The Will of the Father is That Non Shall be Lost (John 6:39)
We return to Jesus’ teachings on ‘Believe in Him’ as the Pathway to Happiness and Salvation. In our captioned text, we hear Him speak categorically of the Father’s plan not to lose anyone that He has begotten in Him – For no one shall be lost in Him except the one who has chosen to be lost.
The Primary Mission of Jesus on earth was to seek and save those who are lost. This he clearly declared in Luke 19:10 when he said, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost”. Put differently in another passage, he said: “I have come to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).
It may interest you to note at this point, that the original name of Jesus in Aramaic, ‘YESHUA’ means – Yahweh Saves! (or YHWH has come to save his people). This we see vividly portrayed when the Archangel Gabriel said to Mary at the Annunciation “… and you will bear a son, whom you shall call ‘Jesus’ for he will save his people from their sins” (Mat. 1:21).
The above declarations were made manifest in every actions, words and gestures of Jesus throughout his ministry. From his incarnation, to his birth, to his presentation at the Temple, to his baptism at the Jordan, to the call of the Apostles (Peter would say: depart from me I am a sinner,) to the saving of the woman caught in adultery, to the thief at his right hand on the Cross. Jesus never compromised on this task. In fact, he said it was his food. He took every opportunity he had to save souls. The miracles, healings, preachings and eventually his Death were all geared towards this cause.
However, as Jesus worked tirelessly for this cause, he never also forced this salvation on anyone. He like His Father, from the beginning, gave and still gives everyone the FREE Will to choose. He made Salvation a matter of choice, based on one’s convictions. This is because as God, he knew and understood the power of man’s free will to choose.
Hence, he went about and still goes about (through his ministers today) to convince his listeners and give them the opportunity to choose. The choice one makes, therefore, is what determines whether he or she will be saved or not. This point was buttressed in Mark 16: 15-16 when He said, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who refuses to believe will be condemned”.
My dearly beloved in Christ, like our people will say: ‘the ball in now in your court’. The Good News has been proclaimed to you, and is still been proclaimed daily to you. How are you responding to it? Are you still procrastinating on making that One Fundamental Decision? Are you still been deceived by the Devil to think there’s still time, let me enjoy some pleasures first, when I’m old I’ll repent?
Please, remember, your salvation is now in your hands. God has done all things for you. He has paid the ultimate Prize, by sacrificing His only Begotten Son that you might be saved. (Yes, for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life – John 3:16). How are you going to respond to this today? It depends on your choice to either repent or remain in your sins.
For the salvation won for us on the Cross depends more or less on our daily decisions and choices. So, like Joshua would say to the people of Israel, “… And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day who you serve… (Joshua 24:14-15). I’m standing as Joshua to you now, CHOOSE TODAY to follow Christ. This decision is dependent on where you will spend your eternity. For Augustine would say, ‘the God who made us without our knowledge, cannot save us without our cooperation”. Choose rightly!
This shows the extent of our free will in our quest for Salvation. God did not take our Free Will even after bestowing the Holy Spirit on us. It is by the daily choices we make that we shall be judged at the end. This calls for proper examination of the decisions we make. Just think of it, he said: non shall be lost except the one who chooses to be lost.
Therefore, your going to heaven is more or less in your hands. Are you going to joke or gamble with it, because of the pleasures and fames of this temporary world. Think deeply about it. Eternity lies in your choice! I plead with you today to choose wisely. Shalom!
Rev Fr Moses Enehizena, CSSp