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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Jesus will travel down ANY path to save you .. x

When Apostle Paul went to Athens in Ancient Greece to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, which at the time had never been heard by the Ancient Greeks, he passed a number of shrines as he got into the city, one of which was dedicated to 'The unknown god'. Now many of us would have turned up our 'spiritual' noses, drawn aside our 'self-righteous' skirts and consigned all the city of 'clear idol worshipping heathens' to hell. What did Paul do? He preached the gospel, using the shrine dedicated to 'The unknown god' as his starting point. He said the god they called unknown was actually the Lord GOD almighty who was now making Himself known to mankind through Jesus His son. Then, Paul said something that was surprising for a Jesus-believing former Pharisee - he also called the Athenians men who feared GOD; (we would immediately and simply labelled them heathen). First Paul respected the ancient Athenians, then he used a starting point they were familiar with, and only then did he share the gospel.

We will win a lot more people with the vibrant real life Christianity that we live and show every day than any words we speak. Are we loving? Are we forgiving? Do we care for all? Do we turn the other cheek and still continue to love even after others have rubbed sand in our eyes and taken us for granted? Are we kind and generous? Do we really demonstrate the love of GOD or do we mutter things like 'Do you think I am an idiot because I am a Christian?' Do we pray for those who hurt us or do we heap curses upon them? Do we turn the other cheek or do we slap back even harder? Do we spread kind loving words or hateful gossip? If your life is not a living gospel, then sharing the gospel is not of much use.

Now I believe salvation and a relationship with Christ are vital. However, there is something I know - GOD says ANYONE who seeks Him, He will not reject. That applies to ANYONE who seeks Him - whoever and wherever they are, whatever they might currently believe at the moment.

In Acts of the Apostles, Apostle Peter is sent to Cornelius, a Roman who did not know the GOD of Israel, who had never heard JESUS talk or preach, but he was a man who loved GOD, who prayed and sought him. Peter is shocked and amazed that GOD sends him to a 'Gentile' and is stunned that this 'Gentile' is accepted by GOD. What Peter discovers that day is JESUS died for ALL men. What is interesting is the Bible calls Cornelius a righteous man. Up till that time, the knowledge of GOD was apparently restricted to Israel and the Jews, so how did Cornelius, a Roman, from a culture that worshipped idols, find GOD? Well the book of Romans says the knowledge of GOD has been planted in the hearts of all men.
The two people who impressed Jesus with their faith in Him and in GOD were not Israelites but two foreigners; a Roman Centurion and a Phoenician woman. Bring that into modern day terms and the 2 people who would impress Jesus the most with their faith and belief in Him might be a Buddhist and a Sango worshipper!

What am I saying? Should we stop preaching the Gospel? Should we stop sharing Christ? Do we stop believing that Christ is the only way? The only path of Salvation? No, we do not stop believing what the bible calls a fundamental truth. However, it means, we should stop placing GOD in a box and realise that above all, GOD looks at the hearts of anyone who seeks Him and those who profess to follow Him. GOD does NOT care about the label you place upon your head. He is not impressed by the words of our mouths but by the state of our hearts. GOD and JESUS will travel down ANY path to meet a soul that is crying out to know GOD - a soul crying out for more - a soul that loves GOD desperately - a soul that rejects the trappings of their current religion or upbringing and says there must be more and reaches out to know the GOD of the universe. That person wherever they are will be found by GOD. That is His unshakable promise.

Let us not give up on anyone. May GOD deliver us from the arrogance that believes X is good enough for heaven and Z is destined for Hell. If the Thief on the cross was a chap you grew up with, many of us would have condemned him to hell and thought repentance was impossible for him. In Nigeria, we would call that 'thief' an 'Armed Robber'. However JESUS was prepared to travel down any road to save this one. He loved that armed robber so much, he chose to hang on a cross right next to where the thief, a wastrel who had wasted every opportunity he had ever been given, was being crucified. That day, that written off thief, that callous armed robber, that child who had broken his parents heart and shamed his entire family, that cruel man who had lied, cheated, stolen, attacked people, broken the law of GOD and the law of man, became the very first man to ascend into paradise.

What path are you on? Does it seem like you are far away from GOD? Is there a hunger deep inside you? Do you believe there has to be more to life than all that you currently hear and see? Cry out to GOD. Don't worry about how you are living your life or what you are doing. Do NOT try to clean up your act yourself. Cry out to GOD. Jesus will travel down any path to save you.


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