When you go to the hospital for surgery, you count on the doctors and everyone else in the operating room to be professional, skillful, and trustworthy. You ask questions like, “What is the success rate of this procedure? Are there other options I should consider?” You might ask the surgeon, “How many of these operations have you done, and how did they turn out?”
When you step onto an airplane, you trust that the pilot is well-trained and sober-minded. You make judgment calls about the airline’s reputation, safety record, and on-time performance.
When you hand your hard-earned money to a bank teller, you rely on the financial institution to fulfill its commitments and protect your assets. You might ask, “What interest rate will I receive? What fees are required? Is my investment FDIC insured?”
If you are so careful with your health, safety, and money, what level of certainty do you desire when it comes to the status of your soul? It is foolish to be casual and careless about such an important matter.
Two books of the New Testament were penned by the inspired writer known as “Our dear friend, Luke, the doctor” (Colossians 4:14). In light of all the physical hardships the apostle Paul endured, it’s interesting that God graciously provided a personal physician to accompany Paul on some of his missionary journeys. Well-educated and articulate, Dr. Luke was a meticulous historian who “carefully investigated everything” so he could write “an orderly account” (Luke 1:3) in his Gospel and its companion volume, the book of Acts. Why was Luke so scrupulous in his approach? Because he wanted his readers to “know the certainty of the things you have been taught” (v. 4).
I appreciate Luke’s thoroughness and accuracy because I am staking my eternity on the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is “God’s Messiah” (Luke 9:20). It had better be true, or my Christian faith is based on a lie. I believe “everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (11:10), but if Jesus didn’t say that or mean it, then many of us have wasted a lot of time in prayer. Jesus told his disciples to “seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well” (12:31); but if Jesus never said those words, why not pursue other priorities? According to Jesus, the Good Shepherd notices when even one percent of his flock is missing (15:3-7); but if God doesn’t really care about seeking lost people, why should you and I bother? If we can’t trust what Jesus said about eternal life, on what basis do we have any hope at all? If Jesus didn’t suffer on the cross and rise from the dead (24:46), our faith is futile and we are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17).
Aren’t you thankful for Spirit-led authors like Dr. Luke whom God used to give us the Scriptures? We stake our eternity on the precious truths recorded in the Bible. Our faith isn’t rooted in “godless myths and old wives’ tales” (1 Timothy 4:7). We’re relying on the gospel of grace, counting on the trustworthy words of Jesus, standing on the promises of God.
David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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