Why don’t we turn to God today?
There are many factors to consider in turning to God. When we decide to follow Jesus, we have a decision to make. Of course, deciding to not follow Jesus involves making a decision. What are some of the factors involved in deciding to follow Jesus?
First, a factor is if we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. For those who have heard of Dave Ramsey, he uses this phrase when people are making the decision to get out of debt. Instead of having the debt collectors calling us, we decide to pay off all of our debts. But until we decide that we want out of debt, we are going to remain that way. So it is with deciding to follow Jesus. When we get tired of wallowing in our own self-pity and blaming others for our life situation, we can accept the forgiveness and freedom that God has for us in Jesus Christ.
A second factor in our deciding to follow Jesus is our family. No family is destined to always be the way it is. Just because everyone in the family is a drug addict, it doesn’t mean you have to be a drug addict. But we also know when we decide to follow Jesus, not everyone in our families will be happy for us. For when we reject our old ways of living, our families may see us as rejecting them. It turns out that our decision to follow Jesus is what our families can decide to do as well. But our families may not see it that way immediately or for some time.
A third factor in our deciding to follow Jesus is timing. When is the right time to decide to follow Jesus? The obvious answer would be to decide to follow Jesus before we die. The hard part of that answer is we don’t know when we are going to die. We may die when we are in our teens, our 30’s, or our 50’s. The right time to decide to follow Jesus is today. Today we can know forgiveness from God. Today we can know God’s love. Today we can become part of the Body of Christ, the Church.
Knowing these factors, why would we want to start following Jesus today?
A. Jesus came to bring fire to the earth (12:49-53)
1. There is judgment coming to the earth
2. Jesus is wanting to get this baptism completed
3. We won’t know peace on this earth until all in each family follow Jesus
4. Meanwhile, one household will be divided (2 vs. 3)
5. Things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get any better. Yes, judgment is coming to the earth. Jesus will be bringing fire. Oh, how wonderful it will be when this fire is kindled and the judgment is complete. Until then, we can decide to follow Jesus Christ. Even if our family does not decide to follow Jesus, we can. The signs are pointing us to follow Jesus.
B. Why do you not know how to interpret the present time? (12:54-56)
1. This question is for the crowds around Jesus and for the crowds who have read this passage
2. We recognize when it is going to rain – the clouds in the west even show us that here in Greene County
3. We recognize when it s going to be hot when the wind out of the south blows our way
4. Hypocrites! – don’t we recognize we have time to turn to God?
5. Today is the day for us to turn to God! The present time is the time for us to make ourselves ready for the coming judgment. God has given us mercy to live another day. God has delayed judgment so that more people can turn to him. Jesus died for our sins so that we can have forgiveness. The Holy Spirit has guided us to be at church this morning. Yes, these are signs that this present time, even this very day, is the time for us to turn to God.
If we are sick and tired of how our lives are going, then let us turn to God.
If our families are pulling us away from God, then let us turn to God.
If we think we can delay in turning to God, then today, this present time, is the time for us to turn to God.
The kingdom of God is coming completely to this earth. Judgment will come upon those who have turned away from God. Why don’t we interpret the present time as the time for us to turn to God?