“Come to Jesus, get ‘saved,’ and you will go to heaven.” Sadly, this is all the average believer hears or understands. They hear that Jesus died to rescue us from our sin and to give us a future home in heaven, but almost nothing else. It contains some elements of truth, but the words alone are very empty and hopeless for the average person. Jesus feels mysterious, far away, untouchable, and unreal. Many times, this is the only thread of gospel truth that is ever heard by anyone; especially in the western world.
Often, at the time a person accepts Jesus, it is often inferred (not explained) that if a person makes a decision to follow Jesus that they will be accepted and will have a reserved parking spot (place) in heaven; “in the future” and when they die. Nothing is said about empowered daily living in the mean time. Little is also said about repentance and turning from sin. The new believer is asked to say “I’m sorry;” an apology addressed to God just as if they accidentally bumped into someone while crossing the street and kept walking. Then they are often told that “everything will be alright now.” They have become part of the church “club.” But the church is not supposed to be a “club” filled with people who only sit and wait for eternity to begin. The gospel designed to give hope, life, joy and purpose beyond any circumstances. It is meant to be believed on in such a way that a person’s life is drastically altered today and forever.
The good news of Jesus Christ contains value beyond measure. And the realities of that treasure are to be experienced now; today, by everyone who professes to know Jesus as their Savior.
This presents a huge topic, but allow me to briefly summarize what I am getting at.
I am often asked why churches see so few miracles, salvations and power today. For most, the answer is quite simple. The people just won’t believe it is possible. They don’t believe that Jesus can heal (or actually make a difference in their situation). Another reason may be that medical science feels more real, more tangible to them. But there is a “key” to miracles in the church and for people to be gloriously saved. The life of “Jesus” is the key.
“And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.” – Acts 4:33
The apostles did not only describe an empty cross and an empty tomb. They knew that Jesus was alive. This was the reason for their hope, power and for their bold preaching. Jesus was resurrected and lives now! And His power is on 100% all of the time. He has all authority in heaven and on earth; reigning supreme over all creation. He is real and involved.
This may sound trite to some, but the resurrection of Jesus; the fact that He lives, proves all other miracles and makes all things possible.
It is because He lives that you and I can be forgiven. …A dead person cannot forgive anyone.
Because He lives, we can ask for His help and He will give it. …A dead man (or dead religion) cannot help no matter how much you insist.
And if any of us need healing in our body, well… I would not suggest going to a dead doctor. That fellow would not even be able to make a diagnosis or fill out a prescription for some aspirin! He would be no help at all.
So, If you need to be rescued from your sin, call out for His help and Jesus will be there. If you need a miracle, cry out to Jesus. He is on the throne and ready to take action!
There is more to Christian life than just looking forward to being in heaven. Jesus is to be a part of every day reality, starting now! Hope is real because Jesus is alive. This is the gospel that charges lives and brings miracles. Lift up the name of Jesus. No other has the power to save because all others have died trying.
Jesus saves! Jesus saves! …because He lives!
For more information about “The Nations Hope,” visit our web site at www.nationshope.org
Jason is founder and evangelist for The Nations Hope and lead pastor of Life Tree Church in San Jose, California. He talks a lot.
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