For years many would argue that this isn’t the case, especially here in the USA, but each day we are seeing more and more hostility towards Jesus and the Christian faith. While there are some who would still argue the point, there is a growing number of people who are seeing this as a reality that can’t be ignored. Whether it is in the halls of government or in the school house, the neighbor down the street or one in our home, there is a growing consensus that Jesus and those who truly follow Him have no place in our lives, and that anything remotely connected to them must be passively ignored or less passively removed. The underlining idea behind much of it is that Jesus and His followers are standing in the way of global peace and unity among all mankind, and it is only when the influence of Jesus and His followers disintegrates into nothing or they have been removed that their aspirations of global peace and unity will be fulfilled.
So, why is it that people are so headstrong against Jesus and His followers? What is there about Jesus that triggers in some cases such violent behavior in its many different forms? We live in a world that tries to view things in a logical and educated way, but when it comes to Jesus and following after Him no place is given for pure logic and reason. I realize that there have been many, and I mean many, who have said and done many things in the name of Jesus for which Jesus had nothing to do with, so in looking at what keeps people from Jesus let’s look specifically at Jesus.
The way some look at Jesus and what Christianity represents, it would make one think that Jesus was a hardened criminal who held little regard for others, or even a master con-artist who was nothing like who He wanted to portray Himself to be. What was the message Jesus tried to convey to us? Was it a message of pain and hopelessness, or one that told us we were of no value and dispensable? No, not hardly. While we can say that Jesus was perfect and had no sin, which is true, there is nothing recorded to indicate He had said or done anything to warrant a capital offense or punishment in any way. What we do find is someone who cared enough about people to heal their sicknesses and disease, to raise them from the dead, to restore function of senses and bodily organs and functions. We see someone who encouraged people to love and forgive not just those who were dear to them, but also their enemies and those who despise or take advantage of them. We see someone in Jesus that wanted to even heal the emotionally broken and give them encouragement and hope, a reason to believe and to live. Everything about Jesus and what He said and did while here was out of love for each and every one of us, wanting to love, forgive, and heal us all. Jesus wanted to give us life, and not just life but life more abundantly that will last for all eternity. Yes, there were times that Jesus had to be firm and blunt with people, but it was because of His love for all of us and how He saw those people hurting and taking advantage of others that propelled Him to speak and to act as He did. When we simply look at Jesus we find love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, healing, freedom, hope and blessings eternal, so why would someone not want to embrace Him and pursue Him with all that they have? It would only seem logical and sound for someone to give their lives to Jesus, but for one reason or another people reject Him and His message for each and every one of us. That seems illogical and definitely not a smart thing to do, to reject Jesus.
There are many who cite hypocrites as their reason for not coming to Jesus. They say that if Jesus is anything like the people they see around them then they don’t want anything to do with Him, but that doesn’t make sense. I realize there are hypocrites that call themselves Christians but live different lives depending on who they are with or where they are at, but often time’s people are labeled as hypocrites simply because they aren’t perfect and living up to a standard the accuser thinks they should. The accuser somehow believes that if someone is a Christian then they will automatically live perfect and at a high standard almost right after conversion, but that line of thought is unrealistic and unreasonable. Jesus said He did not come for those who were well, referring to those spiritually healthy, but for those who were lost, dying or hurting spiritually. If that is the case then many will follow Him that are having to learn what it means to follow Him, and that can sometimes get “messy” and out of sorts. We don’t denounce the world’s top neuro-surgeon because some of those who love and embrace him continue to have problems in their life from before they had surgery, do we? Or what about the National Football League’s all-time best quarterback when those still in high school or college, those who look to him as their example and mentor, don’t live and play at the same level he does or by the standards he promotes? So, why do we do that with Jesus???
Some believe that choosing to not forgive someone that has wronged them in some way, even violently and without remorse, is more important than giving their lives to Jesus. They may argue that they can still be a Christian, but Jesus made it very clear that if we choose, and it is a choice, not to forgive someone after He’s forgiven us, then He won’t forgive us either. It doesn’t make sense for someone to forfeit a saving relationship with Jesus just because they don’t want to forgive someone else. For others, they are unwilling to change the purpose, the goals, the dreams of life and what is important to them to reflect a life centered on Jesus and all that He has for them. Some desire to live the way that they want to, no matter what the consequences are, and to embrace Jesus and what He has to offer them would interfere with their way of life and thinking, so they reject Him to pursue their own way of living. We could come up with other reasons why people won’t come to Jesus and give Him their lives, but the point is that whatever the reason one may have just doesn’t make logical sense.
In the attempt to keep Jesus at a distance in one’s life, many search for and embrace the teachings of those who work to discount Jesus and the God of the Christian and Judeo faith through “scientific” or “educated” means. Many don’t realize that that is what they are actually doing, but it is. They insist on using logic, archeology and other various scientific means to make their point, but in the process they themselves will either embrace those who share the same common ways of thinking or be quick to discount anything in the sciences that would indicate a conclusion other than what they want. What it comes down to is simply this, people will listen to whomever they choose to listen to, and they will believe whatever they choose to believe, regardless of whether or not it is true or false. Christians and Jews base their belief of what is true on the Bible, and they are finding that archeology and the sciences are validating the truth of the Bible more and more.
To sum it all up, what is keeping you from Jesus? What is keeping you from accepting Him and His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and hope of life eternal? Can you really qualify you’re reasons as logical and sound, or do you need to take another look at them? When it’s all said and done, it isn’t how others have misled you, hurt or offended you, or anything else for that matter, the determination of where you will spend eternity will hinge squarely on what you did with Jesus in your life. No matter the excuse, one thing is sure is that excuses won’t be allowed in that courtroom.
What is keeping you from Jesus?