We are without a doubt, a people with an incredible herd mentality. As kids, we all try to subjugate our liking for clothes, cars, music, and just about everything else to the current definition of “cool.” For example; a Corvette is cool. It’s expensive, can only carry two people, and you can’t transport anything with it that’s larger than a toaster. But it’s cool. On the other hand, a minivan is NOT cool. It’s functional, can transport several kids to a soccer game, can haul a considerable amount of trappings, but on the “cool”ometer, it registers a zero. As kids we adapt sometimes rediculous standards in order to line up with “cool.”
As adults, it can get worse. We decorate for holidays just like everybody else and in many instances, try to stand out from the crowd by doing an overabundance of conforming. We paint our houses to blend in with everyone elses and groom our lawns to meet the expectations of whats considered “groomed.” (My wife will never let me do it, but I think that it would be fun to paint our house flourescent orange and drive the neighbors nutty.) In short we continue on with the conformist mentality throughout our lives. We may have different careers, different hobbies, and various twists on “normality” but we, for the most part strive to “fit in.” Just like the “Whos” in the whimsical world of Dr Seuss, we all do the same things at the same time.
This attribute of conformity is merely superficial silliness in the physical realm. It doesn’t really hurt anyone; it just prevents you from painting your house flourescent orange or covering your entire yard with shrubs so that you never ever have to mow again. In the spiritual realm, however, conformity will kill you. It’s a commonly held belief that people are basically “good” We all for the most part just want to get along with our lives and be good citizens. This sounds nice and fuzzy; except for one major problem. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” There’s not a single person who deserves eternal life. If it were possible to obtain eternal life by good works, Jesus wouldn’t have had to come into the world and shed his blood on Calvary. No matter how much you do, you can never obtain the standard of holiness that God requires. Yet this is the common belief. It makes sence, it’s held by everyone else, and so we seek safety in numbers and follow the crowd. Here’s what John 3:3 says:
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
In order to obtain eternal life, you must experience the new birth. You must come to God in sincere repentance (sorrow) for your sin, ask the Lord Jesus to forgive you, and to save you from eternal seperation from God. If you have never been born again, you’re not ready to go into eternity. Regardless of what the psychiatrist tells you or what your neighbor says, without asking Jesus into your heart, you cannot enter into eternal life. Does this mean that you have no hope? Of course not. Read John 3:16-18; the most familiar passage in all of scripture.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Sounds like a narrow path. It is a narrow path. But it’s the path to eternal life. Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, and was yet without sin. He never sinned one time and as a result, he alone could pay for our sin. He bore the punishment that we deserve. The most important question that you will ever be asked is “what will you do with so great a salvation? Will you ask Jesus Christ to save you from your sins and make you a new creation? Or will you go on trying to enter heaven through a window as a thief? Or perhaps you’ll find comfort in your abundance of friends, family members, and fellow citizens who’ll tell you “you’re such a nice person.”
Not long ago, Bill Gates determined to delegate all of his energy to his charitable causes. Not to be outdone, Warren Buffet stated that he was giving 75% of his wealth to charity. While these are nice jesters to be sure, and many thousands will benefit, they can’t address the problem of sin. Everyone has sinned and only the blood of Jesus Christ can take away sin. If you’ve never been born again, please don’t put it off any longer. From here on out, you’re only going to get older and older. Finally one day, maybe in several years or maybe before breakfast, you will leave this world and stand before God. This is an absolute certainty; it’s one appointment that you won’t be late for. If you have never been born again, you’ll have to pay for your sin yourself and YOU CAN’T DO IT. Seeing that this is the most important decision of your life and that your eternal abode depends upon your decision, please don’t put it off. You have no idea of what joy unspeakable and perfect peace is until you know Jesus. When you know that your sins are forgiven and that you’re ready to pass into eternity, you’ll have peace that the world can never give and the world can never take away.
Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
One more thing. One way that you know that you’re saved is you’ll want to live for him. You may say to yourself “I just can’t do that.” Just come to Jesus just as you are. He will give you that desire. As you grow in Christ you’ll find that the things which once seemed to bring fulfillment will no longer satisfy as you now have something far far better. I pray that if you’re not born again, that you would make a decision for Christ today. If you’re backslidden, please come home. You remember what it used to be like; the incredible peace, the tranquility, the fellowship with God. Please come back to the Savior. Remember I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.