Author and speaker, Joyce Meyer, tells of this story she heard many years ago—It is a story of three demons who were graduating from their course on how to deceive people in the world and prevent them from knowing God.
Satan was questioning each demon, and he asked each one how he would deceive people. The first one answered that he would tell people that there was no God. Satan answered, “You won’t deceive many because most people down deep inside of them do believe God exists even if they have not chosen to follow Him.”
The second demon said he would tell people that heaven and hell didn’t really exist. Satan said, “You will deceive a few more than your co-worker, but you won’t get many souls either.”
The third demon said that he would tell people that there was no hurry, and they could put off the decision to follow God until another time. Satan got excited and said loudly, “You will reap many souls for the kingdom of darkness by simply telling them to make the decision later.”
Unlike other parts of the world, one of the greatest threats to Western Christianity is the urgency for people saying yes to Jesus. For some, their lives seem to be going okay just as they are, and so there is no real need to call out to God, or at least not yet. Whilst others live totally unaware of the fact that there is a God in heaven who loves them—how sad.
I recently read of a report of a town, not too far from where I live, that had its last church close its doors due to low attendance from the locals. The author matched this information with the most recent Australian census that also reported 51% of people from this town indicated that they classified themselves as being non-religious.
The Greatest Gift
Yet, when we say ‘yes’ to Jesus, or rededicate our life to Him after having spent some time away, we find freedom, hope, love, joy, peace and purpose. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans Chapter 8 verse 1)
Salvation is the greatest gift to mankind and Jesus freely offers it to us all. And still, so many put off this decision of making Him Lord and Saviour of our lives.
Paul writes in Philippians Chapter 2, verse 12, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling”
Salvation; saying yes or rededicating your life to Jesus, is for everyone. But just like a married couple works at their marriage, so must we work out our relationship with our heavenly Father. Shortly after I had rededicated my life to Jesus, I remember trying to work out how, exactly, God created the world. After talking to a few people and doing some of my own research, I suddenly came to the conclusion that I simply had to believe what the Bible said about it.
Rick Warren, the author of Purpose Driven Life, says that the most basic question that we all face in life, is firstly—Why am I here? And secondly—What is my purpose? Rick believes that real meaning and significance come when we understand and fulfil God’s purpose as to why He put us on this earth. This can only be done when we acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour (Romans Chapter 10, verse 9-10).
Elise Pappas is a Pastor and together with her husband pastor a church on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. They have a son, Jonathan and a daughter, Sophie. Elise is a former clinical drug trial research coordinator and business owner. She writes about life and ministry experiences.