July 20, 2017
1 Peter 2:24 - He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.
In the late 1800s, when atheist Robert Ingersoll was delivering his lectures against Christ and the Bible, he usually spoke to large crowds.
At one meeting, he dramatically took out his watch and said, "I'll give God a chance to prove He exists and that He is almighty. I challenge Him to strike me dead within five minutes!" There was silence, people became uneasy. Some left the hall, one woman fainted. At the end of the allocated time, Ingersoll proudly proclaimed, "See! There is no God. I am still very much alive!"
In a discussion after the lecture, a young man concluded, "Well, Ingersoll certainly proved something tonight!"
A young lady, replying to the remark, said, "He certainly did. He showed that even the most defiant sinner cannot exhaust the patience of the Lord in just five minutes!"
And so it is. The Lord does not want anyone to perish, but (desires) everyone to come to repentance (see 2 Peter 3).
Did you hear that? God wants everyone.
You see, not even the best of people are good enough to save themselves. If you doubt me, go to the library and find a biography about a famous person. If that book is honest, you will see, along with having done great things, your famous individual has also done nasty stuff. The best humanity can produce falls far short of God's perfection (see Romans 3:23). The best life any human can live is marked and marred by sin (see Ecclesiastes 7:20). No matter how many wise men are brought in, they cannot change it.
Rather than have us locked in a never-ending and futile search for salvation, God decided to save us.
For that purpose, He sent His Son into this world. Jesus, God's Son, our Savior, came and became one of us, in every way, but without sin. Jesus, God's Son, came, fulfilling all the prophetic words that had described Him and His mission.
In the most amazing act of love this universe has ever seen, and contrary to human wisdom, an innocent Man was arrested in the place of those who were guilty; a gentle Man was convicted for those who hated Him; a forgiving Man was nailed to a cross, and He endured the death that belonged to those who put Him there.
But then, three days after He had stopped breathing, His heart stopped pumping, His eyes stopped seeing, His ears stopped hearing, Jesus rose from the dead. Twenty centuries later, modern science, with all its technology, cannot match such a feat.
Since Jesus has risen we can believe Him when He says hell awaits those who do not acknowledge Him as Savior. But we can also believe the Triune God would prefer all humanity come to the knowledge of His truth and be saved (see 1 Timothy 2:4).
His is truth you can believe in.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that Your people may share the story of salvation with those who are still lost. Send Your Holy Spirit upon those lost so their hearts may be receptive to the salvation won by the Savior, in whose Name we pray. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries