There is a Kingpin factor, for true Christians, if assured of attaining salvation, regardless of denomination. While believing in Jesus, ought to be appreciated as the focal point, everything revolves around the Kingpin factor that may qualify or disqualify Christians towards salvation.
Ironically, while studying Scriptures; when searching for understanding, can be viewed as prerequisite, it is not what qualifies Christians into God’s Kingdom. Jesus Christ clinically affirmed to this principle:
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you” (John 5:39-42) (ESV)
Today, coming to Jesus is also possible when walking with Him through everything He taught. This is not daunting at all, to those believing in the Man called Jesus. There is no need to think that the early disciples were more privileged than today’s Christians. See [Believing in Jesus is different from having faith in Jesus]
Theological studies are not necessary, whatsoever, but believing in Jesus. All Christians around the world look forward to one thing: Being part of the bridal party at the second coming of Jesus.
The story of Jesus is replete with many teachings about God’s Kingdom. For a sincere Christian, it is important to have the appetite in gobbling everything that Jesus taught, to be assured of the promised Holy Spirit (John 14:15-17). But, without the consideration of the Kingpin factor, calamity awaits most sincere Christians.
Lest I keep people in suspense for too long, the Kingpin factor is found in one of the statements on the Prayer model: “and forgive us our trespasses, as we also forgive those who trespass against us” (Matthew 6:12). But how do we trespass against other people?
We have to first clear the meaning of the word ‘trespass’, which is: “An unlawful act committed on the person, property, or rights of another; especially: a wrongful entry on real property: the legal action for injuries resulting from trespass. 2: a violation of moral or social ethics: transgression; especially: sin: an unwarranted infringement (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trespass) to commit a trespass; especially: to enter unlawfully upon the land of another
2a: err, sin b: to make an unwarranted or uninvited incursion
:violate trespass the bounds of good taste”
When carefully analysing the definition of this word, one can see that it includes intrusion into whatever the other person believes in. In other words, when the white missionaries first came with the gospel in Africa, they actually intruded into the African belief systems.
This could be the reason why some Africans still feel that Christianity was meant to hoodwink them, in order for the whites to loot precious resources. This may as well have been the case, for some unscrupulous missionaries. But I suppose most of those missionaries had good intentions.
They felt obliged to preach the gospel, though using different methods, other than what was recommended by Jesus (Luke 10:1-9). All that those missionaries were supposed to do was only to unconditionally provide good services to the Africans. That is exactly what Jesus did.
From their enlightened background, those white missionaries must have observed the appalling African conditions and sought to preach to them. But in so doing, they were trespassing against those Africans’ belief systems.
Interestingly, Jesus never intruded into another person’s belief system. This is why He preached in parables to those who had thronged Him, after having observed their loved ones being healed of infirmities (Matthew 13:10-15).
Jesus explained the meaning of those parables, only to those interested in His teachings. Otherwise He would have committed the crime of trespassing. I suppose it was only the Holy Spirit that led Jesus to appoint the apostles?
Jesus helped people, according to their needs, not as a way of gaining their favours. He actually discouraged those intending to follow Him, after having received benefits from Him. Unless we think like Jesus, we are not Christians.
The grand sin of humanity has always been invalidating other people—assuming being better than them. This may have been driven by observing those in appalling sinful conditions. But, invalidating another person is unbelievably the only sin that led Jesus to die on the cross (John 1:29).
Due to our diverse cultures and traditions, not a single one of us can claim not to have intruded upon other people’s belief systems. We have even intruded into our children’s independence, in assuming to morally shape them. In so doing we maintain the heritage of an evil system.
Parents put themselves in positions where they think they are better than their children. This is just as teachers think similarly. Let alone Church leaders, like pastors, in Christianity.
The sin of the world is pride, which causes a person to assume being better than another fellow human being. But the legendary truth, though unknown to most people, is that there is no individual who can ever be better than another person.
The comparisons of people, according to class and education, appear factual. But that is false datum. See [False data stripping]. We were all created in God’s image, though not all of us look similar, when compared with one another.
There is no need to invalidate one another, except appreciating that we are not the same, though all of us were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). This brings us to the issue of why it is necessary to forgive one another.
In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus highlighted the need to forgive one another. This was after Peter had asked the question, as to how many times we should forgive those who commit sins against us.
