It may be strange to think of it, but when we say the phrase, “Come to Jesus” it has a different meaning to some than it did just a few years ago.
For example, you may hear someone speak of a “Come To Jesus Meeting.” In our American culture this describes a time when a polite ultimatum is given, generally followed by a less polite ultimatum, then a threat or final option. If you are a parent this may mean that “your meeting” is followed by a parental spanking or some other form of punishment. If you are an adult, something more sever may be the result of “your meeting.”
The phrase may be used in this way: “Son, this is your only option and if you do not want to do this, then you can come here and we will have a ‘come to Jesus meeting’.” In other words, there will be consequences to your decision not to comply with the request.
In reality that meaning has not changed from the original has it? Jesus came to call all men unto him, right? For what purpose? To initiate a change in their lives an actions and to ultimately save them from their sins. He never threatens, but does point out the consequences for someones “failure to comply”. The refusal to give our hearts to him, to love him enough to do what he asks has t he consequences of eternal separation from God.
We tend to categorize sins (the refusal to obey God’s directions) as either big sins or little sins, but in reality they all bear the same consequences don’t they? A good example of this is found in Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
A modern translation puts it this way: “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars, their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
What is the second death? It is an eternal separation from God, the source of life, which by definition is a spiritual death. If you want to understand a true “come to Jesus meeting,” that is it. Sin of any kind is still sin and our failure to comply with God’s request brings about the ultimate consequences, eternal death.
How about you, is it time for you “come to Jesus meeting?”
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.