“Have you accepted Jesus into your heart?”
How many times have I heard that line?
It is mentioned from the pulpit after the sermon ends; an open invitation for those who sit in the pews or folding chairs to “come forward”. I need to be straight up in saying that there are not many who will walk up through the aisles and rows of people to kneel and accept Jesus in front of everyone. A roadblock based in a deep, abiding fear of staring eyes is probable cause for most to stay seated.
We will accept Jesus at home. Another day. Maybe.
One by one we respond to the altar calls and the motivation to give ourselves to Christ; to believe in the power of His salvation. Or not.
This is nothing new. I have found a place where Jesus is speaking in-person to many who cannot wrap their minds around who He says He is.
“I told you that you would die in your sin if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be]”
A BIG roadblock that says in essence that sin will stick to your spirit even in death, unless you believe I have the power to save your spirit and blot out the sin.
I understand how this statement caused so many arguments and disagreements. It was preposterous because Jesus was for all intents and purposes a typical man, no different than those who stood beside him. This commoner was less than 35 years old, and here He is telling learned scholars, temple elders and scribes to accept this concept of His “as-is”.
Yeshua (Jesus) spoke this concept of ‘repent and believe’ salvation to a people who were invested in a centuries old system of animal sacrifice and offerings to remove all their transgressions. Well, at least it put their conscience at ease. The system worked. All anyone had to do was follow the celebrations on the calendar, go once a year to Jerusalem, set aside a 10th of their yield, and do exactly what their fathers and forefathers had always done.
That’s how sin is ‘paid’ for (AKA – sin tax).
But that THIS man is someone who can, all by Himself – free us from what separates us from God? Absolutely unfathomable!
WHO are you? they asked.
“When you have lifted up the son of man then you will know that I am He”.John 8:28
Yeshua spoke these words in response to those who sought to understand. At the time they could not know of the better way Christ would bring. In all of this, Yeshua remained calm and of a singular mind, to complete His mission at the cross.
“Come to Me, and I will give you rest” He said. “Follow Me!” He called to all.
Some went forward. Some went home.
From a comfortable chair or seated in front of our favorite media playing device – we are given the same message. The difference for us is that something happened from when Yeshua spoke to those people over 2000 years ago and now. Proof.
He arose from the grave to PROVE He is the One He claims to be.
They did not have that. But we do.
Does that make it any easier to walk up to the front of the sanctuary when the Pastor says, “Come forward”? Perhaps when we consider what Christ has already done for us we would run as if this was the last place of safety on Earth (or the only drinking water that will not poison us).
We should run to Him daily, hourly, minute by minute.
I know who He is. On my right hand is the ring of my covenant with Him. The skin on my left forearm is embedded with the truest statement of my life, my purpose and passion.
All to Him who is my Healer, Redeemer, Salvation, King, Lord, and the Lover of my soul. In Christ the veil is removed, and all can be seen clearly. He is the light of the world, leading us out of darkness and into His marvelous light.