“Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
From the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
Unbidden and Unforgettable
A lot of unforgettable events took place at the All Stars Reunion but none left a greater impression than the unscheduled remarks of an unnamed believer from only God knows where. All we know is that he appeared unbidden and uninvited and was without ecclesiastical rank or theological education. Truth be told, no one had ever heard of him and he was not mentioned in the program or included on the list of invited guests. He simply insisted that God had invited him to the reunion and he would not be denied.
The Writing is on the Wall
The setting was a planned debate but what actually happened was far different! Far different indeed! Just as the program was getting underway a voice was heard ringing out from the rear of the auditorium. “Mene! Mene! Tekel! Upharsin!” This offended just about everyone and caused no small amount of indignation. That strange utterance meant “You are weighed in the balance and found wanting! Your kingdom is taken from you!”
Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson Belshazzar was an unworthy heir to the throne and the finger of God had miraculously written those very words on a wall to let him know his time was just about up (Daniel 5:25-28) The church fathers knew what this phrase meant and they knew it was directed right at them!
The church fathers wanted to have the intruder arrested but the “Roman Guards” were enjoying the show so much that they wouldn’t cooperate. The audience held its collective breath while he walked right up to the dais and stood at the podium without even asking for permission! It was all so unexpected that no one had time to stop him. A hush fell over the room when he began to speak and though he didn’t talk long his words lingered in the air long after he left. Here is what he had to say:
You Have Taken Away the Key of Knowledge!
Hear me out! Today you are faced with a choice about what path you will walk. I came here on an ancient highway prepared for souls who long to see the face of God. God Himself invited me here and this is what He told me to say. You claim to understand the deep mysteries of God but you have only erected towers of dogma that darken counsel by words without knowledge. You have taken away the key of knowledge! You do not enter into the Kingdom yourselves and you hinder those who seek the entrance.
Here is the Key! It is the Only Key!
Here is the key that you have obscured. Here is the key that was given to the Apostle Peter because he had rightly seen that Jesus is the Christ, Messiah, and Son of the living God! This is the key! It is the only key! The truth that unlocks the kingdom of God is the knowledge that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God! He is not more than this and He is not less.
You are not free to add anything or take anything away! If you add to it God will add terrible plagues to you. If you take anything away God will take your name out of the Book of Life (Revelation 22). You are not to go to the right or go to the left (Joshua 1:7). You must not fall short of or go beyond these words. Do not pretend that God does not know how to express Himself exactly as He chooses!
Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that they may know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3) It is enough to know Jesus Christ the Messiah and His Father the God of Israel! There is but one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. He declared, “No one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son and he to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Matthew 11:27) Jesus said nothing about the threeness of God, not a single word! Ever.
Your Creeds Cannot Bear the Weight of His Glory!
You have parsed your words and created new ones as it suited you! You have constructed your creeds but deny the simple unbending creed of Jesus Himself. Here is the creed of Jesus and the creed of His church! “Hear Oh Israel, The LORD our God is one Lord!”. This is the first and greatest commandment! This is the teaching of Jesus! The Father is God and Jesus is His only begotten Son. God is not Triune… He is One! Jesus is not the Second Person in a Trinitarian Godhead, He is the only begotten Son of the One True God. You insist that God is Three and Jesus insists that God is One. Who then shall we believe?
Many believers have accepted your pronouncements but Jesus does not. You have constructed your grand temple of religious dogma and tradition but God will surely tear it down! Your theological creations are not strong enough to bear the weight of His glory! It is time to abandon your own words in favor of His! You will not find favor among men but you will find favor with God. It will not be easy but you will find companions along the way and in the words of one modern poet, someday you will discover that “It has made all the difference.”
At Least Now You Have Heard
No nation ever risked crossing a barren desert until God called His chosen ones to do just that! No people ever walked through the sea until God called Israel to a distant shore. No disciple ever dared set foot on the waves until Jesus beckoned Peter to join Him ON the waters! It is a narrow way that Christ calls you to walk. You were not destined to travel the broad highways of religious tradition. There is another way that proclaims just One God and His only Son the Messiah! Many have gone before you. They are little known among men but well known to God. Today He calls you to set your feet on a path that is less traveled than the one you have known.
And then… in all the uproar that followed he quietly slipped out a side door and was not seen again. That’s just how it is with those who are born of the Spirit. They are like the wind that blows where it wills. We hear the sound of it but don’t know where it comes from or where it goes. Some will listen and take heed. Others will ignore what they hear. But at least now you have heard.
Copyright 2021 by Bob Shutes