Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
Recently, I asked my friend Andy if he had a relationship with Jesus Christ. I know Andy’s father was a pastor and his family was part of a church when he was younger, but I noticed that he never mentioned God and remained silent when I did. Andy’s response caught me off guard. He said, “well, religion works for some people, but not everyone.” He then shared how some things happened years ago which hurt him deeply, and he didn’t want anything to do with God or church.
Yes, it’s true. One of the biggest obstacles that keeps us from wanting a relationship with the Creator is other Christians. We will address at another time, but we are responsible for our choices. It’s foolish to allow someone or something else to distract us from decisions which hold monumental consequences for all of eternity.
Jesus tells a story in Matthew 25 about Ten Bridesmaids. The moral of the story is this: half of the bridal party didn’t even know the groom! Although they were given the same opportunity to be part of the festivities as the others, they didn’t fulfil their one obligation to welcome the guest of honor when he finally came. (They had one job!) Because they failed to recognize the most important invitee, they were locked out of the after-party.
Instead of recognizing God as the Creator of the Universe and Jesus as the only one who can save us from the consequences of our sin and failure, many individuals in our culture view God as the eccentric guy at the party. Some people are into that kind of thing, they rationalize, but not me. As the crowd starts to gather and many rush over to join him, others aren’t impressed. They would tell you that they “don’t need that” to enjoy the party and are afraid of missing out on a good time.
But what they don’t realize until the end of the night when the lights go down is that it is HIS PARTY—He owns the mansion, and He invites all the guests. Man, are they surprised when it’s time to square up and He’s holding their tab.
Just like the bridesmaids in the story, we have one job. The only thing asked of us is to recognize His power and sovereignty over creation and publicly acknowledge that He is the One and Only. John 10:9-10 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
The foolish bridesmaids tried to blame the smart ones for why they got left out in the cold, but it was too late. Don’t be locked out of the party. God loves you and has prepared a place for you. The only thing he asks is that you SAY HIS NAME.