed over 50 million unborn babies to the gods of convenience, lifestyle, and reputation.)
  • The famous scene where Elijah challenged the priests of Baal to a contest to see whose god would prevail in burning the sacrifice of a bull is another example.
  • The New Testament is also full of examples of Christ and His disciples rejecting other religions.  Christ clearly taught that the (Talmudic) Judaism taught by the Pharisees and Sadducees was insufficient to go to heaven.  He told Nicodemus, a Pharisee, that he must be born again to go to heaven. 
  • When Paul spoke to the Greek philosophers in Athens, he noted that they had statues to many gods, then expounded on their “unknown god”, making the case that their unknown god was really the God of the Bible.

There is no reason to believe that this rejection of other religions does not apply to today as well.  Jesus stated:  “I am the way, the truth, and the light; no one goes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6  This claim to exclusivity is either true or false; there is no middle ground.  He was either who He said He was – the Son of the sovereign, living God and is the only way to heaven, or he was a false teacher and charlatan.  His statement speaks directly to  other religions today as well as then.

The Great Commission, the command of Christ to go therefore and make disciples of all nations is nonsensical if other religions are of equal value to Christianity.  Furthermore, there is compelling evidence that we are approaching the end times – a time of a one-world economy, one-world government, and one-world religion.  The notion that all religions are pathways to God provides a perfect rationale for the one-world religion, which is fundamentally anti-Christ. 

“Besides, what about all those people who have never heard of Jesus?”

Response: Regarding the eternal destination of those who have never heard the Gospel of Christ, I see two possible explanations:

  1. General revelation, the notion that God reveals Himself and His nature through the created world, is taught in both the Old Testament and the New Testament:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.”
Psalm 19:1-2

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”  Romans 1:20   

This passage teaches that God’s eternal power and divine nature are “clearly seen” and “understood” from what has been made, and that there is no excuse for denying these facts. With these Scriptures in mind, perhaps a working definition of general revelation would be “the revelation of God to all people, at all times, and in all places that proves that God exists and that He is intelligent, powerful, and transcendent.” (quote from Wikipedia)

  • The second response is that God is merciful, and ultimately we throw ourselves upon His mercy in this life and the next.  This is certainly true for babies (born and unborn), and may apply in other cases as well.

Finally, looking at these issues from an overall perspective, what difference does it make?  One’s eternal destiny is a very serious thing, because eternity is a long, long time and the consequences are beyond description.  I have learned that the Lord also takes it very seriously. His Word not only articulates a coherent world view and theology that is exclusive, it provides a strong admonition against those who teach other views: 

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”                                         Galatians 1:6-9

Life is short.  God is great, and He invites us to walk with Him every day.

Best regards,

Sophia, God of Wisdom

“I am at point in time where I question belief systems (be they spiritual or otherwise) to see how they fit into my experience…  I remain open to receiving “answers” that are always true no matter time/space/circumstance.  I must say though when I have received such information it has come from within….”

[Paraphrase]  I am drawn to Sophia, personified wisdom (and Goddess of Wisdom); here is a link to an article about Sophia’ Exile and Return” written by Kathleen Granville Damiani. She articulates here (much better than I can) a significant part of my questioning/thinking.

“Who is Sophia? Literally she is Wisdom, because the Greek word Sophia means “wisdom” in English. More than that, Sophia is the Wisdom of Deity. She has been revered as the Wise Bride of Solomon by Jews, as the Queen of Wisdom and War (Athena) by Greeks, and as the Holy Spirit of Wisdom by Christians… Sophia personifies wisdom, an ancient tradition concerned with integrity in the marketplace, politics, and royal court. Because the teachings were rooted in life instead of doctrine, Sophia became problematical and excluded from the religious formulations of monotheism.”


Great to hear from you.  Thanks for your thoughts, and sharing “Sophia: Exile and Return” with me.  I found it very interesting and revealing about Ms. Damiani’s personal journey.  I appreciate her openness and your sharing her story with me.  Each of us is on a personal journey, and although our journeys may intersect or be along the same path for a time, it is still personal and one that each of us must live out in our lives.

