We met a man in the airport in Taipei the other day.
“Are you going to Cambodia for vacation?” he asked us as we waited for our turn to board the plane.
“No, we live there”.
“Me too,” he said. “But not for much longer. I’m tired of the trash and the corruption and the people”.
He is searching for the perfect place, he told us. He has been to over 180 countries, including living in the Middle East for 14 years. After Cambodia he is going to move to the Philippines and then to Thailand, then to Morocco where he has always wanted to visit. Then maybe Ireland and finally he might settle in South America.
He has learned about different religions in each of the places he has visited. We told him our purpose in Cambodia and he asked if our organization was with a particular church. When we replied it wasn’t he explained the conclusion he had come to: “All you need is God. Jesus was just a man anyway, a good man. How could God have a son if He has been around since creation? That would make for a very old Son. I have done enough good in my life and I will go to heaven and sit at the right hand of God, and wave to those who told me I was wrong”.
Why do we need Jesus?
Without Jesus and his death in our place, we must rely on our good works to achieve eternal reward. How do we know when we have done enough good? We can never be good enough in our own strength.
Colossians 1:13-14 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redeption, the forgiveness of sins.
Our airport friend is going to have a very difficult time, as he has discovered, finding the perfect place to live. He complained about the frustrations of the people where he is living, but the fact of the matter is we live in a broken, dark world. We are born, not with the ability to always do good, but with a nature that leans toward evil. We can try to do good things, strive to be good people but the truth is, we need rescuing.
Colossians 1:15-20 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Jesus is an “old Son”, he is the beginning and the end like His Father. His time on earth was not just lived as an ordinary human being, but rather all of the fullness of God was in Him yet He was human just like us.
Colossians 1:21-22 Once you were aliented from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
To my airport friend: All of your striving to be good and help people is great but it will not earn you a spot in heaven. Our imperfect nature separates us from God and it is ONLY through Christ that we can be brought near to God. Jesus opened the door for us to be made holy and live in a right relationship with God, and spend eternity with Him. The restlessness you feel in your heart can only be satisfied in Jesus.