The Road Less Traveled a book title used by M. Scot Peck

Image, if you could if you knew you were going to die and knew it. How would you react? Son would avoid it, others would accept it, still others would try to live a positive life in short time they have, while others would be bitter and hope without. Imagine before you were born you knew that you were going to die a cruel death, even if you committed no crime. Imagine, if you will you living in ideal setting where everything is pure simple without no sin. You were in put charge of operating universe and part of the plan of creating the heaven and the earth. Delegated the responsibilities someone else and they mess up and now is corrupt. You were instructed to leave this place and fix this corrupt place. Would you leave your comfort zone? I am willing to bet that not a person or any human being would have done this dwelling place willing. They would have likely have said no way, José. There is such a man, who  whose name is Jesus and was willing depart this glorious place and dwell in this corrupt place called earth and did not sin while dwelling here. He is known as the Son the Man. Who is both God and man at the same time.

Even thou Jesus existed before time he was born over 2000 years ago in the town named Bethlehem known as the house of bread. The parents were Joseph and Mary. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost Mary bore the him. Mary never knew a man and was engaged to Joseph. She was known as the Virgin Mary.  He consider divorcing her quietly. An angel reveal him to marry her, for this child is the Messiah a saviour or liberator of the world. They lived in Nazareth and had to travelled to Bethlehem because Augustine order a census and he was the ruler at the time or better known as Caesar. The child was born on hillside in a cave in a trough and name Jesus or Hebrew Yeti or Joshua meaning the Lord saves. While he was still a young boy. Their parents fled to Egypt because another ruler wanted to kill him, because he had dream there was going to be another a new ruler. Three Wise follow a star and landed Bethlehem. They made inquiries with this ruler so they could worshipped him and give him money. The ruler asks the Wise man to tell him where this boy was so that he could worship him as well. They were told in a dream not to reveal this and they  lied to the king. When  the found king out he was very angry and ordered his guards to execute any boys under the age of two. After the king died, Joseph, Mary and the boy settled in Nazareth. Jesus was a carpenter by a trade until he was 30 years old.

Jesus was baptized in the and the Jordan River by John the Baptist who claim he was the lamb of God who take away the sins of the world. After the baptism there was a voice from above stating the words” this is my Son whom I am well pleased,” then the Holy Spirit descended like a dove upon him. Jesus began his ministry Jesus called 12 ordinary men most of them were fishermen by trade, they were known as the apostles.One night they were fishing could no fish  and worked very hard. Jesus standing on shoreline said “cast the net on the other side of boat.” They did and caught so many fish they needed help. He said you will many men. One of the apostle stated in these words” away from me for I am with a sinful man” they left his boat and follow him. One of them was known as Simon and Jesus change his name to Peter meanings the rock. Jesus performed many miracles, cast our demons, healed the sick and had tax collector, loose women and drunkard  known as sinners by the self-righteous leaders of that day. Jesus made this claim I came to save the unrighteous not the righteous. One of Jesus favorite story is the tax collector was beating his chest and would not look up and uttered these words” God, turn Your wrath from me –a sinner!“. While the self righteous man stated these words” I give 10th of my earnings, fast twice week and not like this tax collector. Who‘s prayer was heard that day the sinner or the self-righteous person?  Jesus these declared the words” the father heard the prayers of sinner and heaven rejoice”.or pastor stated you bet the sinner know the Lord.

Despite all this all the good Jesus didThe self righteous people who wanted to kill Jesus because they broke their man made rules and they made plans. While one of Jesus followers made a deal with the self-righteous people for 30 pieces of silver to hand Jesus over to them he agreed. They had Jews the arrested and had a trial during the night. Jesus made claims that he was the Son of God throughout his ministry and in front of the self righteous people as well. One of them tore his clothes and stated these words” the man deserves to die” because, he claims to be God. Prior to the trial he was utter these words,“better for one man to die on behalf of the people“little did he know that he was prophesying reason for dying.

