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How You Can Stay on the Right Path

Q: How many Unitarian Universalists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: As Unitarian Universalists, we choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey, you have found that light bulbs work for you, that is wonderful. Present it next month at our annual Light Bulb Sunday Service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, 3-way, long-life, and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence. —From the website of First Unitarian Church, Toronto

Like mines floating in a bay, ready to sink a ship, several modern philosophies lurk underneath our thoughts, waiting to take us down. One of the dominant mottos of our generation goes like this: “It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you believe it sincerely.” That’s called universalism, the dream that everyone will be saved regardless of the choices and decisions they make. Universalists cling to the truth about God being a loving God, but they ignore (or are ignorant of) the fact that He is also righteous and holy.

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left … Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels …” Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. —Matthew 25:31-33, 41, 46

I wish I could believe that “all roads lead to God,” but it’s just not true. Universalism is a misguided dream. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” If someone accepts His free gift of forgiveness, they are given safe passage into the very presence of God in the future and are promised the very presence of the Holy Spirit within their spirit today. Only eternity will reveal how amazing that offer truly is. And for today, that’s certainly a message worth sharing with others.

Dear Jesus, I believe that You are the Way and the Truth and the Life. Give me great joy in that truth, and use me in any way that You see fit to share that great news with those around me who are wishfully hoping in a misguided philosophy of Universalism. Amen.

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