I also question belief systems to see how they fit into my experience.  And as I meet people, read books, and have other encounters, they inevitably become part of my experience.  Although I used to see religion as a matter of belief, a “blind leap of faith”, I now see a profound opportunity – that of a relationship with the sovereign, living God, the creator of the universe.  Furthermore, I see many manifestations of God’s supernatural intervention into the natural world and our lives.  A few examples:

  • A colleague of mine who is on the faculty at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences campus told me about an experience that transformed her life.  In the 1970s, she said it was the worst time of her life.  She was going through a divorce, and she had a 2 year old girl.  She felt strongly that she should stay home and take care of her daughter, but didn’t have enough money.  So she wrote down how much money she would need, and then said: “Lord, you know I want to stay home with my daughter and take care of her, but you know I don’t have the money.  So let me know what I should do.”  The total amount of the money she needed was $10,750.56 (this was back in the 70s).

The next day she received a letter from her mother, telling her that she knows she is going through a tough time in her life, and perhaps this will help.  Enclosed was a check for the exact amount of $10,750.56!  The letter from her mother was sent a day before she wrote down the amount.  I think this is how the Lord works – something happens in our life and we know it could not have happened by chance.

  • Three weeks ago, I heard a large man, whose name is Ed, tell his story – an incredible story, in some ways similar to the story of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament.  Ed was drafted into the army and went to Vietnam, where he witnessed great brutality and became heavily involved in drugs.  When he returned, he became an enforcer with the mob in New Orleans.  He was arrested for a murder he did not commit, and was sentenced to die.  While on death row, he heard an audible voice tell him “I know who you are and what you have done”.  At first he thought it was a guard, but finally realized it was the Lord, and became a Christian.  He was still destined to be executed, when another person confessed to the murder.  As soon as he was free from prison, he was arrested for a murder he did commit.  He was let out on bail after several years, and now goes to visit prisoners to tell them how they can become spiritually free.
  • The New Testament is full of stories of the Holy Spirit guiding, nurturing, convicting, and supporting the apostles and early believers.

As I mentioned before, I find it helpful to make clear distinctions whenever possible, which gives us choices and perhaps provokes us to deeper thought.  Here are some distinctions (please forgive me if I don’t do justice to Sophia):

  • Where Sophia, personified wisdom, looks to personal experience, illuminated by myths, stories, and legends, Biblical Christianity looks to the sovereign, living God of the universe as the ultimate source of wisdom.
  • Sophia, personal wisdom, encourages us to listen to ourselves, and seek wisdom from our experience that emerges from our unconscious.  For a Christian, the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord: a profound respect that God for who He is and recognizes our inadequacies and sin in the presence of the Holy God.

Ms. Damiani stated in her dissertation: “Wisdom used to be the highest virtue, but with the coming of Christianity, wisdom left the Western world.”  An astute observation, and I agree with her. 

The two realms – human wisdom and wisdom from God are distinct and ultimately compete for the attention of people.  It is interesting that the Bible addresses this very issue: 

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’

Where is the wise?  Where is the scribe?  Where is the disputer of this age?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  …For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”                                                                     I Corinthians 1:18-25

Perhaps the ultimate question is this:  how can human wisdom guide us in eternal, supernatural, spiritual matters – an arena in which our human senses and reason fail us, but can only be understood as revealed by the sovereign, living God of the universe?

By the way, I just read a book entitled: “The Math of Christ”, by retired Army Colonel Steve Bauer.  Bauer calculates the odds that 40 of the Old Testament prophecies that have been fulfilled happened purely by chance.  He found the odds to be one chance in 10 to the 136th power.  To gain some perspective on this number, let’s say that the United States was covered by silver dollars, one of which is red.  If we asked a blind man to go out and pick up the red one, his chances of success are one chance in 6.8 chances x 10 to the 13th power.  Fulfilled prophecies are another indication of God’s intervention into our natural world.

I hope this note finds all is well with you.  On with the journey…

Best regards,

Becoming a Person With a Purpose

Philippians 1:12 “Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.”

Paul was in prison, but was exuberant that his time he was being used by God to reach the entire network of palace guards with the Gospel of Christ. He also recognized that most of his Christian friends had been encouraged to be bolder in their witness. Paul was a man of focused purpose and knowledge of God.

What kind of work situation are you in these days? Positive? Negative? Overly stressful? Dynamic and exciting? Dull and routine?

Remember two things:

1) No matter how good or how bad things are … HE HAS PUT YOU THERE for this moment in time TO BE A LIGHT. Don’t get caught up in your successes or stresses. Remember you are a person with purpose;

2) He WILL USE YOU if you surrender yourself to him.

O Lord, thank you for sovereignly placing me here today. I surrender my will to you to be used by you however you desire.