General’s 2017 Easter Video:
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The General’s 2017 Easter message:
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” —Acts 4:12
Easter is a time for us to reflect upon the incredible, extravagant, and measureless grace of God. Through Christ, He provided a way for mere mortal human beings to be both reconciled to Him and enabled to enjoy the matchless benefits of a personal relationship with Him.
Sadly for many, Easter weekend may not represent anything more than an opportunity to have an extended break from the relentless pursuit of other personal goals and ambitions.
We live in a world resolutely turned towards materialism, to the almost total exclusion of the other elements we require in order to find fulfillment and purpose—to be complete and totally satisfied. Modern society offers us many of the things we need from a material perspective, but these are not enough to ensure happiness and freedom.
If you think material possessions bring happiness, then think again! You only have to take a look at society today to see the negative effects of materialistic consumerism.
Despite all that we have, modern humankind remains unsatisfied, seeking to find the point of our very existence and trying to find assurance that there is something after death.
In the midst of that context, the Christian message is unique because the message is not about a set of doctrines and beliefs, but about a person, Jesus Christ.
We recognize the fact that we are not perfect people, but Easter brings the hope of new life—one that has been changed and transformed. The fact that we are imperfect is not, however, an excuse to justify a life of continual sin and rebellion.
Sadly, we recognize that some people in society have turned their backs on the Church because they feel that Christians are lacking in credibility. We preach love, yet the Church can be the most unforgiving place. We preach spiritual values, yet in reality Christians often aspire to material wealth, power, and influence. We preach justice for the oppressed, but how many of us actually do anything to make a difference?
The apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It is because of sin that man is unable to enjoy a relationship with God, and this explains why so many of our contemporaries are unsatisfied and seeking.
Despite a world that appears to be resolutely materialistic, we do see much evidence of people who search for meaning, who seek spiritual answers to the most preoccupying question of all: is there life after death? Could it be that many in our world today are trying to fill the spiritual void and find ways through their own efforts to reach the eternal paradise?
Jesus came to reconcile the world to God—this is the primary reason for His incarnation. Everything else resulting from the
presence of Jesus in the world and in our lives is a direct result of us being reconciled to God.
Jesus came to fill the void that separates us from God. What is absolutely extraordinary—and what we need to remember every day of our lives—is the incredible fact that God in Jesus took the initiative in order that we might be reconciled to Him!
It is for this reason that Jesus willingly paid the price so that people like us who were considered to be “enemies” could be reconciled as a result: “Once you were alienated 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” (Colossians 1:21–22).
What more do you need? Is Jesus not sufficient for you? If you have discovered the blessing and peace that only Jesus can bring, then you will agree with the songwriter* when he says:
*“It is Well with my Soul” by Horatio Gates Spafford (741, The Song Book of The Salvation Army)
Bible quotations from the New International Version