From Hanging with Sinners to Hanging for their Sin

WWJD

How many times have you thought about this phrase growing up? If you weren’t brought up with a religion or even Christianity, how many times have you heard it? What’s the actual significance? If I could boil the phrase I’d say it hangs on three things, that is, three things Jesus would do in most circumstances: Be relational, relatable and relevant. 

Thank you Pastor John Gray for this insight back from a couple of years ago. Never have forgotten it. It’s simple, right? Almost “too” simple. Exactly, stop overcomplicating it.

Hanging with Sinners

There’s a reason Jesus was accused of being a “drunk” and “glutton.” He was lively, fun to be around, and honest.

Hold up right there. This reason has been used by many Christians to justify partying every weekend, getting drunk out of their mind, and acting like they’ve never actually been saved – therefore abusing the grace given them. Yes, Jesus hung out with sinners. He was a “friend of sinners.” Yet he rode with a posse of 12 disciples. And yes they were 12 knuckleheads. So Christian, stop justifying your sinful behavior due to your lack of discernment with choosing your closest friend group because you lack wisdom, maturity and the faith to believe the phrase, “you are who you hang with.” Plus, even if you could justify you hanging out with the lost as your closest friend group “because Jesus did,” let me tell you a secret. You AIN’T JESUS!

Heaven Seeks the Heart, even in the Hell

This is for the person who is “spiritual,” not “religious,” and not wanting to yet commit to any one religion. I love you. Jesus loves you infinitely more. But let me explain.

I applaud you. The heart of Christianity is not committing to religion. At all. It’s committing to Jesus Christ. It really is that simple, powerful and profound because that’s something we so often fail to hear. Yet love never fails, namely the Love which He has shown us.

If you are “seeking” but have not found, let me encourage you to not stop your search there. God says that if you will seek with all your heart, you will find Him, the real Him, the Only True Him, every time without fail.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) NIV

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

When I say Heaven seeks the Heart, I mean Jesus Christ from Heaven humbled himself to become a human so that He may win the hearts of humans back to God.

Yes I said humbled. Like you becoming a goldfish. That’s not even a big enough analogy. It would be like Superman becoming an ant. Still not big enough. It would be like the entire Universe becoming a fishbowl. Get it?

So when Jesus seeks, He seeks us with His heart. It’s not just you pursuing God to find Him, actually Jesus pursues your heart and often that is through other people. People may share their faith in Christ with you or ask you if you’ve been to church. Pay attention. Ask them questions and just listen.

Hanging for our Sin

Who does Jesus seek today? If you’re seeking to find more about Him, know this. 

He’s not seeking “nice churchy boys and girls” unless they are “churchy” for the sake of being churchy and think that going to church will land them in right standing with God. Yeah, that person needs to be “saved” as much as an atheist.

When I say “saved” I mean salvation. Salvation means deliverance from the effects and consequences of sin. The consequences of sin is death. Always death. Not just physical death (we all have to die) but spiritual separation from God Himself.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NIV

When somebody with their heart calls upon Jesus because they recognize the depravity and sin inside them, when that person declares Jesus as Lord over their lives, they are saved. Saved from hell, our destination. Every person’s destination.

“Because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:9-10 ESV

Why do you think Jesus Christ died such a brutal death? That was our punishment. Every one of us.

Do you realize that primarily the people Jesus went looking for during His earth mission was the lost? Actually, He said that’s exactly who He came to save!

He is still on the search for them today, whether they know it or not.

He is actually seeking the misfits with the misfortune, the outcasts, the betrayed, the “bad” who know it. Yes, for you will never, ever, ever, find eternal life UNLESS you realize that inside each of us is a natural inclination to not do what is right and to do what is wrong. This is sin’s simplest form and definition. The sin in us is lord of our lives and unless we come under a greater power over it (Jesus Christ), we will forever make decisions based on our emotions and feelings.

Do you realize it’s emotions that cause people to kill people and themselves?!

Emotions are for our own good, so we can feel and think and love and pursue. Yet sin has distorted everything, so emotions no longer serve their intended purpose. Actually if you only listen to your emotions you might end up killing yourself. How many times have you felt lonely, like it wouldn’t matter if you were alive, like it may be better to “end it?”

HANG in there, He HUNG for you. Don’t just hang in there but reach out to take hold of His life He is ready to give you. The power to move on and to move forward. “THERE IS ALWAYS MORE WITH JESUS” –  PASTOR AL CHAVES.

THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE.

 

 

WRITTEN BY ALEX ORAM

9/7/18

 

 

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