Are you telling the people in your life about Jesus Christ and the acceptance we have with God through Him? Are you trying your best to impress on them that He is real, that the accounts in the Bible really happened, and that it is vitally important for them to come to Christ Jesus? Have you made peace with God through Jesus yourself?
“We are careful not to judge people by what they seem to be, though we once judged Christ in this way. Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace between himself and others. What we mean is that God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And he has given us the work of sharing his message about peace. We were sent to speak for Christ, and God is begging you to listen to our message. We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God. Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so Christ could make us acceptable to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:16-21 CEV)
Before He physically went up to heaven, Jesus told those who followed Him to, “…go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize [wash] them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you…” (Matthew 28:19-20 NCV) This instruction wasn’t just for those people present when He spoke these words two thousand years ago; it was for all who follow Him in any age, including us today. The command still stands–we are to make followers of everyone, baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything Jesus taught.
But how are we to make people followers of Jesus? Is there a special formula? What exactly are we supposed to tell them? And what if they don’t get it, or don’t believe, or even openly reject what we’re trying to pass on to them–what are we to do if they don’t respond like we’d hoped?
So here’s the thing: the message of Jesus is for everyone, and for all times, because the God of the Bible is not just the God of the Ancient Jews–He’s not some kind of regional deity–He is everyone’s God.
There was, actually, a time when everyone did know Him; then sin contaminated our world. And it tainted our understanding of God and separated us from Him, and then no one knew Him anymore. Eventually, God chose a small people group–the descendants of Abraham through Isaac–through which to reveal Himself to the rest of the world. The laws He gave, the system He set up for them was intended to show the rest of the world in some small way what real life was like–holiness, friendship with Him, the absence of sin no one retained a memory of anymore.
And there was a plan to fix the problem from the beginning. It was that eventually God Himself, in the person of His Son, would be physically born into that nation to pay the penalty of judgment on sin in our place and open the door to rightness with God again, for all who trust in Jesus for forgiveness and acceptance. So why aren’t we erecting more buildings to contain the overflow of those pressing into our churches on Sunday morning? Why are most people pretty much oblivious to Him, living their lives as if He doesn’t exist or is irrelevant?
Well, I’m not sure I know. Maybe it’s because it’s so easy to ignore Him these days. We’re not being taught about Him in school everyday anymore like we used to be up until about seventy or so years ago. We don’t hear about it in the media, except to perhaps cast doubt on its veracity or on the integrity of its adherents when someone does something obviously wrong. It is, in fact–incredibly–totally possible to live out pretty much your entire life avoiding dealing with the fact that He exists and provided a solution for the gap between what we are and what we were intended to be.
But–and here’s the kicker–we’ve got an expiration date–a date with destiny, so to speak. So even if we’ve avoided facing God our entire life, we’re going to nonetheless give an account for it at the moment of death–each and every one of us. “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV) Carl Sagan and Steven Hawking and all of the other dead famous, infamous and unknown individuals who were convinced there is nothing beyond the grave have already seen God; you will too someday.
So what’s the problem? Why is it so hard to convince people God is real and we need to pay attention to Him now, while we’re still alive? Jesus Himself explained why:
“God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! No one who has faith in God’s Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn’t have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God’s only Son. The light has come into the world, and people who do evil things are judged guilty because they love the dark more than the light. People who do evil hate the light and won’t come to the light, because it clearly shows what they have done. But everyone who lives by the truth will come to the light, because they want others to know that God is really the one doing what they do.” (John 3:16-21 CEV)
Jesus opened the door; there is no reason for any of us to suffer eternity separated from Him! The only reason remaining is if you harden your heart and refuse to hear what He says–if you want no part of Him. Don’t do it! Nothing in your life–no pleasure, no fulfillment, no love–is worth being separated from Him now or in eternity!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for what You have done, and that You accept everyone who comes to You. I come to You–forgive me; accept me! Amen.