One of the skills I appreciate most that I learned in the Army is the ability to navigate with just a map and a compass. Now that might come as a surprise to my wife and daughters, knowing my stubborn male ego and refusal to ask for directions at times. Nevertheless, I was taught and have taught land navigational skills.
One area in the world where you really rely on these skills is in the desert, especially at night. If you are familiar with the terrain, you can become comfortable navigating using terrain recognition during the day.
However, at night all terrain can look the same and you are wise to rely on both your mounted and dismounted land navigational skills. Unfortunately many a soldier became lost and eventually died during desert training because they relied on their own abilities to navigate.
Our spiritual lives are the same. This past Sunday our pastor preached from Hebrews 2 on â€œWhatâ€™s So Wonderful About Christmas,â€ and one of the points he made was Jesus is our salvation captain:
â€œFor it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.â€ (Hebrews 2:10)
Pastor Dennis taught us that captain in the Greek means trailblazer and based on the passage above, Jesus is our heavenly trailblazer. So what does that mean?
Imagine going through a thick jungle where the lead person has a machete and a compass. This person knows the way based off the readings from the compass, but he must cut a trail for others to follow.
The good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ, is that He has blazed the trail to heaven:
â€œJesus said to him, â€˜I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.â€™â€ (John 14:6)
One of the most common complaints or criticisms I hear about Christianity is that it is exclusive and intolerant. While the latter is true to some degree, the former is absolutely true. Christianity is intolerant of sin, but it is not intolerant of sinners. All can come to salvation if they will call on the name of the Lord.
On the other hand, Christianity is exclusive in that those who reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior cannot enter the kingdom of God. We may not like that fact, but our dislike or even dismissal of it does not make it any less true.
Letâ€™s go back to our jungle trailblazer for a moment. Imagine someone being in this group who decides he or she does not like the fact that the lead man has the machete and the compass, even though the trailblazer knows the way to their final destination. If the follower decides that he or she knows better and wants to head out on his or her own way, what conclusion could be made about that person? Foolishness immediately comes to mind.
The writer of Hebrews warned against such foolishness earlier in the 2nd chapter:
â€œHow shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?â€ (Hebrews 2:3-4)
That is undoubtedly the most important question a human being will ever answer. If you neglect, meaning reject, the salvation captain, the Lord Jesus Christ, how will you escape judgment? You may think that youâ€™re not under any judgment, but you would be in error:
â€œHe who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.â€ (John 3:18)
Dear friend, youâ€™re not only under Godâ€™s judgment, but youâ€™re already condemned because you have not believed in Jesus Christ.
Stop trying to blaze your own trail to your eternal destiny. Begin today following the heavenly trailblazer by admitting youâ€™re a sinner, believing that Jesus is the only way to heaven, and commit your life to Him.
Do so now and stop wandering in this world lost, refusing to ask directions because of your ego and hellish pride.
Give your life to Jesus, now.
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Copyright Â© 2014 David Jeffers