Blog » I Beg You, Make the Time
- Apr 11th, 2014 at 2:26 PM (CST)
It's a day or so away from Palm Sunday, one of the great festival days for Christians, a day we hail Jesus as our King.
Whenever I look at that event I am struck by the contrast of the crowd of Jesus' followers whooping it up and celebrating Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem as they, "...began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen," and the Lord himself, who a short time later wept as he looked over the city from the hillside opposite. It was a day of jubilee for Jesus' friends, but a day of lament for the Lord.
Why so? Because Jesus had on his mind all those who would not recieve him. There were far more in the city of Jerusalem who were busy, who were involved in other affairs, who just didn't care about him, and they were marked for destruction, like sheep led to the slaughter. Jesus said, "If you, even you, hadn only known on this day what would bring you peace - but now it is hidden from your eyes (see the account in Luke 1928-44)." He went on to describe enemy armies encircling the city and infants being thrown down to the ground. Lovely, huh?
Christianity is not feel good religion; it's the plan of salvation from our worst enemies - Satan, sin and death. Jesus was to some in Jerusalem "king for a week," but to those who know the Gospels he is King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He has defeated our enemies and we have confidence eternally because we know him.
But do you know him? A recent State of the Bible poll showing how Americans think about the Bible shows a lot of individuals are acting like residents of Jerusalem for whom Jesus wept. As the Millennials, a group largely not raised in Christian homes, comes of age they are asserting their resistance to the Gospel. Since 2011 the percentage of those who feel the Bible is just another book of teachings written by men that contains good advice doubled from 10 to 20%. Forty percent of Millennials, aged 18-29, have never read the Bible - they say they are "busy".
Imagine the breathtaking consequences eternally of being too "busy" to heed the Word of God. This is not ignorance of the Bible; it is disdain, pure and simple. These people know the Bible is supposed to be the word of the Creator, the Savior, and they are too "busy" to read it! Let's not get caught up in the technological rift of reading print versus hearing it on MP3 or streaming audio. It's not a matter of media but one of intent.
I was recently contacted by a couple seeking a quick wedding. They needed an official wedding here in the states; the trip they would take next month would include a ceremony but not a true wedding. This couple spent plenty of time planning their trip, but came four weeks before the trip to get officially married.I guess they couldn't be bothered, even though the message which was left discussed that they both were Lutherans, to make themselves part of a church, to seek the friendship of a pastor who could someday officiate their ceremony. Likely, they were too "busy".
My principle is; no counseling, no wedding. I don't do quickie ceremonies, because, frankly, a fair number of couples should not be getting married, and many have serious issues to resolve before they do. Putting a rubber stamp of approval on a questionable relationship is like driving an alcoholic to the liquor store. I typically meet with couples to give them godly guidance and plenty of time to work out problems in their relationship prior to tying the knot. There is not adequate time to conduct the counseling properly for this couple. But I am willing to have them take the online survey as a show of commitment to counseling after their trip, and then officiate a ceremony for them. Will this couple ever get it? Will they ever see Jesus as more than an accessory to their lives, and stop drifting away only to return when they want something from "the church"? I hope so!
Too "busy" is going to be the reason many will not make it to eternal life. It's the reason Jesus wept over Jerusalem, the city of God, the great King, on Palm Sunday! I beg you, especially any self-assured, "busy" young audults of any culture, make time for God if you expect Him to make time for you the day you draw your last breath.