The Broken Chair

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arvilj426
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The Broken Chair

Post by arvilj426 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:00 am

The Broken Chair
by Arvil Jones, Th.M.,Ph.D.

Last week I posted a small paragraph on the topic of Faith - just a simple one-paragraph statement to the effect that...faith is only as good as the object in which it is placed. And using the analogy of a man sitting in a chair, placing his full weight on, and his full confidence in the chair, I proposed a hypothetical scenario. Suppose that when the man sat in the chair, it broke under his weight, and the man was immediately - shall we say...surprised, embarrassed, disappointed, disillusioned, maybe even hurt physically. The man’s faith was misplaced. His confidence was in an object that proved to be unworthy of that confidence.
Now, I ask, would anyone in his right mind bend down and pick up the pieces of that broken chair, and glue them back together, and again place his full weight and total confidence in that chair? I seriously doubt it. But some folks are very fond of their chairs, and even though their favorite chair has collapsed under them, they refuse to discard it - which brings me to the heart of this little lesson.
The man realizes that he can never trust this chair again. But if he can somehow find the right combination of materials, and can somehow reinforce the chair, and yet make it look as much like the original so that no one would notice much, if any difference, what would be the harm? He takes the broken chair into his garage, where he begins to work on it. He puts all the pieces back together in their original positions, and stands back a looks at it, pondering how to go about repairing and reinforcing it, and yet retain that original appearance.
He takes sand paper, and sands it down to the bare wood. He replaces the old screws and dowel pins with new ones. He keeps two of the original legs, throws the other two away, and fashions two more new legs on his wood lathe, identical to the two original ones that he threw away. He puts it all back together meticulously, and carefully varnishes the entire chair. He waits patiently for days for the varnish to completely dry. Finally, he stands back and gazes lovingly at his chair, which, to him, actually looks even better than the original.
He congratulates himself upon his accomplishment. He tells no one what he has done to the chair - not even his own children or grandchildren, and no one is the wiser. He sits comfortably and confidently in the chair, thinking to himself - “ahh, this chair is as good, if not better than it was when I bought it. My children and grandchildren will sit in it someday, and they will never know that it was once broken.”
This is quite similar to what has happened in the realm of religion. Countless millions (if not billions) of folk have, for countless centuries, been constantly at work, repairing, reinforcing, and varnishing their broken religions. They have added the new screws and dowel pins of refurbished doctrines and practices. They have reinforced their beliefs and positions with newer and, supposedly better versions of the Scriptures. They have smeared the varnish of modernism over the whole thing, and have congratulated themselves upon the works of their own hands. They sit comfortably and confidently in something that they have re-constructed to look so much like the original that not even their children or grandchildren, nor their friends and neighbors know that the religion that they are practicing is a fake, a phony, a facade. And what does all of this mean? It means that men have convinced themselves that they can both live and worship with a mere religious form, without the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Men have sanded and polished and varnished their religions to make them appear holy and acceptable to all other men.
But religion, without Jesus Christ as it’s center and circumference, is utterly doomed to failure. Like the reinforced chair, religion without reality will someday crumble beneath those who trust in it. Throughout the Scriptures, Jesus Christ is referred to as a Rock - the Rock of Ages, the Rock that is higher than I, the Stone cut out of a mountain, the chief cornerstone. He is the one and only sure foundation upon which men may confidently cast their immortal souls and eternal destinies. He neither needs nor allows any improvement or improvisations.
Unlike the chair that was broken, and re-invested with new, man-made qualities, Jesus Christ forever stands alone upon His own merit and grace. His salvation is perfect, and cannot be streamlined nor improved upon by the hands and minds of mortal men. Men have passed their religions down to succeeding generations, never telling them that the very religion that they themselves practice has utterly failed them, and has never given them any real, lasting peace and assurance of a home in Heaven. And yet they continue to practice that religion, oblivious to the horrible fact that their religion will be the very vehicle in which they ride into the flames of a burning Hell.
Salvation in Jesus Christ is not a religion - it is a relationship. It has the simplest of all formulas....Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house (Acts 16:31). That was the Gospel message that Paul and Silas gave to a Philippian jailer more than 2,000 years ago. He and his family were saved and baptized that very night. They are all in Heaven together tonight, as I write this, with their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s that simple.

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Hope
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:26 am

Re: The Broken Chair

Post by Hope » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:14 am

Arvil,
What a POWERFUL message that we all need to hear!!! This is so Good and I pray it touches so many and brings them back to what God really stands for and what a relationship with Him means! This is an eye opener thank you for sharing it so that so many can know the true Love of God!
God Bless You Love Eva

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Brenda Pike
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Location: Kentucky

Re: The Broken Chair

Post by Brenda Pike » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:23 am

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AMEN ARVIL, YOU'VE TOUCHED THE SOURCE OF OUR RELIGIOUS CULTURE, WHICH MAN HAS REDESIGNED TO SUIT AND FIT HIMSELF. GREAT MESSAGE ARVIL. GOD BLESS YOU. SINCERELY BRENDA

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