Risking Self Condemnation?
Message No. 0671 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca
I may not be so old, but from my little time here on earth, I am old enough to know that no one hates himself or herself. Indeed, the Bible confirms this in Ephesians 5:29:
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
We all work hard and advocate hard for good things for ourselves. We create pressure groups to ensure that we are not denied our rights and we seek to live in nice homes, drive nice cars and have other good things in life. The question is, if we work so tirelessly to ensure that we live good lives and provide good things for our families. Why then do we so recklessly ignore our future home where we live for eternity? Actually, to start with, why are most people so uninterested in taking the steps that will guarantee them admission into this eternal home?
During Jesus’ time here on earth, Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews. It is no secret that the Pharisees hated Jesus, because they saw Him as a small boy who wanted to prove that He knew more than the established religious leadership in all of Israel. However, Nicodemus knew that something was wrong or that something was missing in his life and he, albeit reluctantly, admitted that Jesus was different, in a good way, and wanted to learn something from Him. He also knew that something was wrong with the way the Pharisees administered religion. He, sort of, knew that what they were doing would not lead him to where he wanted to go.
So, reluctantly, Nicodemus came to Christ, and he began by establishing the fact of what he already knew: “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God was with him.” Well, that was some admission! I am sure that his colleagues would disagree with him, but that’s besides the point. Nicodemus was willing to risk everything, including his reputation and standing in the society, to pursue something that was bigger than his ego. He wanted answers to his questions and clarifications to his confusions.
Nicodemus may have been more confused by Jesus’ answers, as He told him pointedly, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ answer has not changed one bit since the day He gave it to Nicodemus. The same answer goes for everyone of us. If you are not born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God. You may be a good person, and that’s nice, but that doesn’t cut it. You may be very successful or extremely wealthy, but that does not take anyone beyond the grave. The only way that you see heaven, the only way that you see God, and the only way you have eternal life, is to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Every other achievement of man here on earth is utter rubbish, and I am very sorry to state it this way as I do not wish to make light of what anyone has achieved for himself or herself.
Jesus was so deliberate in His response to Nicodemus that He went further to ensure that he got it. In John chapter 3 verses 17 and 18, Jesus further told Nicodemus:
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Now, you might be a risk taker with a high propensity to gamble to see what happens in the end. Unfortunately, waiting to see what happens in the end is the same thing as condemning yourself already, because God’s Words cannot change. He declared it to Nico, and He is declaring it to everyone of us even today. We only have the assurance of eternal life by acting right now. In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man took high risks and gambled until the end. What he discovered shocked him and his efforts to prevent his loved ones from taking the same risks were fruitless.
Please do not gamble this. The results are clear and sealed. Why would you condemn yourself when God has not condemned you? Wouldn’t you rather surrender your life today than wait until it’s too late? No amount of prayer and fasting by your loved ones can work when you are already in the grave. Prayers asking God to forgive your sins at this point are only exercises in time-wasting. Today is the right time for your decision. For the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:2:
For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
Tomorrow might just be too late. Would you please surrender your life today?
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PLEASE ACT NOW: If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer: Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen. If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!