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So near yet so far
- Jacob Ninan
When Jesus was on earth there were multitudes who followed Him around. He did heal their sick, cast out demons and do miracles for them. These were 'signs' for them to realise that He was the Son of God who had come to be their Saviour (Jn.2:11). But just 'following' Jesus like that did not make them part of the kingdom of God. For that Jesus preached the Gospel to them, saying that they should repent from their sins and believe in the Gospel (Mk.1:15). Of course, the Gospel reached its completion when Jesus died and rose from the dead.
Jesus was not impressed with people who followed Him around merely to receive benefits from Him or to witness miracles (Jn.6:26), and He impressed upon them to receive the Good News (v.27). We can believe that this continues to be one of Jesus' burdens even now. Crowds are still after Him for food, healing and miracles. But comparatively very few are actually seeking Him as their Saviour.
Why is it that in spite of so much preaching about Jesus people aren't going to Him to find salvation? How can they unless someone tells them? Preachers these days are very sensitive not to offend the hearers, and so they don't talk about sin or hell. They talk about the love of God which is acceptable to all people. Who doesn't like to receive this love of God especially when it is being offered for free? So one has to only 'accept' this love from this Jesus and then one will be fixed up for eternity! Deception!
People aren't looking for a Saviour because they don't see any need for one. God loves them, doesn't He, and what else do they need? This loving God will never send them to hell. Hell is, after all, something made up by old time preachers who wanted to scare people. We know better, don't we? So they think, and deceive themselves. These 'nice' preachers are the ones who deceive them!
Imagine people flocking around Jesus and yet being so far away from Him! The righteousness of God will demand us to give an account for every deed (Mt.16:27) and every careless word (12:36), and He will look into every hidden thought and intention of our heart (He.4:12). None of us can get through this examination because we have all sinned in many ways and come far short of His standards (Ro.3:23). We are sinners. Hell is the place prepared for Satan and his demons and sinners (Re.20:15).
But the love of God has provided a Saviour for us. If we acknowledge our sins and repent from them, He will forgive us, make us His children and take us to be with Him.
How can people believe in the Saviour without knowing that without Him they would be headed for hell? How can we appreciate the gift of forgiveness unless we know what we really deserve? How can we seek God for victory over sin until we begin to loathe sin that caused us to be judged by God in the first place?
Let's wake up, preachers, writers and all who work to pass on the Gospel. Make sure it's the truth.