Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Volume 02, Number 18
church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker HWY
P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
Mt. Baker church
In this issue:
What Draws Men To Jesus?
Looking back in the time of Jesus, great crowds were
attracted to Him. Still today, many are drawn to Jesus and His life, but the
question is what draws men and women to Him today? When trying to bring
others to Christ, what is it that can be used to draw more into Him?
First, let us consider
Christ’s life. Everywhere He went, great crowds wanted to see Him. Just like
a little light attracts many, the light of His life and ministry attracted
many to see Him. Note that while He took on a form as us, and lived as a
man, He was sinless. (John 8:46, Hebrews 4:15). There is attraction in that
He never violated the Word of God and gave us an example to follow. Also, He
showed love. Remember 1 John 4:8 showed us that God is love. Jesus shows
perfect love from God in that: He was ready to receive the vilest sinner (Mt
9:10-11), and He had compassion on men (Mt 9:36). He also spoke of a
personal relationship with God. (John 5:17 -19; 14:10-11) He revealed God to
all in a way that God had not previously been known. (John 14:7-9). In John
10:30, He stated that “I and the Father are one.” Jesus Christ gave an
example of a perfect life, and showed love and compassion to those who were
in need. People are attracted to the light that shined from His life.
Secondly, many were attracted because of the signs He
performed. Several who were suffering benefited physically from the miracles
He worked (Matthew 4:24-25). They marveled at the great works that Jesus was
able to perform (Mt 8-9). His works brought astonishment to the people.
Notice just some of the miracles He worked: Walked on Water; Calmed the
Tempest; Feeding the Multitude; Raised the Dead (Jairus’ daughter, Widow of
Nain’s Son, Lazarus); Healed the Man who’d been born Blind. This is just a
sampling of the works He did in His life. Even at His death, the great
scenes that happened, signified Who this Jesus was. There was immense proof
of His ability and power over time, space, science, etc.
Thirdly, many came to see Him because of His teaching. It was
a contrast to that of the Jewish leaders. (Mt. 7:28-29) The teaching
attracted many to come and learn. He taught in parables (Matthew 13) which
were easy to remember and provided great depth to their life if they learned
the lesson. His words signified a pure life and a right heart that attracted
those desiring to live with an honest heart. Jesus did not teach one way and
live another. He lived out all of His teachings in His life and was a model
and beacon to any wishing to live life the right way.
Fourthly, we ourselves are attracted to
Jesus due to the passion we have from His death. He died innocent of the
charges brought against Him. He willingly submitted Himself to death that
others might live. He hung between two transgressors of the law that the
plan of God may be fulfilled. When we look at the agony of Him in Gethsemane
that He suffered for us it moves us. (Mt. 26); When we understand the unjust
trial He endured for us and the mockery and desertion He faced from His
companions for us it should move us. When we see His scourging and
crucifixion and how the perfect Lamb was slain, it should move us to Him
because He died upon the tree for ME.
People are attracted to Jesus because He
conquered death. Just as was foretold, Jesus raised from the dead on the
third day. He alone is the solution for each of us when faced with the fear
of death. He calls people to Him that they too might have the hope of
eternity with God when this life is over. He is qualified to speak about
eternal life because He is the one who has overcome death. People are
attracted to Him, because in Him we can escape the fear of death.
Lastly, people are attracted to Jesus
because He holds the words of eternal life. Many want to know how to inherit
eternal life. (Mt 19:16) People still want to come to Him that they too
might be able to live eternally with Him. The conditions are laid out in the
Bible and are simple. One must have faith & belief in Jesus Christ and the
Word of God. (John 8:24). One must no longer wish to live as their former
self, but rather repent of that life and want to live in Christ. (Luke 13:3)
That same one must confess Jesus as the Son of God, the one in Whom there is
salvation (Matthew 10:32). One must go down in the watery grave, that they
might be united with Him in a similar way (John 3:3, Romans 6). That one
then who has fulfilled all of this is charged to live faithfully before the
Lord. (Matthew 24:13)
Remember what Jesus
said in John 12:32 — “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all
men unto Me.” Jesus is the beacon of hope in this dark world. People search
every day for something to give them the happiness they are looking for in
life. Unfortunately, unless they look to Jesus they’ll never be satisfied.
SOJOURNERS AND PILGRIMS
Peter urges saints to regard themselves as sojourners and pilgrims. A
sojourner is one who lives among aliens. Pilgrims live in a strange place,
away from one’s own people. Hostility is injected into this alien, strange
place by the phrase, which war against the soul (1 Pet. 2:11). He says the
present dwelling place of Christians is in a strange, hostile land; a land
where danger lurks in the form of fleshly lusts.
I know Americans who live abroad. They are
literally sojourners. They are living in a country of which they are not
native. The customs there are different from their homeland. Most of them
live in relative safety from governmental persecution, but some do not.
There is actual danger of deportation or threat of harassment while they
live there. A remarkable thing about these people: they volunteered to live
in this environment because they believe their being there would be helpful
to the cause of Jesus. Living there is generally more rigorous and less
comfortable than living in the USA. They have not forgotten their homeland
and look forward to the time they can return.
Christians are living in a land which is not
theirs and which is inhabited by people and influences which are foreign to
them. How easy it is to forget that we are just pilgrims passing through. We
are like Abraham who dwelled in tents (only a temporary home) while he
traveled in search of the city which hath foundations (Heb. 11:9-10). He was
incessantly looking for this permanent dwelling place.
The world is out to make us citizens. Its
efforts, sometimes subtle, sometimes bold, are to make us feel at home here.
We need to slip into something more comfortable. Since we are going to be
here for awhile we ought to at least enjoy being here. Don’t be so uptight.
I’m afraid many saints are vulnerable to
this persuasive song the world sings. Some have concentrated so hard on the
here and now that the there and then have all but been forgotten. We are
surrounded with the gadgets of culture which dazzle and amaze our eyes and
minds. The popular media praise modern paganism and denounce Christians with
convictions as right-wing fanatics and bigots. Surely we do not want to be
either fanatics or bigots. The only way to be relieved of those names is to
cease opposition to the world’s agenda, be silent and lay down our arms.
Dear brethren, when we become sophisticated
and are comfortable in our surroundings, the enemy has won. Our lips will be
silenced in opposition to wrong and closed for use to convert others. Our
numbers will dwindle, our influence lessen, until we are gone. Vanished!
Unless we remain conscious to the designations of sojourners and pilgrims
and act consistently with the meaning of those terms.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.
The Mount Baker Beacon is a
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.
Send all questions, comments to the editor, John Bass at (360) 325-5149