Have you ever ordered some food in a restaurant because the picture in the menu made your mouth water and nearly taste how delicious it was going to be. Or perhaps the same picture showed the plate completely full even to overflowing. Yet when the food arrived at the table you were disappointed because the resemblance of what you received compared to what the picture showed was not even close. The entr'e seemed to shrink after the picture was taken or perhaps the chef took the night off. In any event we have all been let down by believing the hype about some product or service which turned out not to be so great after all. Modern advertising is designed to stretch the bounds of credibility and the reality of a product's performance can seldom live up to its advance billing.
Most sellers today seem to think that it is quite acceptable to do or say whatever is necessary to get people to buy their product. The greater the gimmick the more sales they will make. Sadly, this tactic works in most cases since the majority of folks seem more interested in their perception of reality rather than reality itself. Modern religion has adopted the same concept and tapped into this principle. Hucksters and charlatans abound on every corner hawking bigger and better church services, geared to entertain and satisfy the flesh. Never before in history (even during the height of the Roman Catholics sale of indulgences) has more merchandise been made of the "gospel" than in the present hour. Grinning preachers sell their books, book their cruises, and preach to packed houses of folks eager to hear a message which reassures them that they are doing great and that GOD has a wonderful plan for their life if they will just cooperate and let him have his way. These "Mister Roger's for adults" preachers paint a picture which will ultimately prove to be a deception though hand join in hand and multitudes go in at this broad gate.
The LORD described the pathway which the multitude treads and contrasted it with the only true way when HE said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Mat 7:13-14) This particular principle was reiterated over and over by our LORD but the religious multitudes find more pleasure in the painted picture of the physicians of no value, than they do in the reality which our LORD proclaimed. Did HE not say "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me?" (John 14:6) The natural man is content to seek out his own happiness and is convinced that GOD's purpose in the earth is to see that he is contented and in a blissful state. The soaring divorce and abortion rates of our nation testify to this quest for personal happiness at all costs.
Those who have been made new creatures in CHRIST have no desire for the baubles of religion nor can they be satisfied with a "form of godliness" (see II Tim.3:5) without substance. The man who knows himself to be hopelessly lost, knows that HE needs a SAVIOR who is "mighty to save". He cannot be aided by someone who needs his permission to help him. He cannot find comfort in performing some duty designed to make him acceptable and pleasing in the LORD's sight. Such a man who knows himself to be a worthless and helpless sinner knows that he must have someone who can rescue him completely and deliver him from his current state of distress before a holy GOD or he shall be forever lost.
The LORD JESUS CHRIST is just such a SAVIOR. Isaiah foresaw HIM as that great deliverer who dyed HIS garments with HIS own blood and the blood of HIS enemies which undertook the destruction of those whom HE loved with an everlasting love. HE "spoiled principalities and powers, (and) he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Col 2:15). Not only did HE atone for the sins of HIS elect bride but HE forever destroyed all who could or would bring any accusation against them in eternity. Those for whom HE died have had their sins put away forever in HIS suffering for sin. HIS righteousness is imputed to them as HE has imputed their sin to HIMSELF and gladly borne the rigors of its just reward and tasted death for each one of them. OH! Who can tell the majesty and power of this Mighty SAVIOR who shrank not to drink the cup of wrath in their behalf but drained the very dregs from it; forever satisfying the law in their behalf and canceling all sin which could ever be found in them or laid to their account? OH! Tell me you who worship at HIS footstool, was there ever a MAN like this? Has any arisen of the sons of men who can even unlatch the straps of HIS shoes? Mighty to save! Oh glorious message. How privileged are they who publish these glad tidings, how beautiful are their feet and blessed the ground they walk upon! "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" (Isa 52:7)
The most glorious message a lost sinner can hear is one which assures him that this ONE who is the SAVIOR is also the GOD who rules in the heavens and the earth and has done whatsoever HE hath pleased. Who can snatch a sinner from the hands of this SHEPHERD of men's souls when HE stoops to gather them to HIS bosom? (see John 10:28,29) HE is indeed a SAVIOR who:
" Is glorious in HIS apparel." HE is suited to the sinner's need. HIS blood red garments are glorious in the sight of those who know that with the shedding of HIS blood there is remission of sin, and that what GOD has put asunder none can put back.
Is "traveling in the greatness of HIS strength". That which men thought was HIS weakness was in fact HIS greatest strength for HE laid down HIS life, no one took it from HIM. HE needed no one to assist HIM in the redemption of HIS own sheep.
"Speaks in righteousness". HIS words themselves are LIFE and HE sends HIS SPIRIT to awaken HIS children and to heed HIS voice in the appointed time. HIS sheep hear HIS voice and follow HIM and another will they not heed.
Is "mighty to save". HE saves HIS own to the uttermost. No sinner who has been awakened to flee to HIM for refuge from the wrath to come need ever fear any condemnation for HE has completely satisfied the law's every demand in their behalf. "But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine." (Isa 43:1)mam