Over the past few months God continues to burden my heart to reach the lost around me. At times I am driving through the busy streets of Grande Prairie and feel overwhelmed with how few of these people I am passing by probably know Christ; not simply know about Christ, but rather know him as Saviour and Lord. I would go so far to say that if you profess Christ and yet have no concern for the lost, you ought to test yourself and see that you be in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5). For, if we truly believe that there is a day appointed by God on which He will judge all of mankind and that no amount of good deeds will be sufficient for our entrance into His eternal Kingdom, then it would only seem logical that we would also seek to warn others of such a day. Conversely, to simply warn someone of a certain and fatal judgement coming and not tell them the way of escape would be equally as cruel as to not tell them the one way of escape made possible. Therefore, as Christians we must not only be warning people about judgement day that is to come but we must also be pointing them to the way, the truth and life; namely Jesus Christ. Clearly in the scripture we find that Christ is the only provision given by God for us to escape such a day. We read, “No one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6.
Perhaps I can borrow and illustration from Matt Slick to help unpack why Christ alone can save us. Say you came to my house and broke my lamp. I look at you and say, “I forgive you” and then I turn to you wife and ask her to pay me back for it! Is that forgiveness? Obviously not, for I cannot both forgive you and then ask someone else to pay for it. We quickly see that in order for me to truly forgive you, then I myself must be the one to take the payment of replacing the lamp upon myself and not require anything of you. While illustrations have their limitations, this little hypothetical story helped me understand why Christ alone could pay for our sin and why Christ must then be God incarnate, Emanuel, God with us. For if God looked upon mankind and desired to forgive those who call upon him, then he cannot send the angel Michael (which is what the Jehovah’s witness teach), to pay for sin. He cannot send a prophet or a “good man” to pay for sin for that would not be forgiveness. No, clearly God Himself must make payment for our sin if He is going to truly forgive us our great debt against Him. And so, as Christ declared to be one with the Father and we see in the death and resurrection of Christ that God comes down in the person of Jesus and absorbs the wrath of the Father against Sin on the behalf of all who will call upon Him to be saved. This is the good news of the bible, that God has atoned for our sin in the person of Jesus Christ. And therefore, as those who claim to have experienced such an amazing grace, we must be compelled by the Spirit to make this message known in some capacity.
This is not to say that we all must stand on a box on a street corner and proclaim this message, although God no doubts calls men to do just that, but we must have this burden in our hearts and as a result seek to be involved in reaching the lost in whatever capacity the Lord has enabled us to do. For if we truly are filled with the Spirit of God, then He will be compelling us to make Christ known, for the Spirit loves to take what he hears and declare it unto us (Jn. 14:14), and likewise He loves to make much of Christ Jesus. God has instilled within us to share good news. Also, we have an innate tendency to warn others about danger. Sadly, sin has so distorted our perspective that we no long take the warnings of judgement seriously and it seems that often times we no longer see the work of Christ, through his death and resurrection, as good news; the best news in all the universe! How quick I am to share about my new son, or a great movie, or a tasty restaurant I ate at and yet how slow I often am to warn others about the fast approaching judgement and the great offer of deliverance from the certain wrath of God against such sin. I encourage you to cry out to God and plead with Him to awaken within your heart a seriousness about the gospel, and a deep and abiding conviction regarding the scriptures warnings about the wrath to come and the glory of what Jesus offers through His perfect sacrifice and his victorious resurrection from the dead. He holds out his righteousness for us to be clothed in, for he was clothed in our wretched rags; he holds out the certain hope of being glorified with him and welcomes us into His eternal Kingdom. The gospel does not demand that we first clean up our act, but simply that we forsake our sin and run to Christ. For then, once we have been made new by His Spirit and washed by Him, he begins to produce in us all that His Holy Law requires.