Now or Later. I was reading this section this mo…

Now or Later.

I was reading this section this morning and Jesus’ words really stood out to me. Thought I would point them out to you also:

John 5:1-15 – After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, [waiting for the moving of the waters; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.] A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.” But he answered them, “He who made me well was the one who said to me, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk.'” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk’?” But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Jesus, as an apocalypticist (everything he did, said, thought, preached was in light of the coming Kingdom), I doubt was just thinking that something bad would happen later to the man, that he would get sick again or worse perhaps. His view was in light of the coming judgment day. Only moments later he will tell those who questioned him that “an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice, and will come forth; those who did good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment (John 5:28-29).” Jesus’ perspective was beyond the current situation because he knew the state of the world and mankind itself.

Are we willing to adopt this perspective as well? Are you looking to help someone today and ignore helping them be saved from dying? Are you worried about a person fitting in or about a person escaping fire? Are we concerned about the people around us being comfortable than their current condemnation? Are we fearful of a man or of God?

John 3:36 (HSCB) – The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.

Mankind has a bigger problem than the trials of this life. Where man stands today is on the wrong side of the wrath of a just God. The Kingdom of God is coming and something much worse than any trial, suffering, illness or problem will hit many. Jesus was concerned with the greater issue, even bigger than healing the man from his illness. Unless a sinner is forgiven of their crimes tragedy awaits. Men need Jesus’ sacrifice. Badly. This is what Jesus was speaking about.

That is why Jesus said “do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you/repent because the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Jesus had to tell him this because this was the bigger issue. It remains the world’s biggest and most critical issue today as well. That is what we must preach the GOSPEL. How will men know they need to flee from their sin unless they are told? Do we expect our good deeds to indicate to them their fate? Will they forsake their evil because of our smiles and handshakes? Will they repent because of the meals they eat in our homes?

Do not stop your good works. Keep smiling and shaking hands. Never cease to be hospitable. But start preaching the gospel of the Kingdom and repentance in light that.

Jesus was obsessed with the age to come. He lived in light of it. He spoke about it. He prayed for it. He died because of it. He was resurrected to be in it. He will return to rule it. This was his purpose, his driving force, his goal. It is what shaped his outlook and worldview. It would seem that his followers should share the purpose of their Lord.

Although it is sad to even have to mention this – the gospel is necessary for salvation. The followers of Christ must heart it, think it, learn it, and speak it. Do not assume you know it already. This might be what is keeping you back from speaking it. Let God teach you as you read and meditate on the words of Jesus and his disciples. Doing this now enables you, like Jesus, to deal with the earnest issue that is facing each man later.

Mark 8:36-38 – “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

A good question to answer yourself about the people you are around and yourself as well.

Go now and tell them they need to stop sinning.
Before it is too late – please.
For the love of God.

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