Last updated: January 14. 2014 4:28PM - 422 Views
Robert C. Oliver Contributing columnist

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Man has a great interest in his physical appearance. Billions of dollars are spent annually to purchase products and services to alter the physical appearance. Mirrors allow man to see himself as others see him. Due to a need concerning our physical health, man has devised ways of ascertaining the appearance of the “inside” of our bodies as well. However, though often neglected, it is most needful that one concern himself with the appearance of the inner man, the soul. Man has not invented a method by which this can be done. However, God has provided us with one. It’s called, the word of God, the Bible. James says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But who looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continue therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:22-25). One can look into the word of God and see themselves as God sees them. What might one see when they look into the word of God?

The person who is an alien sinner will no doubt see that he is not just matter, but that he possesses an eternal soul. The wise man, Solomon, said concerning death, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecc. 12:7). This person will no doubt see that he is without God, Christ and all hope of an eternal home in heaven. Paul wrote, “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). He will also see that the end is not very promising for one in his condition. Concerning such a person, Paul said that when the Lord Jesus “shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (II Thess. 1:7-9). Thus this person would see that God expects you to obey the gospel of Christ. The Hebrew writer wrote, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:8-9). One would also see that God means what He says, and says what He means (Deut. 4:2) and that He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).

Many would look into the mirror of the soul and discover that they have been deceived. Not all roads lead to heaven. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Jesus said, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9). “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matt. 15:14). The land is full of those who would deceive you whether intentional or unintentional. The mirror shows that Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15). There is only one strait and narrow, and it must be followed if one is to have eternal life in heaven (Matt. 7:13-14). Having a zeal for God, but lacking the truth of what God requires of us is a failure to submit oneself unto the righteousness of God (Rom. 10:2-3). As Jesus said, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Notice that knowing and obeying the Lord’s word is required for one to be a disciple indeed. It is the true disciples that began being called “Christians” in Antioch (Acts 11:26). Not he who does what he thinks or believes is right, not he who does what his feelings tell him is right, not he who does what some mere man told him is right, but he that does the will of the Father which is in heaven (Matt. 7:21). We can look into that mirror and not only see what God requires, but we can also see that one must be obedient to His word if we are to have eternal life.

Let us note just one more important thing we can see in that mirror. As noted above, we see that God is no respecter of persons. Peter came to that understanding when he was sent by the Holy Spirit to the home of Cornelius. He said, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). It matters not who you are, God requires the same of you as he does of everyone else. It’s not a matter of “well, that may be right for you, but it’s not right for me”, when it comes to obedience to God. God’s way is the same for rich or poor, for the powerful or the weak and for every nation and race. Go ahead, take a look in the mirror for the soul and see what you can see.

(Editor’s note: Send any questions or comments to: rcoliver@centurylink.net)

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