The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews encourages us to “consider Him” (Hebrews 12:3). Yet, why should I consider Jesus and especially why should I consider Him as the Savior of the world? Out of all the options in that exist in our world for answers or solutions to the problems and challenges of life, why should I opt for Jesus as my Redeemer?
To Begin With/A Short List
- His life was clearly predicted centuries in advance of His birth, and such predictions were in print: Isaiah 53
- His life was predicted in a set of books that equally announced that the earth was a circle (Isaiah 40:22) and that God hangs the earth on nothing (Job 26:7), centuries before man and his technology caught up with such truths.
- He delivered to us the highest moral standard known to man.
- Among all religious and non-religious leaders, He is the only one with an empty tomb.
- He worked miracles, which were even acknowledged by His enemies (Matthew 12:24).
- He answered the most complicated questions of the time with ease, and both the questions and the answers are recorded for our consideration (Matthew 22).
- He was free from sin (1 Peter 2:21). There is no scandal that surrounds Him.
- His teachings form the basis for Western Civilization and the Constitution of the United States.
- The application of His teachings would solve all our social problems (Matthew 7:12).
- His teachings when applied work in all cultures and in all places and times.
Do You Need Saving?
Some in our culture would probably say no, and say it defiantly. Yet my question for all of us is, are we struggling with any of the behaviors and attitudes mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21 or Romans 1:29-32? I would also ask myself the following questions if I thought that I did not need to be saved:
- Do I know who I am?
- Do I know why I exist?
- Do I know the purpose of my existence?
- Do I know where and what I should be?
- Do I have doubts about just about everything?
- Am I my own worst enemy? Am I forming habits that make it very difficult to sustain healthy relationships with other people? Am I causing a lot of drama?
- Am I becoming more and more selfish and resenting when I have to take time out of my life to help others? Do I dislike being asked to do things?
- Am I becoming more grateful for my life, my opportunities and my blessings or increasingly frustrated, angry, bitter, resentful, cynical and discouraged?
- Am I becoming someone who believes that everything I do matters, and that all my actions will be ripples that spread out over time (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14), or that nothing that I do matters?
- Am I becoming a light or blight in the world?
- Does my current attitude make me someone who is useful in this world or someone who is difficult to deal with?
- Am I causing more problems or messes than I am helping to clean up and solve?
How Cooperative Are You?
When it comes to what is in your best physical, emotional, mental, relationship, spiritual and eternal interest, are you taking care of yourself or making things harder on yourself? If you find that you are getting in the way of your own best future interest, then that is one more indication that you need Christ.
What Can Save You?
In the Gospel of John we learn in the first fourteen verses:
- All things were created through Jesus: 1:1-3
- Jesus is God: 1:1
- Jesus assumed human flesh so He could die for our sins: 1:14
- Jesus reveals “God” to us like no other: 1:18
I personally know of no other path of redemption that is based on such pure and raw power. The very One who brought the entire universe into existence with simply a command (Psalm 33:6,9), is the same One who died was raised and opened up the path for genuine forgiveness.
What Will Work Until the End?
Most of us will live for some 80 years and whatever path or plan we choose we need to select a course of action that will work today, tomorrow, decades from now, when we are dying and after death. The world has always been filled with the latest fad that comes and goes (Ephesians 4:14).
- The gospel of Jesus Christ reached and pulled people out from addictive and destructive behaviors 2000 years ago (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) and is still doing that to this day. Am I just one living example.
- So what is going to work today and every day after that?
- As you are considering your choice you will observe others in your generation choosing paths that have never really worked in the past, such as atheism, agnosticism, hedonism, or communism.
- History has demonstrated that such viewpoints do not uplift the human race. They do not result in a better self. They typically result in mass suffering, despair, and bringing out the worst in people.
What Will Hold/Be True Decades from Now?
- Even college textbooks are constantly being edited and revised, yet the Bible has remained the same and is still just as relevant as ever.
- The Bible has outlasted empires and other religions. The Bible has outlasted persecution and attacks.
- Read the Bible and ask yourself. Will this still work for me in 10 years? Will this still work for me during all the storms and ups and downs of life? Will this hold in tough times? Will this still hold together under intense scrutiny?
- Jesus claimed that building your life upon Him and His teachings is like a man who build his house upon the rock (Matthew 7:24ff).
Free/Or A Puppet for Someone Else?
If you read and follow the Bible, at least you will speak the truth, rather than merely being a mouth-piece for someone else.
What Will Bring Out the Best In You?
- If you are old enough to understand this lesson then you probably already have an idea what the worst of you looks like. If you opt for the path of the world, the lust of the eyes, flesh and the pride of life, the result will be the worst of you emerging and remaining. Hopefully, you know yourself well enough and you are honest enough to realize that “doing your own thing” or “doing whatever feels good at the moment” is not what you need to hear.
- Without Jesus, the best of you will not emerge. Rather, a distorted or corrupted form of you will arise (Ephesians 4:18-22).
- Rather than opting for what seems easy right now, seriously consider who you want to become in the future. Do you want to become someone who is bent or twisted in various ways? Do you really want to become or remain for the rest of your life someone who simply is said to have “issues”?
- I find it significant that when high profile celebrities self-destruct because of adherence to various sins that such individuals are often said to be battling “their own demons”. Do you want a future in which you battle “your demons”? Is doing whatever you want and ignoring God worth that?
- Or, your future could be the future that is described in 2 Peter 1:5-11. You could be like Joseph, who was useful, valuable, and changing the lives of those around him wherever he was in life. The world has enough blight, how about opting to be a light? Where you are always heading towards the better, even better where you are now (Philippians 1:21-23).
Mark Dunagan | firstname.lastname@example.org
Beaverton Church of Christ | 503-644-9017