It’s expected for true believers to be despised and dealt with and persecuted (John 15:19-27). The world likes zombies- of sin, of lust, wanton irresponsibility – the world likes being answerable to none. That’s what it wants; ‘Do what thou wilt’ and friends. So I’ll bet it (the world) is ready to despise, deny and bring disrepute to anything, person or concept that dares bear semblance to accountability. But if rabbits frightened or annoyed me and suddenly one found its way into my room, would shutting my eyes and yelling; “There are no rabbits in Nigeria!” suddenly cause all the rabbits in the country to disintegrate into nothingness and suddenly cease to be? It doesn’t matter what the world wants or thinks about it – this isn’t about opinions, it’s about an eternity you can’t risk ‘betting’ wrongly on.
There is no true and lasting ‘satisfaction’ derived from any activity if there is no purpose and understanding. Christ would NEVER be enough for me if I were just seeing Him as some thing my parents like and I was stuck putting up with. There would be no sincerity, no heart born dedication, no unwavering passion. I’d just be doing what I was told – I could even become brainwashed with enough misconceptions that get me to go through the motions with mindless loyalty; studying to pass the exam (get approval from parents and society) rather than studying because I truly am excited about the subject and see my understanding of it as useful in the long term (following Christ as a result of meeting and learning to love Him as He desires till I step into eternity). Therein lies the right question. What makes Jesus so awesome? Why do we even need Him? Well, why does your body need oxygen? Why is the functioning of your heart, flow of your blood, and activity of your various body systems- why are they even useful? Because you need them to function so you can get stuff done on earth, right? If you’re going to be effective at your job, cook a good meal, play a sport and win, pass an exam, impregnate your wife – your body systems have to be working in synchrony, and this spot-on functioning relies a lot on oxygen. There are other important ‘things’ but cut off oxygen and everything shuts down. It’s similar – without Jesus, there is no life. We are walking dead men with no hope and nothing to anticipate but a HD version of whatever we can currently deem turmoil…for eternity. We can’t function freely or get anything that’s ‘lasting’ (2Peter 3:10) done because we are weighed down by the weakness of our flesh with our chains and bonds eternally attached to sin and death. You know what’s scarier? We deserve that hopeless anticipation of a morose end. Not empathy, not laughter, not mercy, not well-being, peace, love or purposeful satisfaction – we deserve the ceaseless suffering we signed up for by having – and remaining in – natures of sin. So Jesus is not merely an escape chute, He is the God who chose to reconcile us to Himself because the thought of losing us to an eternity of anguish didn’t minutely appeal to Him. He provided an opportunity for us to miss the penalties we deserve…without our asking. He initiated the action. He was kind to us for no reason (Romans 5:8). Why wouldn’t I want to be a Christian?
What “religion” teaches of their God permitting Himself to be humiliated in the vilest possible ways for mostly ungrateful beings who till this day scorn His sacrifice and use their rebellion to spit in His face (John 3:13/ Mark 10:34)? What belief system teaches that you are offered the gift of eternal life for simply trusting and believing and accepting a loving sacrifice (2Thesselonians 3:5)? Which other God is there who is daily seeking to bond with His creations, to show them that there can be more to them than a fleeting existence? Which other God is ALIVE forever more, leading and teaching His followers everyday? Most others keep trying to DO stuff to GET approval from their god – to either appease or avoid upsetting them-, yet in Christ, God has already APPROVED me (Ephesians 1:6), so now what spurs my action is the delight I find in pleasing Him- knowing NOTHING I can ever do will measure up to what He willingly did for me, but acting based on my faith with the assurance that my actions aren’t futile and worthless but abound to good, to the Glory of my Father in heaven. See, I sincerely pray that the eyes of the understanding of the deceived be enlightened (Ephesians 1:17-23) and that such allow God’s truth to flood their hearts and life. It’s tough to fathom this love, I know; the length and depth and breadth of it – not even death can separate us from it (Romans 8:39)! But just because it’s hard to understand does not mean it is unreal. I am not going through motions of religiosity to get a few goodies or to merely chill in a bejeweled storey building; I’m staying conscious of the fact that undeserved mercy has been lavished upon me and my faith born obedience, saturated in gratitude, is all I can give in return. Plus, I have the hope that one day I’ll be freed from all that limited my utter, unreserved adoration and worship of the author of time and life. I’m not preaching to score a few points or to have folks on ‘our’ side. It’s not a petty ‘my religion is better than yours’ contest. It’s a major ‘my God is ALIVE and He LOVES me and has SAVED me for ETERNITY. Can you say the same?’ reality. I KNOW without a shadow of doubt that nothing is truer and more reliable than the love of Jesus Christ. I know His word is truth (because it’s living and active in me) and that His sacrifice was not just for me, but also for every single human being. That’s why I choose Him – I’ve gotten knowledge and understanding. If He takes the possibility of my eternal anguish and separation from Him so seriously (that He would allow Himself to be scorned, humiliated, brutalized and all-round punished for sins I committed) please tell me – where is the justification in ignoring the need others and I have of Him? He gave Himself for all; not just me, pastors, or law abiding citizens. He died for rapists and human traffickers, ritualists and cultists, pimps and strippers, slanderers and cheats, dishonest judges and wicked leaders, terrorists and kidnappers, serial killers and witches, blasphemers, atheists, Satanists, hypocrites – EVERYBODY. He doesn’t want the lost to meet what they’ve got coming. He knows the depth of suffering in hell (Obviously. He’s been there) and the endless stretch that is eternity. Please, what on earth could be worth one ignoring this gift? (2 Thesselonians 2:10) What would make me view it as mere ‘family’ tradition? What useless pride? What façade of intelligence would render me so arrogant that I would look at His passion for me and scoff!? Scoff.
Joy in Jesus is not the promise of things…It’s the promise that after the tedious limitations of existing on earth within the constraints of this carnal flesh, I will finally be given a new body -evidencing my indisputable victory over death and mortality. I will get to eternally bask in the glory that is Jesus Christ. That’s what makes my Jesus so appealing to me – HIM. He has done all the ‘work’ – all I need do is follow His lead, let Him use me to exude the love that He personifies and sheds abroad in my heart, permit the truth I profess to inspire zeal as His Spirit leads me, and rely on Him unwaveringly – knowing fully well that futility is all I get striving outside Him, and an unfathomably glorious eternity is what I anticipate living in Him.
I am not religious – I’m a Christian. I am not a goodie-two-shoes who goes to church to please her parents – I’m a Christian. I am not a really nice girl who doesn’t do wild stuff and is morally upright – I’m a Christian. People need Jesus not because people need rules and religion or because people were brainwashed by colonialism or because people have religious parents or because people lack exposure and experience; people need Jesus because Jesus is the way, the truth and the life – and no one gets to the Father except through Him.
People need Jesus because He is beautiful…and because He is everything.
YOU need Him as much as I do cauuuuse yeah, Jesus loves you too. Parents are more like guides who either give us pointers in the right direction on life’s tour, or absolutely messed up ones. But regardless of where they point you to, if you’ve been provided with a map, compass, GPS and a fully charged cell phone with call credit, a 24/7 emergency help-line and internet access – nobody’s going to take you seriously if you ever try to blame them for getting lost. The destination of your Spirit man for eternity is determined by you; this is very personal business so please leave your parents out of it.
The microphone is now turned to you. Fill in your belief/faith and ponder these things too.