The Risk of Christ

by Will Smee

 

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The Risk of Christ
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BIBLIOTHÈQUE FRANÇAISE


Psalm 19

         Psalm 19(KJV):1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

         2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

         3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

         4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,

         5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

         6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

         

         The apostle Paul speaks of the declaration in this Psalm in Romans 1(KJV):20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
         Paul is saying that creation itself shows us who God is in such a plain way that we are without excuse. So what is the risk of Christ? The Merriam Webster Dictionary definition of risk says that it means the possibility of loss or injury. Risk has something to do with loss. It could be loss of possessions, job, health, mobility, reputation, prestige, family, friends. There are many types of loss we can experience in this life, depending on the risks we take. But Jesus warns us of a risk where we not only lose everything we possess in this life, but also our soul, our very being in Matthew 16 (KJV):24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
         Jesus also issues a dire warning in Matthew 18 (KJV):8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
         While this might sound a little extreme, yet it contains a dire warning. The real risk, Jesus warns, is losing our soul and being cast into hell, or eternal fire. That is the real risk we all must face in this life. Is gaining the whole world really worth it? Is doing our own thing really worth it if we lose our soul? And what will you give in exchange for your soul? Or how much is your soul worth? This is the greatest risk anyone can ever take. So what is Jesus’ message? What is he preaching?
         


 The Message of Jesus Christ

           Beginning in the Gospel of Mark, we read in Mark 1 (KJV):14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
           Jesus is preaching that we need to repent and believe the gospel. The word repent in the Greek means to have a change of mind about something. In the Hebrew, it means to turn. The word “gospel” means good news. The good news is that Jesus offers us eternal life as we read in John 3 (KJV):16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
           If we will have a change of mind about Jesus, and turn from our sin, and believe the good news, we can have eternal life. Can it be that simple? We just believe in Him and we have eternal life? Jesus also said the same in John 5 (KJV):24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
           This is the Gospel message. If you believe in the Son, you have eternal life. But Jesus also points out our risk as we read in John 3 (KJV):36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
           We risk losing His offer of eternal life if we reject Him! What is it we must believe about the Son to receive eternal life? Paul the apostle tells us in Romans 10 (KJV):8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
           This is the risk of Christ we are all faced with. Will we believe in Him or will we not believe? I admit. When I first read this, it seemed too good to be true. Too simplistic to be worthy of consideration. Still, I wondered how could I know if it's true. God is so large, so beyond comprehension. I finally told God, "I have to hear from You." If it's true I reasoned, "God, You are big enough that You can get in touch with me and let me know in a way that I could know without a shadow of a doubt." If it’s true…
          Now Jesus said in John 7 (KJV):17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
          If we are simply willing to let God show us, we can know if what He says is true. This is where the risk of Christ comes in. It is a risk even for us to be willing to hear from Him.
          Why would we not be willing? We might feel that we would lose our freedom to make our own choices, the choices that we want to make, if we were willing to hear from God. Or we might feel that our friends or our family might not agree and so reject us. Or we might feel that we would have to be under the control of the church if we were to hear from God.
          There are a thousand and one excuses we could come up with why we wouldn't even be willing to hear from Him. But if we want to be real, we know that we must at least give Him the chance to speak to us. This is what I did. I told God that I was willing to hear from Him if He would only speak to me in a way that I could be real and know it was Him. I didn't want to pretend He was God. I didn't want to just go through the motions, the ritual of going to church. Will you be willing and let Him speak to you?



...less of me.