Friday, July 8, 2011

What Are You Going to Do with Jesus?

Recently, I have spoken with several people who have told me they do not attend church because they see so many hypocrites go to church and yet continue to lead lives that are morally corrupt. In other words, they live life like the devil and then pretend they are angels by going to church and participating in religious activities.

I suppose on the surface this seems like a logical decision. Why go to church if you believe everyone there is a hypocrite? Of course, you have to come to terms with the fact that you are letting people you perceive to be hypocrites rule your spiritual life. But even more important is the fact that this type of mindset precludes you from figuring out what you are going to do wtih Jesus Christ. And at some point, all of us have to to come terms with Jesus Christ on a personal level, separate from others.

Jesus took off his God-hood and became man for one simple purpose – to save sinners (Philippians 2:5-11). He makes no pretension about who He is or what He is offering. He is the Son of God and He alone has the power to forgive sins.

In his book Mere Christianity , C.S. Lewis, the great Christian apologist, acutely summarizes the work and mission of Jesus, “I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus]: ‘I am ready to accept Jesus as a great teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man, who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool; you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

The truth of the matter is we are all hypocrites. Romans 3:23 tells us that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The law of God constantly reminds us that we can never keep it. Any of it. That is why Jesus came – to offer us life that we may have it more abundantly in Him. (John 10:10)

It is always easy I suppose to look at others and their failures and shortcomings and feel pretty good about ourselves. Much like the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican that Jesus told in Luke chapter 18, we beat our chests and say to God, “Thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers…” The only issue is God does not see us like that. And that really is the beauty of Christianity. It is a personal relationship. Jesus never compares us with others and tells us repeatedly not to do the same.

All of us one day will be judged by God and His measuring stick will not be how we stacked up against others as so many presuppose, it will be His Word, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48)

I urge you not to put off getting to know Jesus because of others. His offer of salvation is too great to pass over and all that will matter in the end as you stand before Him will be if He knows you.
"The seeming peace a sinner has is not from the knowledge of his happiness but from the ignorance of his danger."

-Thomas Watson, Puritan

No comments: