Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Which Way Is West?

By Joe Chesser


    About 10 years ago Areva and Brandon were looking at some dark clouds and talking about whether or not it would rain before they finished working in the garden.  Brandon commented that the rain always comes from the west, to which Grandma asked, “And which way is west?”  “Well,” he said, “in the winter west is that way, but in the summer it is that way.”

    I think if Brandon had used a compass his answer would have been different.  With a magnetic compass he’d quickly discover that west is always 90 degrees left of due north. North is always north.  It doesn’t change … ever.  Even in Missouri in the winter when the sun comes up in the southeast instead of east, north is still the same direction.  We know that. But I can see how a youngster who knows that the sun is supposed to come up in the east and goes down in the west could get confused.  As the earth tilts and rotates around the sun, its relation to the sun will vary.  If you use the sun as the standard, west will be in one direction in the winter and another in the summer. But if you use a properly calibrated gyrocompass that reacts to the rotation of the earth instead of the variable positioning of the sun, you’ll find that west is always in the same direction no matter what time of year it may be or where you are on the earth.  A compass is a trustworthy navigational instrument for determining direction.

    The Bible is like a compass, but in a much more important way.  A compass will help you determine which way is west, but it won’t help you find out which way is heaven.  Only the Bible can do that because only the Bible will always point to Jesus.  Just as on a compass north is always north, in the Bible Jesus is always “the way, the truth and the life.” No one can get to the Father (heaven) except by him (John 14:6; Hebrews 13:8). Nothing in all of creation can alter that.

    Unfortunately, most people are trusting in something other than the Bible for their spiritual compass (Matthew 7:13-14).  And as a result, one person thinks he can get to heaven one way and another person thinks he can get there a different way.  Of course, to reach those conclusions they have to use a standard different from each other, and at least one of them must use a standard different from than Bible.  Their standards may be parents, culture, false teachers, personal preferences, misunderstandings, etc.  But one thing is for certain: the Bible teaches that there is only one God, one Lord, one Spirit, one faith, one hope, one baptism and one body (the church – Ephesians 4:4-6, 1:22-23).  God is not the source of religious confusion and misdirection (1 Corinthians 14:33). God doesn’t point one way for one person and another way for a different person. God wants no divisions among us (1 Corinthians 1:10).  Jesus prayed just before He went to the cross that all of His disciples down through the ages would be united as a witness of His Sonship (John 17:23).

    Like west is always west, Jesus and the Bible are always the way to heaven.

- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted at joeandareva@yahoo.com

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