Being ‘Very Close to The Kingdom of God’ Just Doesn’t Cut It!
What a strange two days. I can tell you all that I never sat at my computer with the intention to write about Mormonism. It. Just. Happened. And now that it has, I feel the rightness of it. I feel the hand of God on me. I was led to my research. It’s so funny because I was actually curious about it due to a beautiful picture of Romney loving & celebrating a baby. I KNEW I liked him and I knew he was a decent man. ANYONE who loves a baby like that has much goodness in him. Dare I say that I actually felt a love, an affinity, for the man? So you can be sure that my curiosity was well-intentioned when it began. I just wanted to square my Christian beliefs with this Mormon before me whom I had come to so admire. I did not intend to find anything alarming. I did not intend to condemn. I did not intend anything but simple curiosity & hope. What can I say? I was blown away.
Part of me just wants to run away from the topic because I know it makes people uneasy. It makes ME uneasy to write about it. It makes me vulnerable to criticism (I’m well aware of that) from both Mormons and Christians who might feel that my words hurt Romney’s image and thus, his campaign. I realize that everyone just wants to ‘get along’. Me too!
But when a person finds something terribly wrong, should they not speak out? Wouldn’t they be a coward for hiding the truth just to avoid personal condemnation? Yes, and yes.
Listen, Friends, I serve Jesus first. When he saved my life (literally), I promised him that I would be his servant for the rest of my life. I meant that promise and I fully plan on keeping it. My life is not my own. It is his. And it serves him to warn my friends about Mormonism. And so, I had to write the article. Despite any disadvantage to me personally.
I write Short Little Rebel in order to help Christians & non Christians to see how the Bible prophesies are being unwound in the geopolitical & cultural movements of the world. I do this to help them come to Christ or to maintain their strength in Christ. While I care deeply about this election, I am resolved to accept God’s will in its result. Does that mean I won’t continue to fight against tyranny? Of course not! But it does mean that I accept that God has a plan and he fully intends to see it through. Our individual actions within the framework of his plan determine our salvation. Because it is right to fight evil, I will fight- even knowing that it might be possible that God intends Obama to win (or lose). Can you understand that? God will do as he will. But I must do as he commands me within his framework.
In retrospect, in seeing people’s various reactions & comments, I can see the importance of addressing Mormonism. I can see that too many of us are attempting to meld Mormonism into our Christian faith- we are being misled by Romney’s obvious ‘goodness’! Just like I was. But we must NOT do this. Allow me to reference Jesus’ words (Mark 12: 28-34) at this point:
28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
32“Well said, teacher,” the priest replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
This happened as a bunch of Pharisees and Sadducees were attempting to trap Jesus into sacrilege one day. This was the final question from one of them. Haven’t you ever wondered WHY no one dared ask him anymore questions after THIS answer? I mean, doesn’t it look like Jesus is commending the priest’s answer?
Well, not really. You see, Jesus said that the priest was ‘VERY CLOSE’ to the kingdom of heaven. Very close??!!! Is that where YOU want to be someday. Very close to the kingdom of heaven? Kinda like standing outside the pearly gates and looking wistfully through the bars at the party going on inside, right? ‘Very close’ just doesn’t cut it!
THAT is why they were all afraid of him. He acknowledged that this priest was close to heaven because he acknowledged Jesus’ words as true. And yet, Jesus’ answer hung in the air- like instinctive animals, they sensed danger in the air. The answer was not fully satisfactory. But they didn’t want to know why the priest was not IN the kingdom of heaven. They sensed a trap.
And what is the trap? That they suspected (as did many at the time) that he was the Messiah that had come to fulfill the prophecies. The final Priest, the final sacrifice. And that his presence meant their demise as priests. They, themselves, knew that when the Messiah came, the need for their priesthood would be over. So, they just. didn’t. want. to hear it! They didn’t want to relinquish their priestly powers. In the very same conversation, Jesus said, ”
“Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, 39and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.”
Jesus understood the love of power & prestige that the priesthood gave these men. And he condemned them for it. THIS is why cults today, like Mormonism, deny the teachings of the Apostle Paul who wrote that the ‘LAW IS DEAD’ for Jesus not only fulfilled it and forever made the priesthood & rituals irrelevant, but that Jesus formed a NEW COVENANT with humanity. You will find that every cult has reinstated the priesthood. They always have their reasoning. And all their priests enjoy money, power & prestige. And here is the absolutely worst part of Mormonism: they believe that there is more than one GOD. In fact, they believe WE are Gods too . That GOD was actually a man from another planet named Mormon who, through good works, became God and that he married three women Gods and that their two children were Jesus and Lucifer. That each human (through good works) will eventually grow up to ‘be like Dad’. We will ALL become Gods. The priesthood has been reinstated by Mormons because these priests are not only becoming Gods, but are helping the other Mormons become Gods. To them, Jesus just showed how to get to this God state. By being perfect. So, they must also be perfect to become God. But Jesus’ death & resurrection are NOT even close to enough for salvation! No, they must do rituals, pay tithes, and OBEY to get salvation. They have become the very slaves to which Apostle Paul referred.
See the words of Paul (Galatians 2: 14- 21) concerning the Old Testament Law (which includes the Priesthood & all its rituals):
14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
15“We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
17“If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, CHRIST DIED FOR NOTHING!”d
The reinstatement of the priesthood by Mormonism 100% denies Christ’s entire mission, power & glory. In addition, it equates humans to God & Jesus. AND it contradicts Jesus’ clear statement that there is only ONE God. In all these ways we KNOW they are not Christians. No. matter. what. they. say!
In addition, when prophets profit from the name of Jesus, there is good reason to be suspicious, Friends. There really is.
Just because people know who Jesus is and just because they revere him and just because they call on his name does NOT make them Christians. Just because they can quote scriptures like the Pharisees & Sadducees does not make them Christians. Just because they do many good works and can cast out demons in Jesus’ name does not make them Christians. The ONLY thing that these things do is to bring them very close to being Christian.
A few parting words from our Savior…
21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’