President's ColumnDr. Luder Whitlock

What Will You Do With Jesus?

by Dr. Luder Whitlock

"Most modern plays are concerned with the relation between man and man," observed the great American playwright, Eugene OíNeill, "but that does not interest me at all. I am interested only in the relation between man and God." His interest is reflected in the bulk of world literature -- from the Enuma Elish to Updikeís In the Beauty of the Lilies. It is hard to conceive of great literature such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, or Dostoevsky apart from religion.

Ultimately the profound questions of life and its meaning are religious. Moreover, religion lies at the foundation of every culture or civilization, as has been pointed out so perceptively by Samuel Huntington in his The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. If we begin to think seriously and deeply about life, we cannot escape the question of our relationship to God. Wherever we turn, He confronts us. As David notes in Psalm 139 or as Paul puts it in Romans 1, His eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen in the things He has made so that He constantly makes us aware of His existence and presence.

Strange then, isnít it, that some people exert such prodigious effort to avoid or evade God! And, of course, there has been a relentless effort to exclude God from public discourse--as if it were easy to do so by fiat, simply directing that God shall henceforth be eliminated from certain sectors of life.

What speaks more powerfully to the relationship between God and man than the incarnation?

But certain times of the year, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, remind us more powerfully than ever of the grace and presence of God, whether in the historic roots of Thanksgiving, the poignant reminder from Lincolnís Thanksgiving proclamation, or the traditional Christmas carols that we love so much. Behind the festivity and the feting is the awareness that these holidays find their origin in Godís loving initiative and gracious, generous provision.

What speaks more powerfully to the relationship between man and God than the incarnation? God became man with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehemís manger. History was forever changed that night. God loved us so much that He would not abandon us to our self-inflicted misery and destruction. He offered the gift of His forgiveness and of eternal life when He gave His only begotten Son for our salvation. The greatest gift of all is Godís gift to us! We are reminded that if there is to be any hope of an eternally blessed relationship with God, it comes through repentance of sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is for the sake of that Gospel and its communication to the whole world that the Christian church exists and that RTS was founded. Our concern is to communicate faithfully Godís message so that an estranged, hurting world can be brought into His family through faith and begin to grow spiritually into the beautiful, strong, wise people He wants them to be.

- Luder G. Whitlock, Jr.

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Last updated 12-22-98.