Do you know that we have the news that saves nations? Do you realize that we are on a holy mission, with very little time and none to spare? Do you know that folks all around us are dropping like flies, and headed straight for a lake of fire and brimstone, and we are worried about what they will think of US if we say something about it?
One of my favorite passages in Scripture (though I use that loosely, since I probably have a least a hundred favorite passages in the Holy Book), is Hebrews 11, where He outlines some pretty substantial home run hitters of our faith. Some of them saw miraculous healing and preservation, and some of them were physically destroyed for their faith, and the truth is, there wasn’t all that much difference between the two, because they were both headed for a different Country, a heavenly one… to Zion. This is still our story. Sometimes we win, and sometimes we seem to lose. But we never really lose, because we have Jesus for our Captain!
Look at Moses, who died just before entering the Promised Land. From humanity’s view, he seems to have missed out on what he had been journeying for, for 40 years… but seriously? I think I’d much rather head to Heaven than to any earthly promised land, and his earthly death was a rapid entrance into heaven.
In Psalm 84 (another one of my favorite passages in the whole Bible), it says “How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.” Another translation says, “Whose heart is set on pilgrimage”.
I guess this is just a charge to us… to those chosen messengers of God, sent on mission, to tell this broken, blazing world of a God so glorious, so loving, so gracious, that He strung Himself up so that we could live in freedom! But we will forget to tell them, if our hearts are hung up in the temporal, superficial, not-so-important world, rather than having our compass set towards Zion.
Hey Church, Jesus isn’t to be ashamed of. I don’t know who told you that, or when we actually started to believe it. Just because the culture doesn’t want to hear that we all need a Savior, doesn’t mean that we should pretend like we don’t. Because we all really, really do. And people are dying. Let’s not play Russian Roulette and hope that folks figure it out on their own before it’s too late.
We are all broken. We all need rescued and made whole. And this news, well, it’s glorious! We, Church, are being pushed into a corner day by day and told that the good news is the bad news, that our Jesus is small, or judgmental.. but the truth of the matter is that He’s greater and larger and more incredible than anything we’ve ever imagined down here. Jesus isn’t here to bind people into slavery, He’s here to set the spiritually enslaved free! He isn’t a God whose purpose is to condemn, but a God Who took our just condemnation into His own hands, and suffered a miserable, excruciating death, and all the crushing weight of all the condemnation for our sin, on Himself. This is the best news of all.
There is a God, who isn’t just trying to make people feel “good” about themselves at the expense of truth, like a doctor intentionally misdiagnosing your terminal illness, so that you can feel better about yourself, rather than helping cure you. He tells it like it is. We’re broken. We’re sinful. We’re in dire straights. And He took our spiritual cancer into His own body, so that we could be made instantly whole.
We’ve spent an entire planet’s life cycle rejecting His ways, His truth, His goodness. But He hasn’t left us as orphans. He has made a way that we could have complete freedom, and life and joy. We don’t even have to fix ourselves, or polish ourselves up. We can just have free, abundant life! And all we have to do is say “yes” to the Gift! All we have to do is let Him take our cancer. (And maybe a “Thank You” would be an appropriate response.)
Hey World, It would be absolutely hateful of me not to tell you that you’re broken and you need a Savior. Jesus is it. He’s the Good One. He is God’s remedy for your sin and shame and death. I know because He’s my remedy, too. The only difference between you and I is that I’ve received a full pardon. But that doesn’t make me any better… just free.
Hey Church, Don’t be ashamed to tell people that they’re dying without Him, but that they can live forever in bliss with Him. And don’t you neglect to remember it either, because this world ain’t our home, and He is all that matters in the end! In truth, He’s all that matters in the now! I’d give it all up to have Jesus, but I’d never give Him up for any or even all of the world’s riches and honor and gifts. There’s nothing in all of creation as soul-fulfilling as He is! And there’s nothing else that matters in the end. Someday we’re all going to be standing before a Throne, and I’m confident that all the treasures of this world will have faded by then, and not matter a lick to any of us when we’re standing there.
Hey World and Church, I love you both! I mean that… desperately. I love you so much my heart aches. I hope you know it.