Troubled, worried and lonely?
Very rarely do we see the Christian faith proclaimed on a large commercial billboard in one of our cities. Yet, there it was, too big to miss: "Troubled, worried, lonely? Jesus is the answer. Write for a free Bible."
Jesus gives his followers the responsibility of communicating the good news that God welcomes anyone and everyone into his presence for eternity, and this simply by asking. There are lots of ways of presenting the gospel message of salvation through Jesus, and spending the money for an advert on a billboard is money well spent. "Well done", I muttered to myself when I first saw the billboard.
As I drove past each day I started to think about the message. The problem with the "Troubled, worried, lonely, Jesus is the answer" message, is that I'm not sure that it is the gospel. Now don't get me wrong, Jesus did say "come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest", but the message on the billboard seemed to imply that Jesus washes all our troubles away, but he never promised freedom from trouble, worry or loneliness. In fact, Jesus warned his disciples that if they followed him they would need to accept the negative consequences. There will be division in families, separation from culture and national base, persecution and even death - "Foxes have holes and birds have their nest, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." Following Jesus is no picnic and can cause us trouble, worry and loneliness.
So you see, I'm just not sure that Jesus is the answer to the difficulties of life. What I am sure of is that he is the answer to eternal life. If we want to come to know our creator God, then Jesus is the answer - he is "the way, the truth and the life."