Show Me the Way
Peace with God through Jesus
Like Sukyo Mahikari, Christianity asserts that we are all made in God's image. The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes states that God has placed eternity in the hearts of all people.(Ecclesiastes 3:11). Most of us are conscious of the fact that we are somehow separated from God. We long to be reconnected with our Creator, and to experience a personal relationship with Him. Many people these days are looking for spiritual answers to life's questions. They want to live meaningful lives, and to have an understanding of their place in the world. To some extent, Sukyo Mahikari is an attempt to deal with these important issues. Permit me to reveal how I have dealt with these issues in my life.
God created us all. He loves us and wants us to live in peace with Him.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17)
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
Sadly, the human race chose to disobey God. Sin entered the world when Adam, the first man, disobeyed God and was banished from the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:23).
Just like Adam, our sin separates us from God, and prevent us from having a relationship with Him. (Isaiah 59:2). We all must deal with the problem of sin in our lives. "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..."(Romans 3:23).
I had to accept that trusting in Jesus is the only solution to the problem of my separation from God. When he died on the cross and rose again, he paid the penalty for my sin, and completely bridged the gap that sin made between God and humanity. I came to realise that in Jesus, God has provided the only way for us to make peace with Him. None of us can do this by our own efforts, and you cannot do this by following the path of Mahikari. That is why Jesus came into the world, and why he needed to die.
Jesus himself said:
"The Son of Man has power upon the earth to forgive sins." (Luke 5:24)
"I tell you the truth, whoe hears my words and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24).
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." (John 14:1)
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me." (John 14:6)
In the Book of Acts, the apostle Peter said of Jesus: "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
"All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name." (Acts 10:43)
Paul wrote, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8).
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved." (Romans 10:9).
John wrote: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9).
"...if anyone does sin, we have one who speaks to the father (God) in our defence, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One." (1 John 2:1)
The New Testament writers make this important point repeatedly in their books. There is no doubt that in Jesus Christ, God made the ultimate and conclusive revelation of himself to humanity. He is the complete fulfillment of God's Divine Plan. Entrusting your salvation to Jesus gives you the absolute certainty of peace with God for all time (Hebrews 8:12). Sukyo Mahikari cannot possibly make such a promise, or offer such a great hope to its followers.
When I chose to believe in Jesus, and accept his free offer of salvation for me, I had to admit my need for him. Although I believed that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave, this wasn't enough. Through prayer, I needed to invite Jesus to take control of my life through the Holy Spirit, and to receive Jesus as my Saviour. He invites all of us to do the same (Romans 10:13). He has changed my life. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Through Jesus, God has set me free from my past. No longer do I have to deal with the burden of my sin. By no means do I claim to be perfect, or to have all the answers to life's questions. It is only by the grace of God that I have found forgiveness for my sins (Romans 5:1), and have the privilege of being counted among his children. The salvation that God provides through Jesus is offered as a gift, available to all those that believe in him and receive it (John 3:16, Acts 16:31). It is that simple. I cannot earn this gift on my own (Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5).
Following Jesus involves a daily commitment to seeking the will of God for my life and striving to live in obedience to Him in all things. He can change your life just as He has changed mine. Jesus never stops working in the lives of those who follow Him. (Phillipians 1:6). I have many struggles, but I find strength and assurance in the knowledge that the Creator of the universe loves me and wants to have a personal relationship with me (2 Peter 3:9). Nothing can separate me from His unconditional love. This love is so great that is is beyond human understanding (Romans 8:39-40). Anyone who follows Jesus has the assurance that their sins are permanently forgiven. Only Jesus offers such hope. There is no need for us to attempt to carry the burden of our own sins or to try to atone for them by our own efforts, such as the Mahikari obligation to perform regular acts of Divine Service, or performing rituals.
Jesus also promised that anyone who believes in him will go to be with him forever when they die. Contrary to Mahikari teachings, there is no reincarnation, and no need to fear being subjected to an endless cycle of life, death, rebirth, and death, hoping that you have lived a life pleasing to God. Our relationship with God in this life continues forever into the next (John 3:16, 5:24, 6:40-47). Jesus has promised us that at the end of human history, he will return to earth (Matthew 25:31-34, 41, 46; John 5:21-29, Acts 10:42, 17:30-31). Those who believe in Jesus will be able to live with him in a new earth, in which all suffering and evil will come to an end. (2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1-4). It is a great comfort to know Jesus has the ultimate destiny of the universe under his control. He wants all of us to share in this future, but whether or not you choose to be a part of it is up to you.