Roger Lanse is providing the material for this column, which will be posted on an irregular basis. Roger Lanse moved to Grant County with his wife, Ellen, in 1979. They now live in Arenas Valley and attend Bible Baptist Church of Silver City.
In a Wednesday, July 1, 2020 press briefing, the New Mexico Governor is quoted in the Grant County Beat as saying, "mandatory face-coverings in public will be aggressively enforced." She is also reported saying those who do not wear masks are liable for a $100 fine, as are business owners who do not enforce the mandated wearing of masks.
So, legally, one cannot enter a business unless a mask is worn, and the business owner may not allow a maskless person to enter. Thus, a maskless person may not buy from a store and a maskless business owner may not sell.
If you are starving and someone places a nice hoagie on the table in front of you and you refuse to take a bite does the sandwich assuage your hunger? As John Wayne used to say, "Not likely." You have to grab that sub and shove it in your face for the food to have any effect on your pangs. Just looking at it doesn't cut it. It's not automatic. You have to choose to eat it.
Same way with salvation.
Christians often ask others certain questions designed to elicit answers illustrating their spiritual condition. Such questions as, "Have you believed in Jesus?" or "Have you trusted in Jesus?" or "Have you asked Jesus into your heart?" These are all good questions, but, to me, they tiptoe around a basic understanding of who Jesus is. Let's get down to brass tacks and ask instead, "Do you believe Jesus?"
Jesus said, "No one comes to the Father except through Me." Do you believe Jesus?
Jesus said, "I and my Father are One," and, "You, Father, are in Me, and I in you," and, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father." Do you believe Jesus?
Isaiah wrote to the Hebrews 2,700 years ago:
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
And rely on horses,
Who trust in chariots because they are many,
And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord! Isaiah 31:1
About 700 years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah prophesied that a virgin would give birth to a Son and call His name Immanuel, which referred more to a title or description, than a proper name. Matthew translates this name as ‘God with us.’ What an amazing statement. What an awesome declaration. What a name. God with us.
That the words of the prophet might be fulfilled, God sent His Son, Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Man, fully God and fully man, to earth to be the Savior of mankind. Jesus would leave the splendor and glory and peace of heaven to come to this planet, to be spit upon and beaten and crucified, so that you and I would have a way to enter heaven.
The same way we do, by faith; faith in God the Creator who lives, faith in His ability to bless the righteous and punish evildoers, and faith that Messiah would come.
They had faith if they kept the Law, as handed down by God to Moses, with a pure heart, they would be acceptable to God. Those Old Testament believers were assured they would be welcomed into heaven, for King David wrote in Psalms, “For the Lord loves justice and does not forsake His saints, they are preserved forever.