April 2010

Everyone’s looking for it; the question is “How will I know when I’ve found it?”

True faith.

In this day-and-age of increased “spiritualism,” that rejects organized religion, religious institutions, doctrines, dogmas, creeds, etc., there’s still an uneasiness that exists. While some favor more pragmatic, hands-on, social-type ministries (e.g., feeding the poor, sheltering the homeless, etc.), others stress the importance of “mysticism” and nurturing the “solitude of soul” that comes with introspection, meditation and contemplation, etc.

The question is, “Which one is right?”

Likewise, the watchword these days is “pluralism,” which is a diversity of beliefs and affirming that all are equally true. Simply put, this view states that we’re all still mostly blind man in search of light (truth); therefore, we ought to be quite tolerant and respectful towards each other by engaging in meaningful dialogues and an exchange of ideas.

While this sounds well-and-good, the fact remains that such an approach is limited at best. And, when it’s all said and done, we will still have more darkness than light. . .and will still grapple in that solitary struggle for “light,” truth and an authentic faith.

That’s why, of all of the world’s religions, Christianity is still unique in its message. First, it isn’t a religion based on doctrines and creeds; it’s an intimate, experiential relationship between its Founder, Jesus the Christ, and those who’ve come to Him in simple faith and repentance.

Second, its message is different than all others’—for it says God came looking for us (John 3:16) instead of leaving it up to us to find Him. Likewise, it stresses salvation as a “gift,” not the results of good works, sacrificial or benevolent deeds, adherence to religious rituals, etc. (Roman 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Thus, its emphasis is upon an inward “transaction” that produces an outward transformation or, simply put, a change of heart and mind through the new birth that results in a change in one’s way of thinking, talking and acting.

History is full of stories of such changes. One of those involved Boris Nicholayevich Kornfeld, a medical doctor in post-revolutionary Russia. Although he and his family were nominal Jews, they evidently embraced the philosophy of rationalism, cultivated a knowledge of the natural sciences and devoted themselves to the arts.

Consequently, they were supporters of Lenin’s revolution and support of socialism. “Christian” Russia under the anti-Semitic czars had slaughtered Jews for over 200 years. Perhaps atheistic Russia would spare them and offer them a decent lifestyle.

Yet, somewhere along the line Kornfield ended up as a political prisoner in one of Soviet Russia’s notorious prison camps. Millions died there during those years, so we must believe this physician also believed he’d become just another statistic on that list.

But, something changed all of that.

While enduring the senseless brutality, the waste of lives and trumped-up charges against him, Kornfield began abandoning all of his socialistic ideals. And, it was during this time of soul-searching that he met a fellow prisoner, who was a devout Christian, well-educated, kind and spoke of a Jewish Messiah.

Through their conversations Kornfield began to realize that God had entrusted Himself in a unique way to one people—the Jews. And, down through the centuries, despite centuries of persecution, their very existence pointed to a Power greater than that of their oppressors.

And, after weighing his fellow prisoner’s words about Jesus being that Promised “Anointed One from God” and hearing of His sinless life, cruel death on the Cross and glorious Resurrection from the dead, the Jewish-Russian doctor embraced Christ as his own Savior and Lord.

One day while operating on a guard who’d been injured, he thought about ways he could secretly make him bleed to death; yet, Christ’s words of “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Matthew 6:12, 14-15) kept going through his head. And, he knew he had to do all he could to help him live—which he did.

Later on, labeled as a “stoolie,” the doctor realized he could die at any time. And, one day while talking with a patient, Kornfield openly shared of the difference Christ had made in his life. Shortly thereafter he was killed by repeated blows to the head while he slept, but the patient never forgot his testimony and also became a Christian. His name: Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

True faith is found in Jesus Christ. Cease your search and begin life’s “Journey of Joy” that begins the moment you say “Yes” to Him.

(NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 582, Coushatta, LA 71019 or e-mail him at pressingon@hotmail.com).