Do You Know Jesus?
I had a great uncle who had a close brush with death during the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. His mother had three stars in her window during WWII and another son who went to Korea. She prayed for her children relentlessly, especially when they were overseas and God in His mercy brought them all back. I'm told people would sometimes get uncomfortable around Uncle Norman, because he would come right out and ask them “Do you know Jesus”?
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the
kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God
cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!
for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
But to me this is the perfect question, because it isn't about calling yourself a “Christian” really, even our current president calls himself one. It isn't about denominations either. So many people today talk about Jesus and do things in His name yet they've missed the point; they've missed why He actually died for all our sins. Sure, He died that we might have eternal life, praise His name! But that wasn't really Christ's motivation but a means to an end. So why did He die specifically? So that He could have fellowship with us for eternity.
The law and the prophets were until John: since that
time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
How many eyebrows are raised these days when people say that God talks to them? Do you think you are a prophet or something special? No! In the Old Testament days only the prophets and priesthood heard from God. But under the New Covenant those of us who have had a true conversion experience have His Holy Spirit indwelling us. Folks, if you do not hear from God there is something desperately wrong with your salvation!
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we
not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy
name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never
knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Yes, some out there rattle off a few quick prayers to God then go back to their TV or personal distraction devices and wonder why they don't hear anything back. He isn't the center of their lives, just an accessory, or even worse an insurance policy for the hereafter that’s been long forgotten.
I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not
smell in your solemn assemblies.
The church system is largely to blame for this, getting people to believe they can enter Heaven by giving God mere lip service once a week. News Flash: God doesn't need your tithes. He doesn't want your songs or pagan holidays like Christmas (Yule - winter solstice) and Easter (Ishtar - spring equinox) name changed and re-gifted to him. He wants not just a personal relationship with us, but to be the front and center in our lives. Not only that, but He will not settle for anything less. Scripture is clear; if He doesn't know you you're not getting into Heaven, no exceptions.
Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?
By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth:
I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in
the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I
sought him, but I found him not. The watchmen that go about the city found
me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? It was but a little that
I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and
would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and
into the chamber of her that conceived me.
Who is the real Jesus? We may shake our fists at Him and deny Him if we wish. He doesn't force Himself on any of us because He respects our free wills. But if we sincerely want God we must pursue Him relentlessly. Sometimes He seems so far away and we must diligently seek Him. This pleases Him very much. The true Bride knows that He is worth seeking to the ends of the earth until we find Him. This is the meaning of pressing into the kingdom (Luke 16:16 KJV).
But the apostate church has turned the relationship backwards; to them He is the pursuer. Their false Christ is a spineless wimp of a husband, whipped by His bride like the men of this world. She believes she is ‘liberated’ from obeying Him. They portray a Christ who ignores all of our unrepented sins and just wants to shower us with blessings all day. This Christ is a counterfeit; they never knew the true Christ. If we are not pursuing Christ as the woman in the above passage we will not find Him.
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer
darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Many reject God without ever getting to know Him first. But as frightening as that is, what is perhaps more terrifying is the fate of those who have accepted Christ conceptually but never bothered to get to know Him personally. They believe they will skip into Heaven based on an empty commitment made under emotional circumstances. But in fact they never actually counted the cost, signed the contract or closed the deal.
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