By Bill McFerrin Evening Times Commentary
Seems every time I read the paper lately, I end up thinking about how confusing it must be for non-Christians with all these opinions that so many people have about how and what you have to do to become a Christian. I mean this one says you have to do this and another one says no you have to do that, and so it goes on and on. It just seems to me that a lot of people believe today that without me and what I can do myself, Jesus just can’t get it done, so just put all that shedding of blood on the cross thing behind you, because if I can’t do certain things, then I guess I will be locked away from him for all eternity. I look around and I see so many gods that are in our country today and no one seems to care. And a lot of that seems to come from wanting to be politically correct, and yes, even a lot of Christians want that also, to the point of not having a problem with the murdering of unborn babies. So, you really need to re-think that if we are to be Christ-like. If I remember correctly, God said there will be “no other gods before me,” but what I see in today’s way of thinking, it’s OK to have more than one. There is one thing that comes to mind when I read all these things and that is, there will come a day when you personally will have your last breath and your last heartbeat, and at that moment, you will know if what you thought was the right thing or the wrong thing. I do know that the Bible says that all that call me Lord do not belong to me because even all the demons that are here on the earth and in hell know who I am. And even today, those same demons through all the thousands of years have referred to him as Lord, so in the end we will all know if what we believed from God’s inspired word was fact. So in our mind we changed up our thinking on what was said or was it we just could not pass up the opportunity to put us down as having to do a lot of different things to make it to Heaven. I never want to have an argument with anyone on what I believe, because in the end they will have to make that decision themselves, as I have already made mine. It is sealed and no one will snatch me from his hand. And if it’s the wrong one, according to some, then we know where me and all the rest here and around the world that believe like me will go. But what if I’m right and you are not? I’m just saying, for us Christians, one of the things that God wants out of us is to study his word and love him and to pray for the lost. And if you look around you everyday all over the world you can plainly see that there is plenty that need our prayers. I know from the fall of Adam, man’s heart became hardened and a lot of what came along with that was pride and what we call ego, so I can see where those two things might get in the way of what God is trying to teach us. What I believe is we need to be very careful to not in any way take away what his son did on the cross with all that suffering and pain, because that will not bode well for you when you stand before him in judgment. Let me go on the record and say this: Just because I’m a Baptist that doesn’t mean that I believe only Baptists get to go to heaven, but I do believe without the acceptance of the shed blood from the cross, you don’t get there, regardless of what church that you are affiliated with. I sure don’t believe that when we are born we are predestined to go to one or the other. I read every once in awhile where some says that Mr. McFerrin is probably a good man, and I appreciate that, but because I belong to God, I try very hard with God’s help to be a good man. But first and foremost, let me say that according to God, my good works or deeds are no more that filthy rags if he is not involved in them. My wife never smoked or drank, but I smoked two packs a day for over 31 years of my life. But a year after I was saved, God put it on my heart to stop and so one Wednesday night service at a small Baptist church, I went down to the altar with a broken heart and the desire to do what God wanted. I put my pack of cigarettes on the altar and asked God to take them and the craving away. The other things that I don’t do in my life because of God is: I don’t drink strong drink, and I don’t use vulgar language, and I don’t go to the casinos, and I don’t watch bad movies with all that swearing and all those near-naked or naked scenes, and I don’t go to porn sites on the Internet, but that’s just a me and God thing. And any of you that read this that do some of these things, then that’s between you and God. I’m sure not condemning any of you that are doing any or all of these things, but because of God and his Holy Spirit that lives in my heart I don’t do those things. So God bless every one of you that reads this and remember, if you feel a conviction tug at your heart, try listening because it just might be you-know-who. Bill McFerrin is a West Memphis resident with some things to say and a certain way of saying them.