Serving God and others.
I read in our local Penny Saver recently, the hospital in the area I live in was looking for Chaplin volunteers. I thought this would be a good opportunity to serve, and went over and signed up. I attended three of four, 2 hr mandatory meetings, and finally told the Chaplin I could not continue with the program. The first thing I had a problem with was the fact that the Chaplin opened and closed every meeting with a prayer, but never ended it in Jesus name. He was also careful to never mention Jesus, in his prayers, or in the teaching or discussions we were receiving as part of our training. When I asked about this, I was told that not everyone in the hospital we would be ministering to, would be Christian. So we could only use the generic term god. We were also told we were to be spiritual advisers, and not to discuss or proclaim any one religion over another. I asked how then could we pray with the patients that had requested a visit? I was told, we would be praying to our concept of god, and they would be praying to their concept of god. In this way persons with any faith, or no faith at all, could pray together. Finally I was told that they had their beliefs, based upon their upbringing and experience, and that I had my beliefs, based upon my upbringing and experiences. This is contrary to the Word of God in many respects, but it made me think of a few certain scriptures in particular.
Math 7. 21-23
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Here was an example of people coming to Jesus, proclaiming all the good works they had done, and Jesus told them to depart from him, ye workers of iniquity. Jesus also said to them in this verse, that doing these things would not gain them access to the kingdom of heaven, but only doing the will of his Father would. Well it certainly seems that it would be God’s will for us to do many good works. Another verse that came to mind was,
1 Corinthians 13
1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
How could doing all these good works that Jesus mentions, and doing all the good things Paul mentions above, profit a person nothing? Jesus said we must first do the will of his Father. What is the will of God the Father, that without it, makes these other wonderful works and good deeds worthless?
John 6. 40
40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6. 28-30
28Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
If we fail to believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then all our good works are not only unprofitable, they are offensive to God. We can never please God, or measure up to his standards of goodness and charity, apart from our Lord Jesus.
Isa 64. 6
6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.