Disease. Crime. Poverty. Corruption. Bloodshed. Prostitution. Drugs. This was the condition of the world when Jesus came to the earth. How did the Lord deal with these problems? He didn’t eradicate sickness. He never promised to lift everyone out of poverty. His mission was not to be a political king and establish the perfect government. In short, He didn’t come to create heaven on earth. Instead, the Savior pointed men to a bigger picture with greater concerns.
Jesus preached that a day of reckoning is coming. He called it the day of judgment and spoke of it often. “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36). Speaking of those who refused to hear the apostles’ preaching, He warned, “Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city” (Matt. 10:16). Here is what will happen on that great day: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them from one another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:31-32). To those on His right hand He will say, “Come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). To those on His left hand He will say, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41).
This was the most serious matter of Jesus’ day, and it is in our time as well. It far outweighed problems like sickness, disasters, war or even death. Jesus said we must keep these things in perspective: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28). What happens to the body is not the most important issue. It is our soul.
Jesus came to deal with man’s greatest problem and supply his most urgent need. The worst danger we face is being lost in sin and suffering eternal damnation in hell becauseof it. The greatest need is salvation from sin and the hope of heaven. That is why Jesus came. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Tim. 1:15). His blood was “shed for the remission of our sins” (Matt. 26:28). Jesus had a mission: to die on the cross for our sins. He refused to let anyone or anything turn Him from that goal. We need to remember this.
Don’t let people distract you. Don’t follow their lead in deciding what is most important. Focus your heart on where you are going. Keep your mind on the Word of God. Time is swiftly passing by like the vapor the Bible says it is. Lay hold on the promise of eternal life and refuse to let go until your last breath.
Kerry Duke, VP of Academics and Academic Affairs