Day follows day. You get up, you eat, you work, and then you return to bed, only to rise again the next day to repeat the cycle. Is there no way out of this meaningless, revolving-door type of existence?
The voices that offer a way out are many and varied.
Money says--buy your way out. If only you had $1,000 or $10,000 more, all would be well. But trust in riches is shortsighted, and the relief provided by wealth is at best temporary. A certain rich man with a prosperous harvest intended to take it easy and enjoy his wealth. But God said to him, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" (Luke 12:20). Money is not the solution.
Philosophy says--think your way out. Use reasoning and logic to solve the mysteries of life. Take your pick of the answers. As one church advertised in a local newspaper, "Invent your own theology." But God says, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit" (Colossians 2:8). Philosophy is not the answer.
Alcohol says--drink your way out. A case of 24, a bottle of champagne, a night out--these are ways to drown your troubles and find relief. But alcohol only adds to the trouble, in the end producing an even larger crop for the bitter reaping of sin. Ben Franklin said, "No man ever drank lard into his tub, or flour into his sack, or meal into his barrel, or happiness into his head, or God into his heart." God's Word tells us, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise" (Proverbs 20:1). Alcohol is not the answer.
The drug scene says--hallucinate your way out. Snort, sniff, swallow, needle, or smoke yourself into a world of elevated moods, brilliant lights, euphoric sensations, and forgotten troubles--until reality hits with downers, despair, distress, addiction, or death. Drugs are not the answer.
Activism says--shout your way out. Stage a demonstration. Put the pressure on. Muscle your way. Insist on your rights. Make your voice heard. Lobby. Write your legislator. Don't back down. Jesus' words, however, point to another way: "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). Coercion is not the solution.
Politicians too often say--spend your way out. Is there a problem with drug traffic? Send a few million dollars to social agencies. A problem with unwed mothers? Give them social security. A crime problem? Build more jails. A problem with poverty? Pour funds into the inner cities. No amount of spending, however, will solve man's moral problem.
Psychiatry says--talk your way out. Relive your childhood memories on the psychiatrist's couch. Rehearse your hurts and fears, and discover on whom to blame them. But the wise man wrote, "The talk of the lips tendeth only to penury" (Proverbs 14:23). Talking is not the answer.
Technology says--invent your way out. For problems of transportation, there is the wheel, the airplane, and the space shuttle. For problems of health there is aspirin, penicillin, digoxin. For problems of depression there's Valium, lithium, and Prozac. For problems of communication, there is the telephone, fax, and e-mail. But for the problem of sin, man has no solution.
And the list goes on: Television says--fantasize your way out. New-Agers say-- meditate your way out. Government says--legislate your way out. Industry says- -work your way out. Labor groups say--strike your way out. Humanism says--man will find his own way out.
Satan says--THERE IS NO WAY OUT. Life is hopeless. Give up in despair. End it all.
Jesus says--I AM THE WAY OUT. Answering the question, "How can we know the way?" Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). Jesus is the way out of sin and guilt. He is the way out of hopelessness, aimlessness, and frustration. He is the way out of despair. He is the only way to escape the sin curse, and He is the only way into eternal glory.
"God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten SON" (John 3:16).
"He that hath the SON hath LIFE; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12).
"He that spared not his own SON, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us ALL THINGS?" (Romans 8:32).
"He that BELIEVETH on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).
"He that HEARETH MY WORD, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24).
"If any man will come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF, and TAKE UP HIS CROSS daily, and FOLLOW ME" (Luke 9:23).
"And they CONTINUED stedfastly in the apostles' DOCTRINE and FELLOWSHIP" (ACTS 2:42).
"If ye CONTINUE IN MY WORD, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE" (John 8:31, 32).
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