Believing in God Is Not Enough (Part 2 of 5)
Belief is more than agreeing that God exists. The demons believe that (James 2:19), but they will be on the wrong side of the pearly gates. Belief is more than agreeing that the Bible is true, that Jesus is God’s Son and that he died on the cross for the sins of the world.
True belief includes trusting in and doing what God says. Such faith transforms our “ugly duckling” character into an increasingly beautiful “swan.” Without it we cannot possibly please God (Hebrews 11:6).
Good tennis players watch the ball. It moves, whereas the lines on the court don’t. Wherever the ball goes— left or right, high, or low— they watch it.
Amid the unpredictable, ever changing circumstances of life, Christians keep their eyes on Jesus. They don’t rely on faith or their own goodness. They trust their eternal destiny to Jesus alone and His finished work on the cross. They depend upon His resources to meet everyday problems. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Circumstances change. He does not. Jesus’ character and promises are the object of the Christian’s faith.
Belief is centered in a living person. Jesus rose from the dead and is alive today! In 2016 the American people did not elect George Washington. They selected and put their faith in a living person—Donald Trump. Christians put their faith in Jesus. They know Him and He knows them (John 10:14). They listen to His voice (John 10:27). They share His peace (John 14:27), joy (John 15:11), resources (John 16:24), and mission (John 20:21). He is their Shepherd. He loves them (John 15:9) and gives His life for them (John 10:15).
God’s final judgment is a raging class five hurricane somewhere over the horizon. No radar can detect it. Jesus is the Captain of the only ship, the church, that will survive it. No one forces us to enter His vessel and join His crew. We can build our own boat and captain it ourselves. We can take our chances with some other boat. The choice is real and personal.
Don’t imagine we are inside a safe ship with a decision to stay or leave. We are in a rocking rowboat. The question isn’t whether the hurricane will hit— it is when. Rejecting Jesus’ offer to take us aboard means we are still in the rowboat. Putting off the decision means the same. Our decision is the most important we will ever make. It has eternal consequences.
Belief is a personal response. I can accept or reject Jesus and all He offers. Putting the choice off is rejection on the installment plan.
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