© 2012 • Hillcrest Church of Christ
by Danny Boggs
Not far from here stands an Italian marble statue of Jesus, ten feet high. Its providers write, “It faces the broad, deep waters of Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees, and with outstretched arms welcomes all who will come to Him.” Ironically, a barrier rises between the lake and the statue — a tall, chain-link fence topped with three strands of barbed wire.
The real Jesus is inviting. “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30). Our Lord stretched out His arms on the cross to welcome us back to God (Eph. 2:13-18).
Many churches want to proclaim Jesus’ invitation, yet they erect fences that keep people from Him. For example, when we are taught to pray “the sinner’s prayer” for salvation, we never get to Jesus. Salvation is accepted by faith, repentance and baptism, not faith and prayer (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3-4). When any of our religious practices are human ideas rather than obedience to the will of God found in the New Testament, they keep us from fellowship with Jesus (Colossians 2:23, 2 John 9).
Jesus welcomes you to come to Him His way! His way is the only way. If the religious teaching you follow is not found in the New Testament, it will prove an impassable fence between you and Jesus. May we help you to find His way?