By Scott Shifferd, Jr
“Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation”, said Jesus as He returned from prayer in the garden (Lk 22.46). Jesus told His disciples to pray that they not enter into temptation, but now, an armed crowd came to arrest Jesus. When is an inopportune to time to listen to Jesus?
Many people do not listen Jesus, and they think they are heaven bound. They reason that good people go to Heaven. If good people go to Heaven, then who needs Jesus and who needs God? Regarding being good, Jesus said, "No one is good but One, that is, God" (Mk 10.18). He also said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mk 2.17b). If we have not been sinners, then we do not need Jesus. Jesus was asked, "Lord, are there few who are saved?", and to which Jesus replied, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able” (Lk 13.23-24).
If we need to repent, then we need Jesus. Do our consciences tell us that we need to be relieved of guilt and regret? Jesus said,
“What comes out of a person, that defiles a person. For from within, out of the heart of people, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, extramarital sex, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, cursing, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:20-23).
Are we innocent or guilty? If we not guilty of some sin and evil, then we do not need Jesus. Jesus said, “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Mt 13.41-42). Jesus was clear about those, who practice lawlessness (Mt 7.21-23). Jesus said, “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Lk 12.5, cf. Mk 9.43).
Christ said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (Jn 8.34). He also said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8.32).