It’s hard for me to imagine why someone would reject Christ. He offers so much (payment for our sins, freedom from guilt and shame, salvation from eternal damnation in hell, an eternal home in heaven with Him, etc.), and all He asks is that we repent and believe. “Trust Me,” is the call that rings from generation to generation. The offer is so very clear. John 3:14-16 states that “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
His offer is clear and open to everyone. Yet so often, His offer is regularly rejected.
That passage in John chapter three, where Jesus, speaking to Nicodemus, refers to the Moses incident in the wilderness, is fascinating, and reveals some important implications for us today. The Israelites had sinned; they had grumbled against God. In response, God acted quickly and sent snakes who bit the grumblers (Numbers 21:6). It was then that the people realized they had sinned, and so they begged to Moses to intercede to God on their behalf. Moses, the ever-faithful leader, did so, and God came up with a plan. He told Moses to erect a brass snake, and anyone who chose to look at it would be healed, and not die. Simple solution, right?
Well, realize a couple of things. First, God didn’t immediately remove the effects of the snake bites from the people. He could have. Instead, He came up with a plan that they would have to follow. God doesn’t always immediately remove the tough situations we’re in (including the situations we get in because of our own sin). Often, He takes His time working His plan. We need to trust that He has our best in mind when He’s doing so.
Second, it’s fascinating to me that not everyone followed the plan. In fact, the Scripture makes it clear that some died as a result of not looking (see again, Numbers 21:6). Why is that? How could they be so foolish? Why would they make such a tragic mistake?
James MacDonald, in his book, Lord, Change My Attitude (Before It’s Too Late), offers a few suggested reasons why. For one, maybe they didn’t think they needed help. Maybe they just thought the effects of the fiery serpents would just go away. They might have thought, “This isn’t so bad,” or, “I can deal with this my own way; I don’t need God’s help.” A tragic decision for sure.
Another reason could have been that they simply couldn’t trust God’s goodness. Maybe they thought it was a trick, that God just wouldn’t do that for them. And so, in a last ditch effort to remain in control, they shun the prospect of hope for their life because they can’t understand a God who is good. Yet another tragic response.
Finally, perhaps they denied the problem altogether. Is it even possible that they thought they were perfectly fine, even while they were spiraling towards death? It’s hard to imagine, but it certainly would be a tragic end.
Today, men and women reject Christ for the same reasons. They see their need, but they think they can fix it another way. They doubt God’s goodness, and think they are beyond the hope of salvation. Or, they don’t even see a need for a Savior. All lead to tragic ends.
Friends, don’t reject Christ. He is the only way. He’s the only solution. Come to Jesus. Look and live.