Christ is King, or He’s not.
The Gospel message demands a response. That’s the phrase that kept ringing in my head tonight as I listened to Pastor Brad preach from Mark 1:21-34. Brad modeled this thought for us by describing what he later coined the ‘Peter Pan Principle’: the scene from Hook where Pan drew a line in the sand and everyone chose what side of the line they would stand on.
Truth is, he’s right. The problem, the reason I write this little blurb, is because for a time I believed there was a third option.
When I lived as a reprobate, a child of wrath, I thought not now was the loophole. I wanted the red pill (see Matrix), but just not yet. I believed that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross to bear the wrath of God in my stead, rose again on the third day and ascended to the right hand of the Father, all for His own glory. I just was not ready to accept the part about denial of self.
Christ bade me come and die, but I delayed. “Not yet,” I told myself, “maybe in a few more years.” The lie that I had believed was that ‘not yet’ was, in some twisted way, a yes. Morbidly, I would comfort myself with the story of the rich young ruler, “Yeah, he walked away sad, but he still had time. Maybe he changed his mind later on.”
There are only two responses to the Gospel call: repent or reject. That is it.
There is no later, for tomorrow is not promised. If you hear Him calling, even now as you read, do not delay. When Samuel heard the voice of the Lord, he answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10). I urge you to echo his response.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:6–9, ESV)