The Real Thing

 

It was one of those days - I had too much to do and too little time to do it in. While rushing to my next appointment, I was stopped in my tracks by the flashing red lights and the railway boom-gates coming down. “Just what I needed,” I said to myself. After a minute or two, I thought it rather strange that I couldn’t see any train! “Yea right,” I thought. “Now I’m stuck at a faulty boom gate!!”

Just then I heard the puttering sound of a motor, and down the track came a little rail inspection vehicle, fitted with the wheels that allow it to ride on the tracks. What made me really smile was the insignia on the side - “Queensland Rail”.

But believe me, this was no train. Maybe a train wannabe, but far, far from being the real thing! That little vehicle wore the label a train carries, it travelled on the same track as a train, but it was no train!

This made me think of some people who are rolling along on the Jesus-track. They carry the label. They call themselves  Christians. They know all the words, so they sure sound like Christians. Some of these people are even active in church and Christian activities. For all intents and purposes they believe they're on the same track as a Christian. But they're missing one thing - the only thing that really matters ultimately - they're missing Jesus. I wonder if this could apply to you?

You may ask: “How can you say that there are people who look and sound and act like a Christian but have somehow missed Jesus?” Well because that's what God says in the Bible. In Matthew 7, beginning with verse 21, (here we have the Final Judgment scene) we read these very sobering words. Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven."

Obviously, these are people who know all the Christian words. Then Jesus goes on to say: "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'" These are folks who are doing lots of “Christian” things. And no doubt they believe they are going to heaven.

But then Jesus makes this shocking statement: "Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me...'" Those are words I pray you will never hear from the lips of Jesus on the day when it's too late to change - "I never knew you." Why will He say that? O yes they knew about Jesus. But there was one important thing they missed. They never believed in the Jesus they knew so much about. Lots of religion, but no Christ.

Jesus said that only those who "do the will of My Father" will go to heaven. John 6:40 tells us what that will is: "My Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life."

It's not looking to Church, or Christianity, or Christian beliefs, or Christian activities that give you eternal life. It's abandoning any other hope of heaven and pinning all your hopes on the Man who died for your sin and rose again to give you life that never ends.

The life-or-death question for you is, "Has there ever been a time when I actually gave myself to Jesus in total faith and obedience?" If you don't know you did that, you probably didn't. And you probably shouldn't wait any longer to do it before your heart turns hard or your time runs out.

It’s not a case of whether you are good enough. And it is certainly not a case of that you are good enough! You see, becoming a Christian is not about what you have or have not done, but what Jesus has done for you.

The Bible reminds us that we are all sinners - with no exceptions. And our Lord has died to take away our sins, so that ALL who believe on Him have eternal life. Our Lord just loves to give away His wonderful free gift of salvation - especially to those who recognize that they are sinners! Just tell Him, "Jesus, I want to really belong to you. Your death for me is my only hope, and I am yours. I admit I am a sinner, please forgive." When you do that, in God's own words, you "cross over from death to life" (John 5:24).

Just a quick word to any who have fallen away because of complacency or disobedience, or because you feel that God has let you down. God is faithful, so repent - turn right round - come back to Him now. The Bible promises that His love which has always been there, will become very real to you once again.

Let’s do away with “wannabes” and be the real thing. Once you know you've begun your relationship with Jesus, you'll never have to fear hearing Him say, "I never knew you." He will wrap you in His arms and instead, He'll say, "Welcome home". Grace and peace....

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