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Saturday, September 8, 2018

"Professing Themselves Wise"


As Christians we often wonder why the world seems to be so adamant in rejecting what we consider the most wonderful thing in the world. And that is the concept that Jesus died for our sins and that He offers us eternal life of bliss and blessedness rather than the death and decay that we see around us. Think about it, who would not want such a destiny? How can anyone reject such an offer? And all simply for our surrender to the One who sacrificed for us in the first place. The rewards we receive simply for acknowledging Jesus as Lord and serving him in this life is beyond compare.

And yet, millions, billions even, go to their graves facing suffering in hell because they don't want to exchange their lives for the life of Christ. Is it conceivable that anyone would be so foolish as to make such an exchange? We look at it and we are dumbfounded that people would say "I would rather go to hell than accept that my grandfather was lost" (the idea being that if you accept the truth of the gospel, then those who have gone before who did not are lost). "What you say makes sense, but I just don't want to stop doing what I'm doing." "If I become a Christian, my wife and children will leave me." This is just a sample of what you hear coming out of people's mouths in justification, so-called, for their rejection of Christ.

In Matthew chapter 19, a young, rich man comes to Christ wanting to know just what it was he had to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus at first tells him what the young man thought he wanted to hear. "Keep the commandments." The young man thought to himself "great, I've done that since I was a wee bit of a boy." And so he tells Jesus. What came next, however, literally rocked his world. For, you see, it is not enough to simply live an upright, moral life. People do so all the time. Who among us can't point to unbelievers who seem to put even believers to shame by how gentle and loving they appear to be. But Christ reminded this individual that the key to it all is the answer you give to "what will you do with Jesus"? Once he understood that it's Jesus or nothing, he went away sorrowful. His possessions were more important than the eternal life that he supposedly wanted to inherit.

The same question is asked today of every single individual that comes into this world. What will you do with Jesus? Will He be the wonderful, moral teacher that many would like Him to be? Will He be an example to emulate, but little more? Or will He be the Lord that demands complete and utter allegiance and without which no one can be saved. We are called to make this choice every day. Yes, every day. Simply because we believed the gospel once upon a time does not mean that we can now take our leisure, relax and let life go by while we "count our blessings." We must make Jesus Lord every single day of our lives. And therein is the challenge that far too many unbelievers just don't want to accept. “The entry fee into the kingdom is nothing. The subscription, however, is everything” said John Macarthur. And that is where many an unbeliever is unwilling to go.

You see, man wants to be in control. He wants to be the captain of his soul, the commander of his destiny. No one, not even God, is going to tell him what to do, where to go, how to live. If that is the price that he must pay--"sell all you have and give to the poor, and come follow ME!"—then he would rather be eternally lost. "I don't want to exchange what I have firmly in hand, for something that is somewhere out there in the future" you can hear him say. The unfortunate reality for him, however, is that that future will be here before he realizes it. He will then come face to face with the God whom he has spurned and the terror that will seize his heart will be more than he can bear.

We know that God is the only One who saves. Salvation, in truth, is of the Lord. But when we contemplate the fate of the unbelievers, we begin to understand just why Paul made his appeal the way he did: "we beg you in the name of the Lord, be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:18). Yes, it's that important. If we must beg, let us beg. If we must plead, let us plead. As Spurgeon so eloquently put it "If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for."





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