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Who Will Jesus

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

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)