Jesus stated that He came into this world “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10). The apostle Paul reiterated that very truth: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Tim. 1:15). In regard to this purpose for His coming, our Lord extended the great invitation: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29). The natural question is, “How can I come to the Lord?”
Our society seems to place a great deal of emphasis on love. Some of it is good, some not so good. Some of it is more surface level, feel good rhetoric than substantive action. Many people are quick to judge others as being unloving, or even hateful, who do not conform to their superficial standard of love. Increasingly, such standards have become pretty open ended. Love should be long suffering, but even Godly love is not without limits. When it comes to our salvation, and when it comes to teaching the gospel to lost souls, just what does love demand?
Information is power! But only if the information is listened to and heeded. Many people receive valuable information that can help them in a variety of ways, but instead of paying attention to it and implementing it into their lives, they ignore it. As a result, they do not benefit from its value at all. Endless examples could be cited.
It’s war! It’s already been declared, on us! We have no choice in the matter. There’s no negotiating for peace. We’re caught in the middle, and there’s no escape. Battles are being fought in our streets from house to house at this very moment. Casualties are high. The enemy is ruthless, merciless, bloodthirsty. He is not limiting his vicious attacks to able bodied men. Women and children equally are being lined up in his crosshairs, and many are dying. He will accept no appeasement., no compromise, no truce. Only our total destruction will satisfy him. Confusion reigns. Many are in agony. Death is everywhere. The stench of decay fills the air. We must fight relentlessly. We must hold our ground. We can never surrender. We must win or die, forever...
A great deal is said these days about values. Family values, life values, the value of life itself. What do people mean when they speak of such values? And where do these values come from?
Jesus went to the cross to die to pay the price for the guilt of the sins of all humanity for all time (Heb. 9:27-28). For all humanity? Yes, for all humanity. For all time? Yes, for all time. But Jesus’ dying on the cross holds its greatest meaning for you when you view it as having been done for you. You personally. You cannot make the death of Jesus have meaning for all humanity. You can only make His death have meaning based upon how you personally react to it. So, are you worth the death of Jesus?
Everybody wants to be happy. In fact, there may be more emphasis in our society right now than ever before on finding happiness. There’s a lot of focus on having a job you can be happy with. Some people move to different locations in the pursuit of happiness. Wives leave husbands and husbands leave wives because they’re just not happy. Teenagers are committing suicide at a staggering rate because they’re unhappy. Happiness seems to be elusive to many people. But a profound question should be, “Where do you look for happiness?”
The state of being described in the scriptures as “in Christ” is unique. It describes a special, personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a relationship so deeply meaningful that I’m not sure we can fully understand all that goes with it. It is not simply having a relationship with Christ, it is truly being in Him. Indeed, the scriptures speak of being “baptized into Christ” (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).
There is an exhortation in scripture that is appropriate for all people of all ages seeking truth on any subject: “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord…” (Isa. 1:18). Truth need not fear examination. Indeed, genuine truth shines all the brighter under the microscope of scrutiny. The apostle Peter instructed to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;” (1 Pet. 3:15).
A Christian should stand out in the crowd. Not in the sense that he should purposely call undue attention to himself, but from the perspective of character a Christian should be distinct from the world.
Gary L. Hutchens