Daily Devotion: The Buddha, Ghandi and The First-Fruits of God

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Bible Readings for Thursday, July 7th, 2011
– The Week of The 4th Sunday After Pentecost

*Click on each bible passage to expand the text.

Psalm 65:1-13

Isaiah 48:1-5

Romans 2:12-16

  • By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. – Psalm 65:5
  • I declared them to you from long ago, before they came to pass I announced them to you, so that you would not say, “My idol did them, my carved image and my cast image commanded them.” – Isaiah 48:5
  • For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but the doers of the law who will be justified. – Romans 2:13

What the Law Requires is Written On Their Hearts…

Oh, my Lord.

Another pro-Universalist passage just sitting out in plain sight in the bible for all to read?

Tsk, tsk, Early Church Fathers: it’s almost as if you intended for Christian Universalism to be obvious throughout the bible canon… for those that cared to read it.

Today we find yet another astounding, and under-read passage that reeks of our beloved Universalism in Romans 2.

Romans 2

14. When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires though not having the law, they are a law to themselves.
15. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them
16. on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.

Paul is writing a Great Truth here: those Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus who have never heard “our version” of God’s law, but still instinctively act upon and obey God’s law, are a law unto themselves! And when we all stand naked and alone before the Great White Throne, God will accuse or excuse us all regardless of whether we knew “the Law”, but how we acted knowing or not knowing it.

To me, this passage is clearly stating that a Buddhist who never even has heard the Gospel and yet loved his neighbor as himself, and did unto others as he would have them do unto himself, has just as much justification in the eyes of God as a Christian would have.

And what is this judgement for? Is it for entrance into “Heaven”, or a sentence to “Hell”?

No.

I have been writing for months that God’s passion is to see the Kingdom on Earth realized like the Kingdom in Heaven. All of humanity that currently has the “law written upon their hearts” will be striving together, subtly orchestrated by the Law of Love to slowly manifest the Kingdom here before the sight of all the others. However, this process has been very slow, and although I personally believe we are on the brink of a very rapid and dramatic acceleration of the coming Earthly Kingdom, I still am ready to admit I may not see it in my lifetime.

That means that those of us that perish before the Kingdom comes will be in “waiting”, and it is during this time that we will be judged according to our works while here in this earthly body for who will be best fit to work, and to best serve, and best agree for the age when God resurrects the First-Fruits of the Kingdom to help God facilitate it’s coming. This judgement is not for salvation (it is already accomplished).

Yup, you read that right: I believe at some point Ghandi, MLK, even Great-Grandma and all the people you would hope God will recognize as good people will be risen, walking, talking and loving again someday to signal the Kingdom is coming on Earth as it is in Heaven.

1 Corinthians 15

20. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

Yes, I do acknowledge that while I am constantly harping on the Kingdom coming on Earth as it is in Heaven, that it will never come until it is time. The Age of The Kingdom is what Jesus is talking about every time our English bibles say, “eternal life”, for in the Greek Jesus was really talking about “The Life of the Age” (aiónios):

John 17

2. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give “The Life of the Age” to all those you have given him.
3. Now this is “The Life of The Age”: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

So, is Jesus saying that the role of the First-Fruits of the resurrection are simply going to be glorified missionaries? Knocking on doors, scaring the living daylights out of loved ones, and saying, “Do you believe now, bitches?”

No.

Who Will “Belong to Christ”, Who are The First-Fruits?

If this is only a matter of “belief”, that those who “belong to Christ” are simply those that “believe” in him, then why does Christ warn us:

Luke 6

46. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Matthew 7

21. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven (of God on Earth), but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Those that will be raised as the First-Fruits to announce the coming of the Kingdom will be those who have executed the “will of the Father”.

Then, what is God’s will?

Matthew 22

37. And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
38. This is the great and first commandment.

39. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 7

12.  “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

The bible, and my writing, is getting rather repetitive.

But, it doesn’t change the fact that the entirety of God’s will for us can be contained in 5 verses. And they bear as much repeating as it takes to get the simple message across:

Love each other, stupid.

Romans 8

23. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.

And some day when the souls of these obedient Children of God like MLK, and the Buddha, and Ghandi, and Mother Theresa… are bodily walking the earth once more, as living and breathing examples of God’s love and power, we will finally believe like we should: not with words, but with works.

Works not for the sake of our own salvation, but for the final all-encompassing harvest of the Kingdom.

Glory be to God!

Trig Bundgaard About Trig Bundgaard

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts and ideas about what I've written. Especially if it's contrary to my views!

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Grace and peace to you!

Romans 5
"18. Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.
19. For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous."

Comments

  1. Wanted to get your feed back on the above address it sounds like what you just described. Paul

  2. llamalady says:

    I walked into a church last Sunday and in front of me I saw the Kingdom. There were people of all income levels, including the homeless; people of all races. The message of that congregation is God’s restorative justice for all people. I felt very much at home.

    The message of the Kingdom isn’t personal salvation. It is societal or universal salvation, reconciling us all to God no matter what. Were salvation to be personal, it would have no effect on the world right now, and we are called to effect the world . Right now. The “Christian Exceptionalism” so popular right now (out of fear, I think), is directly contrary to God’s message of inclusion in the Kingdom.

    Who is to say that Ghandi et al aren’t just as highly thought of as Moses or Jesus or Mohammed? Just because there is no traceable descent from Abraham?

    I think to claim any sort of preference based on religious beliefs alone is to ignore the message. We need to keep in mind which societies wrote the Bible and how little they knew of the rest of the world.

    • plee1382 Paul Lee says:

      llamalady:
      There is a BIG DIFFERENCE….. Christ The Son of the Most High God is our Savior NOT Ghandi, Moses, and Mohammed …. Those guys did not edure the passion OF THE CROSS like Christ did for us and he sacrificed his life for you and me FOR FORGIVNESS OF SINS, Ghandi and Moses and Mohammed didn’t do that thogh Moses was a servant of God. Jesus is God and not in the same group at all i.e. Ghandi, Moses and Mohammed!!

    • llamalady wrote:
      “The message of the Kingdom isn’t personal salvation. It is societal or universal salvation, reconciling us all to God no matter what. Were salvation to be personal, it would have no effect on the world right now, and we are called to effect the world . Right now. The “Christian Exceptionalism” so popular right now (out of fear, I think), is directly contrary to God’s message of inclusion in the Kingdom.”

      Wonderful, llamalady!

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