They brought him to the governor known as Pilate and brought several charges against him. Pilate cross-examined Jesus and could not charge him because he committed no crime. The self-righteous people press on he should die because he broke on their law and they could not executed him . Pilate asked more question and he still could not crucify him because violated no law. Pilate made a deal with the self-righteous people to execute Jesus or to set a known criminal free. The self righteous leader and the crowd shouted” crucify him, crucify him. Pilate still tried to reason with the self-righteous people and they quoted these words”release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.”Pilate was afraid and said, I find no fault in him”, and send him to be crucified beside two robbers . Prior to the execution soldiers mocked and put a beating on Him and ask him to carry the cross to his own execution. While hanging on the cross, the crowd began to mock him, stating these words, if you are God come down from this cross then we will believe you”. Jesus was capable of doing this however, thank God he did not however he quoted these words” , “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. He also utter these words” my God, my God why have you forsaken me.” at this point all the bad things mankind committed fell upon him and his father turned his back on him because he hates bad things. In the Old Testament there are two goats, one goat was sacrificed and the other goat a priest put both his hands and on the goat and the goat went into the desert symbolizing that all the call the bad things big or small and were put on the goat. Forgiving all the bad things people committed. And Jesus, whisper these words,“It is finished. Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. Now when the centurion heard this he said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return,beating their breasts.

Back to my point, imagine this if you committed no sin would you gone through what Jesus went through, Not likely! The good news that Father, Son and Holy Ghost plan this before the heavens and the earth were created because of our sins. Remember this Jesus did this for us to close a gap between His Father and us because of all the bad thing we did and willing. In short, all of us nail him to the cross. Nevertheless,  if we confess and repent of our sins or turned to Jesus and believe that he died on the cross for our sins we will be saved. And you will inherit Jesus righteousness and He will take our sins and declared us righteous before His Father.
You/we nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. Acts 2; 23a

The Scapegoat
a goat upon whose head are symbolically placed the sins of the people after which he is sent into the wilderness in the biblical ceremony.
A; one that bears the blame for others; Mermaim Webster online Dictionary

In the Old Testament, a goat that was symbolically burdened with the sins of the people and then killed rid Jerusalem of its iniquities. Similar rituals were held elsewhere in the ancient world to transfer guilt or blame. In ancient Greece, human scapegoats were beaten and driven out of cities to mitigate calamities. In early Roman law, an innocent person was allowed to assume the penalty of another; Christianity reflects this notion in its belief that Jesus died to atone for the sins of mankind.  (Concise Encyclopedia)

Personal Observations
It came from God first & pass down to Israelite first other nations adopted this practices later on and misuse the term in short it mean to take some else punishment even thou you did not committed the act it self.

Old Testament
7 He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 8 Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. Leviticus 16; 7-8

15 “Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. 16 He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins;

20 “When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. 21 He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites all their sins and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. 22 The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness. Leviticus 16; 15-16, 20- 22

New Testament
21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5; 21

18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. 1 Peter 3; 18

20 by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh, 21 and since we have “a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy. 24 We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. Hebrews 10; 20 -24

5 Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, 6 Who, though he was in the form of God,  did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. 7 Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, 8 he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.  9 Because of this, God greatly exalted him  and bestowed on him the name  that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend,of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2; 5-11

16 So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. Hebrews 4; 16

The Essential of the Gospel & The Nonessential Church Doctrine

“Do you know the difference between dying for nothing and dying for something. That’s why I’m still alive. That’s the only reason why I managed to stay alive in China, so I wouldn’t die for nothing. Today, I can die for something“.

A character named Jack Bauer in the hits tv series called 24 play by Kiefer Sutherland.

 Perhaps the statement by Kiefer Sutherland couldn’t have be more accurate especially   to the pass saints who preached the gospel where ever they went, and  were more willing to risk their lives & often were martyrs for the sake of the cross. Throughout history a myriad of saints were severely tortured and brutally exterminated because of the gospel. Even today in country like China and many Muslim countries are being unfairly persecuted and slaughter  because they held to the great truth of scripture and Jesus dying  on Calvary cross for our sins.Despite being ill-treated they still would not relent on the glorious truth of the gospel.  Jesus Christ was their example He was willing to  forsake his glorious throne and, became poor, and mock, beaten, torment, tortured  and die a cruel death on a cross, for our sake.  However it very rare that they would put their lives on the line over nonessential issue within scripture perhaps a fight or two in which often they would split up over these issue.

There‘s an adage within some Christian circle. The essential and  the nonessential of Christian Doctrine. The  gospel is essential and the  nonessential, such as the Lord Supper and baptism are non-essential. Whiles they’re important part of scripture but nonetheless it not worth dying over them nor would it save you in times of trouble .

