Everyone Wants Jesus
Everyone wants to believe there is some kind of hope to be had in life. Here’s a kicker of a realization; in Christ, we have ultimate hope. We have a Hope that beats down every thing of this world that incites terror. Our Hope defeats illness, brokenness, sadness, anxiety, and death. Have you been paying attention to your social media feeds? Social media is possibly the place where people feel the “safest” to share what is on their minds... even when the rest of the world thinks they probably should’ve kept it to themselves. The point is, there is a common thread that links what people are talking about; it’s a longing for hope. “But, some people post some really terrible, nasty things!” you object. Oh yes, that is true, but most things that are posted out of hate are reactions of fear, and fear is a reaction of lost hope. If people on the internet are searching for hope, you can well assume that people are searching for hope offline too.
Evangelism means “to bring good news.” It’s basically the word hope wrapped up in a longer word. Somehow along the way, we have made evangelism a scary, terrifying thing. There is a lie that has circulated in the hearts of many Christians across the globe; no one wants to hear about Jesus. That’s an incredible lie and it needs to be put to death right now. Refuse to believe it, even if you heard someone say with their own mouth that they don’t want to hear about Jesus. Look around you and listen to the heart of the world. What is it that everyone really truly longs for? His name is Jesus, but it might be spoken in other words like happiness, love, significance, fun, completeness, etc.
Paul, at one point in his ministry, finds himself in Athens at the Areopagus and he sees a bunch of shrines to different gods. This is what he said, “When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I’m here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you’re dealing with” (Acts 17:22-23, The Message). He then goes into a discourse of who this God is, the creator of the world. It’s just too good not to paste in here. You have to read it for yourself:
"The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?”
Are you catching what Paul is telling the crowd?! He is seeing the gold in the situation and sees how close this people is to finding God. He is telling them, “You’re almost there! Let me give you a little more information so you can see the truth. He isn’t a mystery. He isn’t unknown. Rather, He has made Himself known, and He is so very very close to you. You have just been calling Him by a different name.” There is so much more packed into what Paul said, but here’s the point; the people were so close to the truth but were confused by their culture.
This is true in our culture today! Again, looking at a list of values that our world culture claims you’d find: freedom, happiness, love, equality, peace... right? And if you found a list like that posted on the wall of your church you’d nod in agreement. Our hearts call out for the same things! ANY word that is good is a word that describes Jesus. ANY WORD! So, when we see our brothers and sisters chasing after only one characteristic of who Jesus is, it should cause excitement in us to encourage them and tell them they are almost there, but there is something even more complete that includes everything they are looking for, and His name is Jesus.
Oh, what would the world look like if we believed that everyone deep down inside truly just wants Jesus!? This is the urgency that we must have in our hearts. Do you feel the tension? Don’t you feel the hope rising up in you? Oh brother, oh sister, you have the Hope that fills bottomless pits. You have the Hope that heals the wounds of both the physical body and the spiritual inner man. You have the Hope that gives you life for eternity. Everyone on this globe is asking for it, just in a different language. Translate the message of Jesus so they can hear. See the lie, but hear the truth that is hidden underneath it. Be in tune with the Spirit to hear the hearts of those around you. Reject the lie that no one wants Jesus.