It is very easy for any person to assume not being guilty of trespassing. But, we are all guilty of trespassing. The two scriptures that come to mind, when dealing with this notorious sin of all ages are: Luke 18:9-14 and James 4:9-12.
I cannot think of anything as humiliating as having to say “I am sorry” for some wrong-doing against another person? To admit being wrong is as difficult as it was for Jesus to go through the cross. This includes forgiving another person, for whatever dreadful sin against one. See [Forging others seals our salvations]
Naturally, humans cannot easily forgive others, especially, those considered to be proud. Most Christians can lie prostrate at repentance, before whoever would have been used by God to preach to them. They may feel purified, when submitting to the preacher who also prays for them.
That is fair and good. But all Christians are expected to spiritually remain in that condition for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, what often happens is that people think in terms of being forgiven by God more than being forgiven by their fellow men. A sinner who gets repented, gets easily taken aback, when noticing the unforgiving people in his/her surroundings.
This is just as our fellow man cannot easily forgive those considered to be wrong-doers. It is very easy for us to view other people disdainfully, when comparing them with ourselves, or with the adulated ones.
What we miss is that another human being is the image of God. We may consider that person as extremely unlikable. But the same person was created in God’s image, nevertheless. Our own perceptions have got nothing to do with God who created all people in His own image. This is just as John admonished:
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him; whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:20-21) (ESV).
Everyone knows that God is good and God cannot be compared with sinful humanity. But the goodness of God is revealed in the behaviour of Jesus who died for humanity, still entrenched in sinful conditions.
I find nothing as humiliating as when visualising the release of the most notorious criminal called Barabbas, where it could be me having to be mocked and condemned, instead? (Matthew 27:26). Yet Jesus fulfilled that bitter experience on my behalf.
Nothing remains for me, except to spiritually lie prostrate for all eternity, when seriously considering that behaviour of Jesus. We are fools who deceive themselves when despising the behaviour of Jesus, when taking comfort in adulations from fellow humans, instead of God.
Here was the man who declared being the way, the truth and the life. Unless we look to Him, we are lost. The Kingpin factor lies in the ability to value other human beings, created in God’s image. See [The gospel is not for the proud].
Visualising God in Heaven is good. But that cannot be more important than valuing human beings for whom Jesus died. As Christians, our duty has got nothing to do with the anticipation of the second-coming of Jesus.
The first-coming of Jesus was most important for true Christians. While Christ’s second-coming will be dramatic to non-Christians, that will be an ordinary event, to true Christians. They would have all along been with Christ, anyway. This is why Christ said such people would not see death (John 8:51).
The problem that has all along besieged Christians is categorising people according to benefits and detriments. Those providing benefits are graded as better than those providing the opposite of benefits. Such behavior has got nothing to do with Jesus, who saw value in all humanity, without consideration of benefit or detriments. See [Crossed into an evil and adulterous generation].
The Kingpin factor requires that we consider all human beings as equals, so that none is viewed as better as or worse than the other. We were all created in God’s image and it is not our business to invalidate one another, even as to assume that we are privileged, when in possession of superior knowledge?
Being privileged with superior knowledge ahead of others, does not impose superlative consideration above others, except responsibility. It is Christ’s glory manifesting, as He works in individual Christians.
The knowledge acquired, demands taking full responsibility, on behalf of Christ, sharing with those desiring it. That knowledge cannot be crammed down another person’s throat, lest one be guilty of trespassing into another person’s belief system. One needs to remain as humble as possible.
There is no need to feel uncomfortable with those unable to understand what God has led one to understand. But it is the duty of the one with knowledge to assist whoever comes desiring to be assisted. See [Influence is the method, not witnessing].
The one being assisted may also be of assistance, with whatever other information, previously inaccessible to the one approached for valuable information. Such shared valuable information is of Jesus, who deserves all glory.
Each Christian’s duty is to strive to experience all things, but facilitating what one knows, only for the benefit of those requiring the information. While appearing as easy, this is tough responsibility. Jesus never intended this to be easy, even among family members (Matthew 10:34-39).
This world is not used to such simplicity. A peaceful person is always suspected for ulterior motives. Without a clear position on matters of religion, one can easily risk being falsely accused of various sins. But, if all Christians were practicing this method, there would be no diverse denominational groupings, as known today.
Paul practiced this behaviour (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). This may have been one of the principal causes of his murder. This is just as we know that Jesus was hanged on the cross, accused of being friendly to sinners.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
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