You Can't Build Your Faith Without This
Can you imagine starting a college career without the ability to read, write, add, or subtract? It would be a complete disaster. If we want to further build our education, we must first lay a foundation of elementary skills. Without them, we won’t get very far. The same thing applies in our faith.
Look at what the apostle Paul says about elementary foundations:
Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of . . . eternal judgment and punishment. [These are all matters of which you should have been fully aware long, long ago.] (Hebrews 6:1–2 AMP)
One dictionary defines elementary as “constituting the basic, essential, or fundamental part.” It’s the essential part we must have right from the start to build upon; it’s a foundation. If we do not have eternal judgments firmly established in our understanding as believers, then we will not be capable of building a proper life in Christ.
Yet I’ve discovered after almost twenty years of traveling ministry that many—and I’m including devoted followers of Jesus Christ—are unaware of these issues. Notice the writer states, “These are all matters of which you should have been fully aware long, long ago.” He didn’t say we are to be acquainted with these issues but to be fully, or completely, aware.
Because it is one of His elementary teachings, Jesus discussed hell frequently, much more often than the subject is mentioned from pulpits today. He didn’t see bringing up its description—the torment involved, as well as the fact that it was never-ending—as a lack of compassion. Rather He saw it as essential to reaching us as the Good Shepherd.
Perhaps the reason many shy away from teaching on eternal judgment nowadays is because they would rather focus on God’s love and speak uplifting messages. But this does not follow the model Jesus established for us. The love Jesus has for us compelled Him to warn us of eternal realities because He doesn’t want us to remain infants in our faith. He wants us to become mature followers moving beyond elementary truth. Let’s make sure we have a solid foundation so we can move steadily toward spiritual maturity.