Their future appears to be bleak and gloomy, especially when the economy of the world seems uncertain, political leaders have hidden agendas, climate change causes geographical concerns, wars displace citizens from their homes and poverty remains on the rise, causing many to die of starvation.
What is it that people need most in this day and age in order to get by each day? The answer varies from person to person. Many would argue that it is peace so as to alleviate fear, while for others it is love so that people may respect each other and live in harmony.
Then there are those who feel joy is a great need as it expels stress from the mind and drives away loneliness. All of these attributes are good and are often the longing desires of our souls, but from where and how we obtain them can create problems.
As you may have discovered in your life’s journey, there are many go-to places to get, what apparently, is just a slight fulfilment (if any) of these desires, but there is one source for all of these that many are yet to believe in and experience – the Lord Jesus Christ.
The following are some of the reasons for why every human being needs the Lord from the beginning to the end of his/her life’s journey.
1. There is a devil around. In Revelation. 12:9, we read this warning, “But woe to the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you with great wrath.” In his “great wrath” 1 Peter 5:8 further warns that the devil “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” His mission is to destroy people before they get to hear about and know Jesus. However, should they succeed in establishing a relationship with the Lord, he will do his utmost to interfere with that relationship. We can only imagine how he must have celebrated his success over Adam and Eve after they succumbed to temptation. As a result, God and human beings (Adam and Eve) could no longer enjoy the face to face communion they once enjoyed because Satan ruined it. On our own we are utterly powerless against the devil.
2. Jesus has defeated the devil. Jesus is our only chance against the devil as stated in 1 Corinthians 15:57, “But let us give thanks to God! He wins the battle for us because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done.” We have the power made available to us to overcome the devil, which means we do not have to fall into his temptations nor do we have to worry about his “great wrath” because Jesus is on our side.
3. We are born with a nature bent towards evil. As a result of the fall, all of Adam and Eve’s descendants “have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans. 3:23). Our hearts, referring to our minds, “are deceitful…and desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9). Paul lists some examples of what we sinful beings are capable of committing and giving in to, “Fornication, adultery, slander, fits of rage, dissension, jealousy, drunkenness, murder” (Galatians 5:19-21). There is nothing in and of ourselves that can change our condition. Talk about desperation! If there is a way out, it has to come from outside of ourselves.
4. Jesus can change our deplorable condition. Jesus presents Himself as the only One who can deal with our deceitful hearts. Amazingly, irrespective of the fact that we have wicked hearts, He says “If you hear my voice and open the door (heart), I will come in and eat with you. And you will eat with me.” Opening our hearts to Jesus means we acknowledge our desperation and His ability to change us, however that is only the first step towards change. To guarantee a change of heart Jesus gives us this encouragement, “If anyone remains joined to me, and I to him, he will bear a lot of fruit. You can’t do anything without me.” John 15:5. Jesus is talking about a new character development that occurs in us if we continue to be joined to Him. These are the aspects of this new character “Love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22, 23), which Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit.
Jesus has returned to heaven but the Holy Spirit whom He sent, is His representative here on Earth. The Holy Spirit dwells in us (1 Corinthians 6:19) and does the work of transforming our lives, so that we become “a new creation. The old is gone! The new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This transformation is a lifelong work, therefore, we are required to submit our will to His daily. This submission indicates to the Spirit that we are happy for Him to continue His work of producing in us the fruit of the Spirit. In actual fact, this is the character of Jesus that the Spirit strives, with our daily permission, to cultivate in us. We will not have only one or just some of these aspects of His character but all of them. When this happens, we will be the happiest people on earth! Imagine what life in the Cook Islands would be like if everyone had a change of heart and possessed these aspects of Christ’s character in their lives!
5. Jesus offers hope beyond the grave. Our lives are shattered when a loved one dies, leaving us in a hopeless and helpless situation. But there is good news! When the Holy Spirit accomplishes His work of reproducing in us the character of Jesus, we become like Jesus and will be assured of eternal life. God “has given us eternal life. That life is found in his Son. Those who belong to the Son have life. Those who do not belong to the Son of God do not have life” (1 John 5:11, 12). This important point should intensify our desire to have the Lord reign supremely in our lives.
Oh how the devil leaps for joy when people think that at death they go to heaven, whether or not they had the Son of God in their lives! This belief, which is not supported by the Word of God, downplays the importance and necessity of Jesus taking control of our lives in order to qualify us to live eternally with Him. It should be clear by now that there are two groups of people in this world – the unchanged whose lifestyle displays the sins listed in Galatians 5:19-21, and the people whose lives have been transformed by the Lord which display the qualities of life featured in Galatians 5:22, 23. Make no mistake: only the latter will enter the kingdom of God at the end of the world when Jesus returns.
We have seen how the devil wills to destroy us and how he has had some success in doing so. Our original perfect state was lost to us through Adam and Eve’s falling to the devil’s cunning tactics. However, all is not lost! Our Almighty Lord has devised a way by which we may conquer the devil. It’s so simple. All we need to do is to turn our hearts over to the Lord to develop in us, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the quality of life we all so desperately need. However, that’s the key! The Holy Spirit will only be successful if we submit to His leading every day. Eternal life is a free gift to all, but we can only claim that gift if we have Jesus in our lives.
Yes indeed, people need the Lord from birth until death because to have Jesus in our lives is to have everything!!
Pr Hosea Hosea