The things that are happening in the world around us are incredibly sad. Murders at the hands of terrorists almost daily. Pandemics sickening many. Freedoms once taken for granted at risk in the name of social improvement. And yet rather than falling on our knees and crying out to our Creator, we are pushing him away. Rather than searching his Word for answers we are cherry-picking its messages to fit our own agendas. Rather than seeing Christ in Christmas – the only possible way to be saved from the coming tribulation – we assure ourselves that just being nice should do the trick.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only way to escape the coming judgement on this earth and subsequent judgement by the Creator of all is to cling to the righteousness of Christ alone. I know that the best of my best can never measure up to the holiness of God. I know that when he sent his Son, Jesus, to earth to live with us and then die for us it was the lifeline to a lost world that he loves and wants to redeem. I know that no other way I’ve heard lines up with who God is. And I know that to turn my back on the gift of grace extended on the cross is foolishness.
But what about those of you who don’t see it that way. What about those of you who believe that, if there is a God, he would be much more inclusive. You’re sure that all he expects is that we do our best, as if somehow anything we can do is worthy of eternity in the presence of his holiness. You’ve convinced yourself, with the help of deceitful teachers, that God didn’t really mean the things he said in his word – or that “if he had known” how things would be he wouldn’t have said this or that, as if the creator of the universe isn’t all-knowing. You cling to the notion that some vague “belief in a god” should cut it and somehow make you better than “them” – whoever “they” might be.
If you’re right, then Jesus suffered and died for no reason. If you’re right, then it will be interesting to see what the grading curve is to avoid hell. Or worse, maybe there is no hell and unrepentant murderers will be sharing a table with you in heaven. If that’s the case, it won’t look any better than this earth. Or maybe there’s no God, no heaven or hell, and the earth will just continue on and on until we all destroy it and each other. Then what was the point of our existence to begin with. Frankly, I like what I’m hoping in much better.
Now I have a question for you – what if you’re wrong? What if one day you wake up and Jesus has returned just like you heard he would? Will you hand him a list of all your good deeds? I assure you, he will have a list of your mistakes, as well. What will you say when he shows you the holes in his hands suffered on the cross to pay for your sins? Will you tell him those wounds were meant for the weak who needed religion as a crutch? How strong will you really feel in his presence knowing you denied him? Will you suddenly say now that you’re face-to-face with him that you believe – when everything he’s done all along to show you he was real wasn’t enough?
If you’re right – and Jesus isn’t anything more than a good man in history, or maybe even a myth, then I guess you have nothing to lose.
But if you’re wrong, and Jesus is the way, the truth and the life – as he said he was…If he is coming back to redeem those of us who put our faith in him and judge the rest of you once and for all…If the only way to know that you are saved from an eternity in hell is by putting your faith in the blood of Jesus to make you righteous. If you’re wrong – you have everything to lose.
Consult together, argue your case. Get together and decide what to say. Who made these things known so long ago? What idol ever told you they would happen? Was it not I, the LORD? For there is no other God but me, a righteous God and Savior. There is none but me. Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. I have sworn by my own name; I have spoken the truth, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to me. ” (Isaiah 45:21-23 NLT)
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NLT)
“Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed.” (Revelation 16:15 NLT)
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:3-4 NLT)