I call you friends, in the same
manner as Jesus did with us:
"I no longer call you servants, because
a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends,
for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." (John
You're looking for answers to all
the things that are happening in the world - where did we all go? What does
it mean? What can you expect?
You have the unique privelege of
being a member of the last generation, a generation that gets to see first-hand
the works and wonders of God in our world. You may doubt this is so, but God
knows your reluctance from thousands of years ago, when He said through Isaiah:
"Whom have you so dreaded and feared
that you have been false to me, and have neither remembered me nor pondered
this in your hearts? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not
fear me?" (Is. 57:11)
In our world, we're accustomed to
believing spiritual matters based on personal insight and study. Jesus knew
this was coming as well. In His conversation with the apostle Thomas after the
Resurrection, He said to Thomas:
"Because you have seen me, you have
believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John
In the current age, God is often
denied and rejected because of the incredible events we read of inside His Word:
Creation, the Flood, the Plagues of Egypt, the Red Sea, the Pillar of Fire,
the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection... The argument goes, "How can a rational
person believe in such things, when you've never seen them yourself?" It seems
like foolishness! But as the Bible tells us:
"But God chose the foolish things
of the world to shame the wise." (1 Cor 1:27)
God has once again performed a feat
which cannot be explained away by science, rational thought, analysis or understanding.
As He did with the resurrection, God has used one action to declare to the world
that He exists, that He is Lord of all, and that He wants our attention focused
God now has your attention, and you
are now faced with a question:
What will you do with this new knowledge
Jesus tells us in John 17 that knowing
the Lord - knowing Him, and not just knowing about Him - is the key to salvation:
"This is eternal life: that they
may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
When we know the Lord, when we acknowledge
who He is and what He can do, we place ourselves in the proper frame to understand
and accept what He has done for us in the death and resurrection of Christ.
You now know of God, of His power
and His dominion over the earth. You have seen that He makes a distinction between
those who follow His leading and those who do not. Every home missing someone
this day testifies to this. You have heard of God, of His perfection and His
expectations of you:
"No one is to appear before Me empty-handed."
"No man should appear before the
LORD empty-handed." (Deut. 16:16)
But what shall you bring to Him?
What can you present that might impress such an exalted personage as the Creator
of the Universe? All the gold and silver are his. But the Lord tells us what
He expects of those who wish to know Him:
"The sacrifices of God are a broken
spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." (Psalm 51:17)
A broken heart, a contrite heart,
is one that recognizes that we can do nothing without God - and that we deserve
to be cast aside. And we know God is merciful:
"He is patient with you, not wanting
anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
Repenting - agreeing with God that
we personally have failed and sinned against Him - leads us to a place where
we cry out for mercy, for forgiveness of our transgressions against God, His
plan for our lives that we haven't followed, His blessings for us which we have
wasted and squandered. "If only something could be done for me," we cry!
"When he saw Jesus, he fell with
his face to the ground and begged him, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make
me clean." (Luke 5:12)
"But so that you may know that the
Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." Then he said to the paralytic,
"Get up, take your mat and go home." And the man got up and went home." (Matthew
"And God placed all things under
(Christ's) feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church."
God has indeed done something for
us - He died for our sins to pay the penalty we owed. And in the Resurrection,
He showed that He would accept this sacrifice on our behalf by raising Jesus
from the dead and placing Him in power and authority, in the place of Judgement:
"This will take place on the day
when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares."
God has done whatever it takes to
get the attention of the world, so that we might know that He has made a way
for us to be with Him for eternity.
"In my Father's house are many rooms;
if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place
for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take
you to be with Me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:2-3)
However, God will not force the issue,
nor will He accept any false coin. Many are sure to be scratching their heads
right now, wondering how it is that so many prominent "people of the cloth"
could have been left behind.
Yet God searches the heart. He wants
to know if you *know* Him - who He is, what He expects from you. He is not impressed
with who we are, or what we own, or what we do.
It's often been said that there are
"many paths to God." But Jesus said:
"I am the Way, the truth, and the
life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)
Jesus has a fate in store for those
who fail to acknowledge God and who try to earn their way on their own merit:
"Not everyone who says to me, `Lord,
Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my
Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we
not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many
miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you
evildoers!'" (Matthew 7:21-23)
Jesus - the Judge - doesn't dispute
the works done on His behalf. But He does reject them - and anything else we
try to offer God for our redemption. Only knowing Christ will save us.
You may cry out "I've missed it!
I've missed the greatest opportunity!" Be of good cheer. God's people in Israel
also feared this:
"The harvest is past, the summer
has ended, and we are not saved!!" (Jeremiah 8:20)
Yet God's promise - which you now
understand - still applies to you! God does not change!
"Because God wanted to make the unchanging
nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed
it with an oath." (Hebrews 6:17)
In the days before Christ, the faithful
of God trusted that He would provide a way that they might be acceptable in
"I know that my Redeemer lives, and
that in the End, He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God!" (Job 19:25-26)
In the time after Christ, we are
blessed with knowing much more about this same Redeemer - but the faith is the
same! And God's response to that faith is the same (This verse is especially
"And everyone who calls on the name
of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be
deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls."
I encourage you to cry out to the
LORD this very moment! Don't cry over the time which has passed, but rejoice
that God in His great mercy has given you this chance to come to Him and be
of the Family! He is waiting to accept you, just as you are, and to bring you
to His side.
The times ahead may seem ominous
and frightening. Jesus knows this, which is why He told us:
"I have told you these things, so
that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take
heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Dear Friend, I hope and pray that
you have accepted the Lord into your life and are trusting in Him. Do not doubt
that we are watching from above and praying for you, that Chirst would strengthen
you through these final moments before He returns in glory.
On that Day, that mighty and wonderful
Day, we shall meet face to face and embrace, and - together - we shall enter
eternal life in Christ Jesus!
With much love