By John Larkins
God’s inerrant word, in our biblical account, begins by revealing Him, our God, as the creator of the universe, of the human and all other species, as sole loving maker. He holds it as paramount that He, as our creator, rightfully expects and demands, our obedience.
Adam and Eve, our ultimate parents, foolishly flaunted His command. In this transgression, they destroyed the bonds He so lovingly formed with them, including the very special place in which they shared His presence. So, He banished them from His paradise and sent them somewhere “East of Eden.” They lost their claim to eternal life and became subject to physical want and ultimately to death on Earth. They retained eternal life but in another dimension. Worst of all, they were no longer His friends.
But, this amazing, beautiful, intensely kind Creator, is also our Savior! All His children must come to know “The Way” He uses to cure the Original sin of our parents, as well as our inherited burden also, and “The Way” He forgives our lifelong, personal sins as well. What possible price could repay the insult to the all- powerful God? The good news is that there is “The Way!”
Time is such an enormous factor in thinking about this subject that we must establish at least a few milestones. In the beginning…was this 50,000 years ago? I do not reject your speculation. About 4,000 years ago, God made Himself known to a man whom God must have considered special. In the lonely, desolate wilds of what may today be Iraq, God told him that he, Abram, would become the father of a mighty nation. In hindsight, developed over 20 years of attentive study, it seems to me that God began showing us “The Way” by His announcement that a large tribe was in the future.
Most astounding, this old man and his aged and barren wife were not obvious candidates to found “a mighty nation.” Their beautiful, marvelous story is told at length in the Old Testament and is much beyond what will be said here.
About 3,000 years ago, Abraham’s descendants (perhaps a million strong), led by God’s representative, Moses, were on a massive march to be a new “mighty nation” in a “promised land” provided for them, the Israelites. God soon gave Moses the Commandments for this nation, this Israel, dare we call it a “Church?” There were other Gods in the known world, but none had formed a Church, in the same sense as the Israelites, instructed by Moses as directed by God.
“The Way” was forming!
Moses taught them God’s Law, personally given him by God, how to use an altar for sacrifice, what a priestly class was all about, the concept of sin and repentance, but most of all, the practice of interacting with a living God through a priest. Thus, the idea was in place for preparation of one’s soul after humanly death. They were also told of the eventual arrival of a Savior, who would redeem them on Earth and in Heaven. Sadly, these members of His church were often disobedient and suffered.
More about “The Way” to come!
John Larkins was born in Oklahoma, to an U.S. Army family. His education was in the Catholic Church and teaching in the United Methodist Church for 10 years. After 50 years of various positions in federal service at home and in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, John and his wife Carol live in Gadsden. His formal education includes a BS certified for science teaching, an MBA from the University of Missouri and an MPA from Jacksonville State University in public administration and environmental management. For the past 15 years, John evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals, and church situations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.