1 Timothy 1:15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.
Paul’s ministry was what it was first of all because he had this truth firmly engraved in his heart and mind. After that encounter on the road to Damascus, he knew that Jesus was the Savior and that he was both totally in need of, and totally unworthy of, salvation. We tend to be desultory in our evangelism because we don’t have a firm grasp on one side or the other of that. Far too many supposed Christians don’t really think that Jesus is the only way to salvation, even if they have made an honest commitment to Him personally. The devil has worked overtime to promote the idea of the equality of religions, when Jesus Himself was very clear that He is the only way to the Father. (John 14:6) That is very politically incorrect, “intolerant” in the US today, and it’s obvious where that has gotten us. The validity of the Bible is attacked from every side, and far too many people swallow the lies. The other side is also essential: recognizing your own need. That is one of the biggest hindrances to salvation around the world. People don’t realize they are lost and headed for hell! When we realize the reality of hell, and how apart from Christ’s work on the cross we are all headed there because of following the devil, then we will not only repent of our own sins, we will seek to lead others into repentance and faith as well. In the Christmas season we tend to celebrate “sweetness and light” and forget why Jesus had to come in the first place. It is only when we recognize the necessity of salvation, for ourselves personally and for every person on earth, that we will be as we should be in relation to evangelism.
This is something that applies just as much to me as it does to anyone else. To be honest, I was slow to acknowledge my own sinfulness, and conversely, it is painful to realize that most of the people I deal with every day are headed for hell. I honestly desire their salvation, but I can’t force them to repent and believe. We are generally admired and even loved by those around us, but I have no idea how to make that personal, to help them see that every good thing they see in me is because of Christ alone, and that it is both essential and available to them. All I can do is be faithful to say and do what I am shown, and leave the results in God’s hands.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Things in the political situation in America look dire indeed. Thank You for this reminder that everyone needs repentance and faith for salvation. I ask for Your mercy on America, on Japan, on the world, that Your name may be acknowledged as holy and Your kingdom come as Your will is done, for Your glory alone. Thank You. Hallelujah!