Christian student addresses the false messages from the preacher on campus
I’m going to hell. At least, that’s what I’ve been told multiple times by our neighborly bullhorn preachers. Apparently, my dreadlocks and tattoos are a major hindrance if I ever wanted to go to heaven. Also, the God they have shared with me cannot wait to punish various people for eternity. My only problem with this is that they claim this God they speak of is Jesus of Nazareth.
The Jesus I was told about the other day on campus, by the man with a bullhorn, seems drastically different from the Jesus I know.
In John 10:10, Jesus said, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
Jesus claimed that his purpose was to give people an abundant and gratifying life, but the message I heard the other day was condemning all who could hear.
My suggestion is that we’re referring to two different beings. One is a product of a fanatical religious pride that condemns all within earshot; the other is the historical Jesus who came to give us real and sufficient life. One is a fabricated person that demands that we follow every rule imaginable and damns us at the first whiff of disobedience; the other realized that we could never live the perfect life, so he lived it for us. And, he died as a substitute in our place.
Many have come to believe following Jesus is all about obeying a set of rules, but this is far from the truth. The true Jesus came to call people to life, and he showed them that the most satisfying life is spent with him.
In “The Weight of Glory,” the 1950s Cambridge professor and prolific writer, C.S. Lewis, argued as humans, our desires are not intensely high, but in fact, they are pathetically weak when seen in light of what we were created for:
“It would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak,” Lewis wrote. “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
As humans, we have become blind to our true purpose, and we have settled for what is easy. This has left us desperate, looking for fulfillment in anything, yet we are always left unsatisfied, hungry for something more. There is a void because we have been searching in all the wrong places; the only place we will find infinite joy and lasting satisfaction is in the one who created us.
Jesus came to bring rest to the weary and hope to the hopeless.
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He is not condemning everyone; instead, he is inviting everyone to experience infinite joy and genuine love in him, for now and eternity. Thankfully, the Jesus that I serve paid the price for me to spend an eternity with him. He offers the same to you today.