At the composition of this post, my Darling Mother is dying. I am constantly thanking her for the greatest legacy with which she leaves me: That of having introduced me to Jesus Christ. Because of her, I know, love, and live for Him. Because of her, I introduced my two sons to Him. Because of her, I introduced my nephew and niece to Him. I am eternally grateful for my mother’s legacy because, as Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, we are to “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
When I was young and before I, at the age of reason, veritably gave my life to Jesus Christ, I oftentimes fretted over whether, if forced to choose, I would confess Jesus Christ or deny Him. I, of course, wanted to think that I would never deny Him, but I was young and let’s face it, Americans were largely insulated from persecution back then, anyway. Still, what Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:32-33 always caused fear and trembling in my soul. (And the word “fear” here means “to be afraid,” rather than “to revere” or “to be in awe,” as are many times the Biblical definition of the word.) The New American Standard Bible quotes Jesus as having said, “Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father Who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father Who is in heaven.”
Whew, did those words stir me.
We all know Peter’s story of denial. Three times. Before the rooster crowed. Just like Jesus said. And I knew with absolute certainty that I was nowhere near as holy or religious or faithful or loyal to Jesus as Peter was. And see what Peter did? Yeah, well. Not so heartening for someone like me, to be sure. I mean how was I to stand up to someone and confess that I know Jesus when even Peter did not?
It’s all about choices, Friends. Choices.
We can confess Jesus Christ. Or we can deny Jesus Christ.
Let’s argue that you have not yet made the decision in your life to follow Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Friends, the time is now. Really and truly, it is. The time. Is. Now. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:2 that “now is the accepted time...now is the day of salvation.” You see, there IS a need for salvation. We are a fallen and broken people, and as such, we need redemption. Sin separated us from the Most High God, but through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary, we can be reconciled to the Father. It is, after all, the only means by which we can access the Father: Through His Son. We need for Him to confess us to His Father on That Great Day.
The Bible says that once the rooster crowed, Peter wept bitterly. Friends, Peter immediately recognized the gravity of his denial and repented. We are blessed that he did, because later, after Jesus’ ascension into Glory, Peter instructs us on how we can be saved. In Acts 2:38, Peter said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” You see, Jesus had promised that the Comforter would be sent forth once He ascended into heaven. And sent forth the Holy Spirit was, indeed. The Comforter, or Holy Spirit, indwells us when we turn from sin and turn toward Jesus Christ. When we choose Him. When we confess Him.
It’s all about choices. Do we confess Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, before men? Or do we deny Him?
When I consider the great legacy my Darling Mother leaves me, I think of how I may share Jesus Christ with others as my mother shared Him with me. I think about that narrow path that leads to eternity in heaven. I think of repenting of sins and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. Friends, we are ALL going to LIVE after either our death here on earth or when Jesus Christ comes to take His children home. The Bible says that most of us will suffer and burn with weeping and gnashing of teeth throughout eternity in hell and that some of us will rejoice and live free of worry, hunger, or pain throughout eternity in heaven.
Friends, will you make a decision today to follow Jesus Christ? Will you confess Him? As is recorded in Romans 10:9,“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Friends, the accepted time to confess Him is now. The day of salvation is now. Confess Him, and He will confess you.