(By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
There is a reason why Jesus is called "the Savior of the world," and not merely "the mentor" or "the example." Jesus Christ literally saves people from their sins. But not everyone. Only anyone.
Many don't want to be "saved." They don't think they need "salvation." It's not that God doesn't want to save them. It's that they don't want God in that way. Instead, they just want Him around in case they need to ask for something else.
Personal salvation is a free gift, but there are many who decide to turn away from this gift. They honestly don't see the importance of this offer of grace. It's like a person who has a deadly disease, but is unaware of his condition. He thinks everything is just fine. If he only knew.
Sin goes deep within man. It is a violation of God's perfect standard. And it deserves punishment from a Holy God. All of that just seems to "fly over the heads" of those who "don't feel too sinful." They assume their feelings can be trusted, and that the Bible should be looked at with suspicion rather than with faith.
It would be like that man with a disease who is told about his terminal illness, but he doesn't trust the diagnosis. Therefore, he continues to live life as though everything is OK. If he only knew.
God will save anyone, but not everyone. Many will spend eternity apart from God and His heavenly kingdom. And what a kingdom it will be! If man only knew what he is missing. By rejecting the love and mercy of Jesus, man says "no" to the only Person who can save his soul for eternity. Of course, those who say "no" to Jesus don't think they are going to miss out on anything. If they did, they would likely accept Christ's free gift. If they only knew.
Can anyone come to Christ and be saved? Yes indeed. Anyone can approach Christ in faith. Anyone that is who sees His need and sees the solution. It's like this: Your soul is sick, as is mine. We are sinners. We cannot wash away our sin, but Jesus can. His blood can do it, and this occurs when a person trusts Christ to forgive Him. You bring Jesus your sin in sincerity and truth, and He cleanses your soul and makes you acceptable to the Father. Without Jesus, you are in no condition to approach the Father. You are unclean, and so am I. Only Jesus makes us clean before God.
"But I feel pretty clean just as I am." That may be true, but feelings cannot be completely trusted. Jesus can always be trusted. Feelings often lead people away from God. The Holy Spirit leads people to the Father through the Son. You can trust Him to save you. God will save anyone, but not everyone.
It's fine to come to Christ "just as I am," as long as you are trusting in the right thing to cleanse you. In the words of the famous hymn, you can say to God: "Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come." You can do it my friend! You really can. That is, if you see your need and you see your Savior. Otherwise, you will continue to live life as though you are just fine without Jesus. If you only knew.
I know you are part of "everyone," but have you moved into the "anyone" camp yet? Have you personally received Jesus as your Savior, as you repent of your sin and confess Christ as Lord? Some people can honestly say, "Jesus is my Savior," while others can only say, "He was a good man." How about you? What can you honestly say about the Messiah? Do you know Him? Jesus said, "I know my sheep and my sheep know me." (John 10:14)
God will save anyone, but not everyone. That's just the way God designed His plan of salvation. And you get to design your approach to life, and to death. You can live and die with Jesus, or you can live and die without Him. You can trust Christ and follow Him, or you can ignore Him and say "no" to His offer of grace. God won't force you to be in His family if you are determined to live life outside of it.
So the ball is in your court. God has done everything necessary for you to be offered this gracious gift of eternal life in heaven. Will you combine this Gospel message with faith, or instead, continue on in unbelief? The door is open. Salvation has been provided. While it may seem to you like "everyone" has heard this message before, here's the real question for you today: Is "anyone" listening?