The essential is the Gospel; While Jesus Christ was hanging on the cross. He uttered these words.  “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani ” that is,“My God, My God why have you forsaken me. It was at that time all the sins of the world fell upon the Son of God and His Father who love Him dearly and they were one. Turned His back on Him, becauses He is holy and hated sin and He couldn’t look upon him and His wrath fell upon Him.  Nonetheless, if  we confess and acknowledge our  sins before Him and believe in our hearts that He  took our sins and recused us from hell. He will declare us righteous before His Father. Than He will take our sins and you will inherit His righteousness.  This is the key to Christian living and we’re not to  compromise on what Jesus did on the Calvary cross. As John Calvin stated institute “  the main hinge on which religion turns, so that we devote the greater attention and care to it.‘ (  Institutes, 3:11:1) This worth dying for and being and being  persecuted. Perhaps the words that were echo by Jesus were imprinted on the saints, found  in Matthew 6; 10- 12;  10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Nonetheless, such as Baptism and the Lord Supper are to be observed and commanded by Jesus to be obeyed until He return, however, it not a salvation issue however  scripture does declare that we must administer the Lord Supper in remembrance of Him. Irregardless  not important how often it  done or where it done whether it done in local churches or at home. In  my option we should confess our sins daily as Job did it . In baptism  whether we‘re sprinkle or dip into water or Baptist as an infant or  those who believe in Christ than received they’re baptism or decide to be rebaptizes. While they’re are  sound in their  doctrine and are very important to the church order , however is not worth dying over it, nor starting a war over , or an unhealthy splits within the church body or needless name calling in most cases it causes unnecessary bitterness between the brothers and sisters in which it spill will out into the community. I know a denominations and a family members who bicker  over these  non-essential issue. In most there conversation uncivil it feel like you’re middle WW Two. Even after when they went their separated ways. They‘re still disputing over property and legal documents however overtime these matter are settle but there left with bitter taste in their  mouths no longer able to talk to each other and avoid each others. Some family did not talk to either any more nor do they not want to associate with their brothers nor sisters anymore This sadden my heart break my heart. nevertheless they still all know and love Jesus and believe He took their sins away. Maybe the  lesson we should learn isthe thief  on the cross who hung next to Jesus Christ when he utter these words to Jesus “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” when the other robber was mocking Jesus And he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”  and  Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23; 41 -42.  Was the thief ever baptist or partake in the Lord Supper ? Of course not  he only confessing  his sins and acknowledging them before Jesus.  That why he able to enter glory; note the thief acknowledge Jesus did nothing wrong.While the other thief kept mocking Him even thou he was dying. To me this seem bizarre this also explain how deprave he was and next to him was someone who was willing take his sins and take his place. Even the cross Jesus displayed his grace.

However I still believe there room  and a place and a time in which a healthy dialogue  should be encouraged and which we

learn a lot from each. An open also debate help us to see another person perspective on scripture. Nevertheless there‘re  times you need to stand your ground and  hold to your position secondary issue, however with gentleness and respect and remember they’re still your brothers and sisters in the Lord. If not able respect another person point view. than possibly separation is necessary evil, but remember there‘re still your brothers and sisters in the Lord.

What I am trying to say is that it would more prudent that all denominations throughout the Golden horseshoe area should put their nonessential doctrine aside for the sake of the gospel and work together. Unquestionably the words elegantly written by Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13; 11-12 11; When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. If do not attempt to try work thing out while on earth however you’ll have no choice in heaven. I believe that there’s a pocket of people within the golden horseshoe area that attempting to model this and the church I am attending is definitely  modelling this. On personal note the people I am working with go contrary to how I see scripture still in all I am  part of a their  team and their part of  God’s family. Within my earthly family we often do not see eye to eye within scripture and family matter, nevertheless we still  love each other and they’re still my brothers and sister and love them. In times of trouble we‘re there for each other. Perhaps the words that echo in my mind are “Go Paul with Gohop!” written by sister Marcia Lier.

To me the nonessential often hinder the gospel even thsn God’s grace still moving.

Other related text; Luke 22; 19,  Philippians 4; 13, 2 Timothy 3; 12 Psalm 22; 1,Mark 15, 34, Matthew 27; 46, 1 John 1;9,  2 Corinthian 5; 21 1 Peter 3; 15b, Job 1; 5 , 2 Thessalonians 3:15

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