The Other World Must Be Revealed
When we rebel against God because we are blind and deaf to the truth, only a revelation from outside the world that makes our self-deception possible, in fact requires it, can cure us. Something must break our world apart and allow us finally to see and hear. That other world must be revealed.
The Christian claim is that the other world has been revealed. It has been revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (Jn. 14:6): he is the way to the Father; in him the truth of an alternative to sin is revealed; his life reveals real life, life with God.
Jesus has come to break apart the world of sin in which we live. He, not doctrines or principles, is the revelation of the alternative to life in a fallen world. And the promise is that if we will come to him, he will bring us into another world:
He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation. Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price. Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance. Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden (2 Ne. 26:24-28).
Like the palm-frond waving crowds of Jerusalem, we too should exult in his coming and the invitation he extends. We too should come to him and cry, "Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Jn. 12:13).
James Faulconer is a Richard L. Evans Professor of Religious Understanding at Brigham Young University, where he has taught philosophy since 1975.