One day my heart was heavy, so I wrote the following thoughts as though I were writing to Jesus. I feel that, in time, GOD helped me better understand the answers to my concerns. If you'd like to understand the increased clarity I received, I explain in this series of posts.
Where do I even begin?
Lord, I know that You already know what is on my heart. You know what I am going to say, and I know that You alone hold the answers. And here I am not even knowing where to start.
My heart feels like a hurricane of thoughts and emotions, shifting, changing, unsettled.
I look around, Jesus, and in my view of the world I see so many people who believe in You. Churches abound, with buildings on every corner.
Yet, there are more problems than ever in the world, more family turmoil, more failed marriages, more absentee fathers, more crime, more financial problems—more evil.
Jesus, there are more people than ever who know Your name and have at least a surface-level knowledge of You, and yet it seems that there are less and less people who truly know You.
Savior, there are countless people who sincerely believe and preach that all a person must do in order to be saved is to intellectually acknowledge that You are the Son of GOD who died for their sins. They snip verses from Your Word, lead people to the doorstep of your salvation, yet never crossing the threshold, and give them a false sense of security, believing they have been born again by "faith" alone.
Jesus, how can this be? What will happen to these people? Don't You love them too?
I know You do for I hear You say, "GOD so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that they should not perish but have eternal life."
When I read verses like Rom. 10:13, which says, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved," I sometimes think, "Well, is it me? Do I misunderstand? Am I the one who is deceived? Perhaps You do accept all of these people who believe in You."
And then I hear You say, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven."
Why, Lord? Why did You leave room for misunderstanding in Your Word? Why is it not more clear?
And I hear You say, "Because it separates those who will truly seek Me from those who don't. 'Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.'"
The truth is, Jesus, that You have made it clear how we can be saved and be approved by You. I know this. It's just so difficult to accept that so many will be lost who claim to know You today.
And I hear You say, "Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" It just seems so unfair Lord, so unloving...so unlike You.
Jesus, it's so difficult to maintain a proper view of You and Your character.
You are love and You are wrathful.
You are GOD and You are man.
You are holy and yet gracious.
You expect holiness, yet are merciful toward us in our weakness.
You are meek and lowly in heart and yet the King of kings and Lord of lords.
You are everywhere present and yet right here with me in every moment.
You are the master planner and yet are involved and care about our every trivial concern.
Because we all have human weaknesses, even with our best efforts, we can misunderstand and misperceive You, Lord.
I hear fellow believers who say that we're promoting a gospel of works. They say that when You said upon the cross, "It is finished," that this means there is no more need to work.
And when I read your Word, Jesus, I hear you say, "Faith without works is dead," and, "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling."
Jesus, I can't be condescending towards people who say these things, because I believe they are sincere, and because I too may be misperceiving You. What am I not seeing correctly? Help me, please!
I want to see You as You are. I want to know You more closely every day.
King, You have commanded me to rejoice always, and I'm trying, but I find it very difficult to be joyful when I know based on Your word that so many of those I love (and so many I don't even know) are rushing headlong into hell.
And this is the most difficult part, Lord: Most of them believe they know You! Most believe they are saved.
How do I make them see the truth? How do I make someone see the need to repent and die with You in the watery grave of baptism in order to have their sins cleansed? How do I help them see that baptism alone, apart from dying to their past life of sin, is simply getting wet?
Oh, show Me, Jesus! Give me courage and true sincere love that provokes me to tell them. Help me to love them more than I love their friendship. Help me not love my life here. I don't want to save my life so that I end up losing it.
Jesus, I need You so deeply, it is beyond words. I'm so broken and disfunctional without You. I have heard You say, "Apart from Me, you can do nothing," and I have found it to be true. I have also heard You say that I can do all things through You because You give me strength.
O Lord, give me strength. Help my aching heart. Make my days meaningful and use me to stop some souls who are rushing headlong down the wide path that leads to eternal destruction. I'm desperate.
If you'd like to understand the increased clarity I received, in time, after writing these things, read this series of posts.