I especially look forward to the second session of the FORMDEV Faci Applicant Training program because of the very special opportunity it gives us, FORMDEV facis, to invite students to enter into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. What else could be more important than getting to know Jesus, who is:
- The Bread of Life (John 6:48);
- The Light of the World (John 8:12);
- The Gate by whom one comes in and is saved (John 10:9);
- The Good Shepherd who died for his sheep (John 10:11);
- The Resurrection and the Life who, having defeated death, gives true and eternal life (John 11:25);
- The Way (to the Father), the Truth and the Life (John 14:6); and
- The Vine by whose Life branches can and will bear much fruit (John 15:5).
And this afternoon (Wednesday, July 8, 2011) I was pleasantly surprised to see so many faci applicants, several of whom were my former and current students.
As usual, questions regarding the salvation of people of non-Christian religions were asked. When asked these kinds of questions I always point to John 14:6, where the Lord Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” This is not to say that only those who belong to the Christian faiths (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant) are saved. But it does mean that if anyone is saved, it is through Jesus Christ, whether the saved person is fully cognizant of this or not. It also highlights the importance of being Christ’s witnesses to the world through word and deed.
One of my last words to the students was about the unity of the believers. I read to them Jesus’ prayer for us recorded in John 16:20: “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one — as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.” Therefore, despite the many branches of Christianity and their seemingly divergent doctrines and practices, all who truly love the Triune God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength, and who truly love their fellow men and women are truly one in Christ, who makes true love possible.
I always request the applicants to go home immediately after the session, spend time alone with God, thanking Him for adopting them as his children through Jesus Christ, read the first letter of John, and e-mail me about their experiences. Reading their messages of joy or hope or the earnestness to live anew or for the first time a life of faith and truth, invariably moves me to tears. God is so good!