I remember reading an article: way back in the 60s when those Russian cosmonauts went up into outer space for a few hundred miles, came back, and said, “We have searched the heavens and there is no God.” Well, I’ll tell you one thing: if they had stepped out of that space capsule, they would have met Him face to face!
When you look at so many of the world’s philosophies today, it becomes clear that many people are living without God. And before Jesus, you and I were without God as well. That’s why, in today’s passage, Jesus clearly equates knowing Him with knowing His Father. You can’t have one without the other!
Our generation doesn’t like the word authority. We don’t like to be under anybody. We stick out our chests and talk about being free-born Americans.
If you’re a baby boomer, you’re of a generation of anti-authority figures. In your lifetime you’ve gone through the hula hoop, the Barbie doll, pop psychology, Dr. Spock, Donahue, and the Beatles. It was all anti-authority! Fathers were Archie Bunker. Preachers were Flip Wilson. The anthem was, “Do your thing. If it feels good, do it.” Many of us dare not realize the vestiges of rebellion that still lurk down in our hearts.
But here is what the Word of God says.
In the fullness of time his Son comes and takes on human nature. He comes not, in the first instance, to judge but to save: he dies the death of his people, rises from the grave and, in returning to his heavenly Father, bequeaths the Holy Spirit as the down payment and guarantee of the ultimate gift he has secured for them—an eternity of bliss in the presence of God himself, in a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
The only alternative is to be shut out from the presence of this God forever, in the torments of hell. What men and women must do, before it is too late, is repent and trust Christ; the alternative is to disobey the gospel (Romans 10:16;2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17).
The grace of God in the gospel turns everything into hope for those who believe. "Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that...we might have hope" (Rom. 15:4). "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things" (Rom. 8:32). Therefore, all the various tones of texts (let them resound!) resolve into the infinitely varied tones of hope, for those who believe in Jesus.
Faith is not tested by what we say or even by what we believe. The true test of faith is in how we live. He is calling all of us to a new place. But we must rid ourselves of old habits, our sinful nature, foolishness, laziness, bitterness, and all the other crazy things we hold onto. We keep hearing the Holy Spirit say, “get prepared!” And that is want we want to do and be.
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(2 Peter 1:5-8)
To be without Christ is to be without God. And if you don’t know Jesus, you don’t know God. You may know about God, but Jesus didn’t just come to tell us who God is. He came to show us who God is!
D.L. Moody, the great evangelist, was once quoted as saying, “One day they’re going to put in my obituary that D. L. Moody is dead.” He said, “Don’t you believe it… for I will be more alive than ever before!”
So the next time you talk with someone who has a different worldview than you, introduce them to your God by introducing them to Jesus. Tell them of His love for them and what He did to save them. When you show them Jesus, they’ll understand God in a whole new way!
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Romans 13:1