May 03, 2016
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him,
“Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:1-3)
Jesus has never been out to win a popularity contest. His goal is always the gospel. Here is a fascinating study into his startling, almost abrupt approach to all conversation.
A SEARCHING SOUL
Nicodemus, a respected ruler of the people, comes to visit Jesus. He comes at night, so as not to be seen. Jesus knows men and he knows that there is a question on the ruler's heart.
The inquiring Pharisee begins with a compliment. Jesus could have weighed that statement and spent the next hour talking about why He had greater understanding and reveling in what He had that other men did not have. (That might be my normal response!) And Nicodemus would have walked away completely untouched.
THE LASER RESPONSE
But Jesus made a bee-line for the gospel. No opening comments. Not talk of the weather or sports. The next words out of His mouth were the gospel in a nutshell. Nicodemus' response indicates that this was really the question on his heart. ""What is this? Why are you so different? What is the heart of your teaching that is capturing and intriguing and disturbing me?"" he seems to ask. That's why he came at night and Jesus knew that this is the question at the core of every man.
Christ expands the answer and gives us for all time one of the greatest explanations of the gospel we have in human history.
He didn't waste time. He didn't take compliments unto Himself. That's not why He was here. He was here to ""seek and save the lost.""
Life is short and urgent. Men’s lives are in the balance. The great preacher, Spurgeon said of his preaching that he would take a text (whatever it was) and make a “bee-line to the cross.""
And so should we.
October 13, 2021
October 12, 2021
It could not be worse. God is gracious in His offering of forgiveness through Jesus Christ to all who believe. Those who come to know God and obey Him will experience the best in this life and the life to come.
But what of all those who ignore God? Who will not trust Him? Who never follow and obey the one true God? The Bible leaves no ambiguity about this, and its clarity should sober us.
October 07, 2021
My son, who is planting a church in a Northern Colorado city, intentionally took me for a walk through a sculpture garden recently that is located in a prominent spot in his large city. It was beautiful, convenient, and filled with people.
To my amazement, at every 30 yards or so, there was a stone statue. The whole garden was a prayer garden, and each statue was named. The farther we walked, the more I realized it was a garden designed to help you pray to ancestral spirits. This religion is called animism and is no different from the false religions we read of in the Scripture. Paul encountered this in Athens.