[Word Count: 1026]
“And there went great multitudes with Him: and He turned, and said unto them, 'If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.'
'For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.' 'Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.' 'So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” -- Jesus Christ, Luke 14:25-33 KJV
It doesn't make sense: why would the Messiah antagonize the very ones He's trying to save--especially if He is the Real Thing and possess the answers everyone is looking for?? If you oversaw Lakewood, North Point Community or Life Church (three of the largest megachurches in America) would you put this Jesus in charge of your marketing department or allow Him to speak from your pulpit? And if your answer is "No," what other Jesus would you put in charge?? What other Jesus is there???
Sadly, pastors and church boards have a wide variety of other Jesus' to call on that would increase the size of both their flocks and their coffers...the only downside is NONE OF THESE OTHER CHRISTS CAN SAVE A SOUL FROM THE POWER OF SIN, and hence cannot deliver anyone from The Wrath of GOD coming to destroy the entire world.
The Genius of Christ
Being Deity in a human body, Christ was without a doubt more intelligent and insightful than anyone else in history; if He wanted to sit on David's Throne (which, by the way, is GOD's Throne since GOD was Israel's King before they demanded a human king [1 Samuel 7:4-7]), neither the Sanhedrin nor the Romans could stand in His way. With at least twelve legions of angels at His disposal (Matthew 26:53) there was no army on Earth--then or now--that could resist Him. A single angel once decimated a force of 185,000 trained human soldiers...to the man...in a single night (Isaiah 37:36). Now that His Popularity is growing, why would Jesus sabotage His own political opportunities?
Quality over Quantity
If you genuinely want to be saved from the Wrath of GOD, there are two facts you MUST take to heart and NEVER forget:
THERE IS NO SALVATION APART FROM JESUS. Let me put this another way: JESUS IS THE SALVATION GOD THE FATHER IS OFFERING YOU, as opposed to a set of deeds you must accomplish or words you must say to "receive" Salvation from Jesus.
This isn't working...you're not getting it...
Jesus said it best:
“'I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the Bread that comes down from Heaven, so that one may eat of It and not die. I AM THE LIVING BREAD that came down from Heaven. If anyone eats of This Bread, he will live forever. And the Bread that I will give for the life of the world is My Flesh.' The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, 'How can this Man give us His Flesh to eat?' So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on My Flesh and drinks My Blood has Eternal Life, and I will raise him up on the Last Day. For My Flesh is true food, and My Blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the Living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the Bread that came down from Heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on This Bread will live forever.'" -- John 6:48-58 ESV
Starting to make sense? The reference to the Ordinance of Communion is obvious, yet there is a much deeper meaning. JESUS MUST BECOME THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOU, just as you were made a part of Jesus in Eternity!!!
Of course, GOD doesn't condone cannibalism; The Flesh of Jesus represents the Words of Jesus, and the Blood of Jesus represents the Spirit of Jesus, Who is The Holy Spirit of GOD and A Member of The GODHEAD. You cannot force GOD to give you The Holy Spirit; you must receive Christ through the agency of The Holy Spirit BY FAITH!
Oh yeah: the Second Fact:
GOD DOES NOT THINK LIKE YOU. He does not face your limitations, nor does He require "friends in high places" to get things done. HE IS THE MOST HIGH, and He is quite capable of getting EVERYONE to do whatever His Counsel has determined--whether indirectly or directly...
...yes, i said it: GOD can and does manipulate human will...if He didn't NO HUMANS WOULD BE SAVED.
GOD is both the Cosmos' Greatest Terror and its Greatest Comforter and Savior.
So, before you decide to wage war on This GOD you might consider taking a few moments to sit down and count the cost; it may be wise to ask for terms of surrender!
In Part Twenty we shall see that not only is Salvation a Free Gift, but the Righteousness required for successful discipleship is also free!