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You may have seen the bumper stickers, the coffee mugs, the bracelets, the t-shirts and other such items with WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do?) in big letters. This is supposed to make us think through each situation in which we find ourselves and try to figure out how Jesus would have reacted. Interesting, but I prefer to ask "What would Captain Kirk do?" After all, we often find ourselves in situations where Jesus would never find himself - such as being stuck because our own sin or stupidity. Anyway, the smartest thing I've ever heard any preacher say about this is that the only way to know what Jesus would do is look at what Jesus really did. He has not changed. This same Jesus we read about in the Bible is the same Jesus we worship today. So I want to vary this question and ask "Who will Jesus Save?" Again, the only way to know who Jesus will save is to look at who he already did save. What kinds of people were saved? I will present several types of people in different situations and ask if Jesus will save this person. 1. Someone who is shy, ashamed, and is only interested in helping himself or herself. He or she has no interest in developing a relationship with God. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. "Who touched me?" Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you." But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me." Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly
healed. Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace." (Lk. 8:43-48) This is such a great story - I really admire this woman's courage. Yet, you have to admit that she wasn't really interested in having any relationship with Jesus at first. She had heard the stories and thought to herself, "What if I just touched him? Nobody would even notice." She just wanted to be healed, but she ended up getting more than she had bargained for. (When you see "healed" or "made whole" it is the same Greek word translated "saved" in other verses.) There is a similarity between this and the parable of the prodigal son. He too was lost and reasoned to himself, "My father's servants have plenty to eat and I'm stuck eating pig slop!" I'm not convinced that he really repented, he was just hungry and self interested. He also got more than he had bargained for. 2. The most wicked sinner that ever lived who has no intention of ever repenting. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the worst. (1 Tim. 1:15) Read the story of Paul's conversion in Acts chapter 9. Did Paul say "the sinner's prayer"? Did he openly repent of his sins before he was knocked of his horse on the way to Damascus? Did he "make a decision" to follow Christ or did Jesus just show up? Paul did nothing of himself in order to be saved and was used greatly by God. By his own admission, Paul was the worst of all sinners. 3. Someone who is so completely lost, that he hasn't even the power to ask for salvation. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his
right mind (Lk. 8:27-29, 34) It's my understanding that a person may become demon possessed by dabbling in the occult, doing drugs, or becoming a slave to serious sin. This man was so completely gone that he had no power within him to repent or even ask for help. Jesus saved him. 4. A person who has died without knowing Christ. While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," he said. "Don't bother the teacher any more." But he took her by the hand and said, "My child, get up!" Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. (Lk. 8:49, 54-55) For much of the Christian world, dying without knowing Christ is the unforgivable sin. But death is no barrier to the Lord's saving power. Although this is a true account, it's also a parable about what God can do. He can and will save anyone in any situation. 5. Someone who is lost but cannot find his own way back. Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (Lk. 15:4-7) The sheep knew he was lost but was unable to find his way back. The shepherd searches for the sheep until he finds it. 6. Someone who does not know and does not care that he is lost. Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God
over one sinner who repents." (Lk. 15:8-10) There is a similarity between this parable and the story of the demon possessed man - neither the coin nor the man knew it was lost, nor did it care. Notice it was the woman who searched for the coin, not the coin that searched for the woman. And just like the parable of the lost sheep right before this, she kept searching until she found it. This is what Jesus does for us. 7. A blasphemer, persecutor, ignorant unbeliever Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. (1 Tim. 1:13) This is what Paul said about himself. If the prerequisite for obtaining mercy is ignorance, then who would not qualify? 8. Someone who rejects the Jesus and the Gospel. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. (Lk. 9:54-56, KJV) Maybe you've heard that God doesn't send anyone to hell, they choose to go there by rejecting Jesus. But here we have a biblical example of a people rejecting Jesus. This was no shouting street preacher, or a smiling lady handing out tracts which they were rejecting. They were rejecting Jesus Christ himself and his original disciples. His disciples, much like today's preachers, read this as the "unforgivable sin" and wanted to call fire down from heaven. Jesus rebuked them and reminded them of his mission - to save people. 9. The "many" who are on the "broad road that leads to destruction" Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. (Matt. 7:13)
Some people believe that Jesus is saying that only a few will ever be saved. Could it be that he is exaggerating by saying that any would even enter through the narrow gate on their own? Doesn't Paul tell us that there is no one who seeks God? Without Christ we are all on the road to destruction The word destruction here has the same Greek root as lost and perished. And the lost is exactly who Jesus came to save: For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. (Lk. 19:10) So who will Jesus Save? All of them. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. (1 Tim. 4:9-10) And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 Jn. 4:14)
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