Wednesday, September 2, 2015
"For God so loved the world, that he gave
his only Son, that whoever believes in him
should not perish but have eternal life."
(John 3:16 ESV)
A couple of times this week I've had a surreal experience. The people around me, in the street or in a store, would suddenly appear to be wandering around in a stupor, oblivious to what was about to come.
At first I contemplated writing a short story with this scene as its preface, but those thoughts were soon overshadowed by more foreboding ones as the words from Matthew 24:37-39 popped into mind--As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
I wanted to scream and scream, "Wake, up, wake up!" I wanted to loudly proclaim the message of the Gospel. But I didn't. I remained silent as I continued to observe the passers by. And yet how differently that would have played out had I seen someone headed towards some imminent danger such as a cavernous hole in the sidewalk. It would have been unconscionable of me not to warn them about it, even yanking them aside if necessary. So why this hesitation when the threat is spiritual and, therefore, invisible? For me, it's the fear of rejection, of being judged, but I know that I can't let those fears stop me any longer. There's too much at stake.
Don't be deceived, as I once was, into thinking that there are many paths to God, or that we get to Heaven by being good. Although we were created to have fellowship with the Lord, Adam and Eve's sin caused us to be born into a fallen world. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," and in Romans 6:32, that "the wages of sin is death." Because of sin, a vast gulf separates us from our Heavenly Father, and there is no way we can cross it through our own efforts. Only one path can lead us to eternal life, and that is Jesus, "The way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through [Him]" (John 14:6).
The good news is that "God so loved the world [you and me included] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). God loves you so much that even if you were the only person on this Earth, He would still have sent Jesus to die for your sins so you could be forgiven and set free.
This gift of salvation that is being handed to you can only be received by grace, through faith. It cannot be earned by good works (Ephesians 2:8-9), and as much as it is not God's will for anyone to perish, He will not impose His will on you or force you to accept it. The choice is yours.
Jesus stands at the door of your heart, knocking and waiting for you to answer (Revelation 3:20). I pray that you would open the door before it is too late, and accept His invitation to enter your life, forgive you of your sins, and make you a new creation.