Crossing the great chasm

It has been an interesting past month in the world, or as Alice said in Wonderland, things are becoming “Curiouser and Curiouser!”
Two events took place that caused me to ask, “Will those who follow Jesus be persecuted as many see them as roadblocks to Word Peace?”
The item that was quite interesting was a letter signed by 139 Islamic Clerics of all sects, published by the London Times and reprinted in various US newspapers (Oct 11 “Muslim Leaders Warn Pope ‘Survival of World at Stake.’”) The letter was actually addressed to all Catholic and Protestant leaders and faiths. The essence of the letter states that unless Christians and Muslims make peace, there will be world conflict on an unprecedented scale.
We should begin with understanding that there is a primary conflict not between people of various faiths and religions, but between GOd and Satan and God’s plan for mankind and man’s plans for himself. Even those who adhere to a code of conduct, or a religious path of obedience miss this central truth. Jesus Christ is that truth and plan for our eternal salvation.
Imagine for a moment that you were standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon. Miles and miles across that great chasm is the other side. Imagine in the chasm below, is a great burning and unquenchable fire. On this side you live your life, while on the other side, is the life beyond this world—eternal life. How do you get across when your life here ends?
In death, Jesus laid down across that great chasm, stretched out his arms and died to become the bridge between man and God, mortal life and eternal life. But He didn’t remain dead, like an old bridge that one day fails and falls into the chasm. God brought Him to life, and now that bridge is available to all. It is the only bridge across the chasm and the reason we cannot “negotiate away” Jesus for any earthly comfort or fear.
There is no other means to cross the chasm of death that can bring us safely into the presence of God. We can walk across the back of Jesus, believing in Him and following Him in this life, and never experience the “second” death that lies in the great chasm below. One way—one bridge, “The way, the truth and the Life,” is found only in Jesus (John 14:6)
I think American believers will soon be confronted with the idea that “we” are standing in the way of world peace. Why? Because Jesus will be the stumbling block to making peace with all other peoples and religions. So, as they say in sports, “It’s gut check time.”
It shouldn’t surprise us when various leaders “encourage” us to compromise on the person of “Jesus” for the sake of world peace. (After all, can’t we all just get along?).
If most people believe in many paths to God (or we all pray to the same God), do you think we will be applauded for our resolute faith if it stops world peace? Or, if violence and murders are perpetrated by those angered at “intolerant, uncompromising Christians,” will we be left in peace?
I think it is wise of each of us to examine our hearts and determine whether we love “anything” more than Him. In India, China and Africa, violence is common against believers. In Canada, pastors can be imprisoned for quoting Bible passages that have been labeled as “hate speech.”
In America, our love of things could bring about economic pressures to enforce compliance for “the greater good.” (loss of jobs, job opportunities, tax exempt status for churches, loss of government benefits etc).
Of all people, Christians desire peace and are called to live in peace with others “as much as it depends upon us.” Though we are never called to violence or hate, we know that Jesus promised that we who love and follow Him would never be accepted by the world. (John 15:19) In spite of all we see that may discourage us, He proclaims, “Take heart!   I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Just a few things to ponder—in times like these. May Godspeed you in your journey homeward!