Tuesday, August 06, 2019

August 6, 2019

There is a recurring line in an old television comedy that goes, “missed it by that much!” (referring to the slightest miss). Sadly, there are those who have come close to making a faith commitment to Christ, but never actually followed through. They were/are so close, but yet so far away. To be almost a Christian is to be totally lost.

A religious leader once asked Jesus to summarized the greatest commandment. “Jesus answered, ‘The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God is one Lord; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12.29-31.

Observing how wisely Jesus had answered, the religious leader responded: “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him; and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Mark 12.32-33 

This man stood on the threshold of the greatest breakthrough of all. “When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.” Mark 12.34

He was not far from the kingdom of God, but He also was not within it. Before him stood the King of the kingdom, and all he had do was accept in faith that Jesus was and is the Messiah, but there is no indication that he did so.  Almost persuaded, but lost.

One of my greatest concerns is for some regular churchgoers I see nearly every week. My concern is that they are good people, but not saved people. Aside of a commitment to Christ, signified by water baptism, they are like the man who was “not far from the kingdom of God.” Close, but not close enough. So close, but oh so far away.

Many times I have pleaded from the pulpit to be certain of a decision. Do not leave life’s most important decision to chance! One either belongs to Christ, or they are destined for destruction in the lake of fire on judgment day. There is no other alternative or option. Saved or lost; in or out.

We can give all the right answers, but the gift of immortality and life in the coming kingdom on earth is based, not on right answers, but right decisions.

How tragic that we would hear from Jesus one day: “you were not far from the kingdom of God.” So close, but yet so far away. Nearly saved, but totally lost.

Have you responded in faith to the call of God through Jesus? You can be more than “not far from the kingdom of God”; you can be safely within through Jesus. Be sure today … while you can.



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