There are a few scriptures that trouble me. One is found in Matthew 7:14.
But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.
Another, following the same theme is found just a few verses later. Jesus explains some will be shocked when He says, “Depart from me. I never knew you.”
My heart aches to consider the multitudes who have, and will, miss life. That sorrow presses me to know God more fully, to reveal Him with greater simplicity and clarity. My heart cry is that the world will know the glorious beauty of Jesus Christ.
Earlier this week, we looked at the preparation of His Bride, the Church; today, let’s dig deeper into what maturity looks like. We tend to think of believers as studious or caring individuals. Those things are true, but there is so much more! Jesus gave a challenging description of those who live in faith. As you read it, ask yourself: does my life look like this?
Everyone who believes me will be able to do wonderful things. By using my name they will force out demons, and they will speak new languages. They will handle snakes and will drink poison and not be hurt. They will also heal sick people by placing their hands on them. (Mark 16:17-18)
Some of the words in the passage are loaded with denominational divisiveness. Clearly, that was not Jesus’ intent. That description surely works for all sincere believers in Christ. Let’s unpack it a bit.
The first wonderful thing is forcing out demons. Our world abounds with evil: addictions, abusive actions, hatred, violence. All such atrocities are driven by the power of evil. The life of a true believer will display evidence of helping others find freedom from the control of evil.
Next, Jesus says they will speak in new languages. For some, that will be a heavenly language, for others it will be a miraculous ability with a foreign language. Clear communication that crosses cultural barriers is in effect a new language. Sincere believers will express the Truth of Christ to whomever they encounter.
The protection of the Savior will be clearly seen in a Believer’s life. Dangerous, even deadly, circumstances cannot stop the true believer. As persecution increases and the world grows darker, these evidences will surely gleam brighter.
The healing of the sick revealed the power of Jesus when He walked the earth–and He does not change. In our western world, traditional medicine may obscure the work of the Lord, but healings happen. Less developed worlds see and report miracles frequently. Sickness, like the work of demons, takes many forms. Believers trust the power of God to fix what is broken.
Twenty-first century Christianity easily falls into “a form of godliness that denies the power.” We must not allow that to be our testimony. A deceived and dying world needs us to passionately pursue Jesus–so that they will know.
Which of the descriptions of a believer excites–or challenges–you the most?