Someone said to me last week, 'If Jesus came to make the world a better place, he hasn't made a very good job of it!' I couldn't agree more. But Jesus never came to make the world a better place. He didn't even come to make us better people, if by that we mean he simply came to teach us a better way of life. In his own words, he came '... to seek and to save what was lost'(Luke 19v10). The main reason God sent his Son Jesus was not to make us better people in this world but to save us for the world to come.
The Bible teaches that there will be a day of judgment, when God will give to each person according to what he or she has done (Romans 2v6). Since all of us have done wrong - by failing to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and failing to love our neighbour as we love ourselves – we face the just punishment for this wrongdoing: death. This death is not a relief from the struggle of life, but an eternal existence cut off from the life and love of God. It is to be lost forever in the worst and fullest way.
It is this death Jesus came to save us from. And he did it by suffering in our place the punishment that was due to us for our wrongdoing.
Jesus also tells us that the world we now live in has been terminally affected by our failure to love God and each other. The world we live in is destined for destruction. It will be destroyed and replaced by a new creation, the permanent home of those Jesus has saved. There, we won't just be better people in a better place, but people made perfect by Jesus to live in a perfect place – the home of righteousness. Now you're talking!
The power of God to save us is in the gospel. The gospel is the truth about Jesus the Son of God, who came from heaven to die on a cross to pay the price necessary to save us. He gave his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10v45). All those who believe the gospel regarding Jesus are saved. It is by the preaching of the gospel that Jesus seeks and saves the lost.
Please come to St George's Church to hear the gospel.
When you come, I hope you won't find people who are there to 'better themselves and their children'. I hope you won't find self-righteous snobs, like ex-smokers, who think they're better than people who still smoke. I hope you'll find people like you, who do wrong, but have found forgiveness through faith in Jesus, and a new life through following him. I hope you'll find lost people who have been found by Jesus, and can show you the way to Jesus for yourself.
We're here every Sunday at 10.30am. Just pitch up and join in.
Pastor – St George's