“So when the Samaritans were come unto him (Jesus), they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his word; and they said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”
Perhaps you’ve read about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. If not here’s the gist of it: Jesus broke tradition and addressed a woman who had come alone to draw some water from the community well. After some Q&A about why he did that, Jesus pointed out her life thus far had been less than stellar. This drew from her an epiphany that he was the promised Christ.
Thrilled she had met the Messiah, she went into town and began telling people about what she had discovered. The townspeople when out to see for themselves and upon hearing Jesus drew the same conclusion as the woman. In what was probably a less than friendly way, they made sure to downplay her role in pointing out Jesus. But, in doing so, made a very strong case for Christianity based on personal experimentation.
Pastors, preachers, and priests are heralds of the good news of the gospel,
and they have a high calling of great responsibility—but…
While faith comes by hearing the word of God, faith is more than hearing. Faith is more than belief and more than what can be reasoned from the scriptures. It is even more than meeting Jesus. Faith is all of these in combination that initiates personal action.
The prime action of faith is to make peace with God. The scripture says that many are called to this action, but few take it. This is so because the peace treaty is non-negotiable. It is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition made by God that demands unconditional surrender. These are not terms well suited to those who must be in charge, must be right, must be the winner, and must be first—in a word, terms contrary to the natural state of the human mind.
Neither accepting nor rejecting God’s terms makes the Creator more or less than He already is. So, what does God get out of our making peace with Him? The satisfaction of seeing His Creation restored to the original design—a loving fellowship with humanity.
What do people get out of this surrender? It seems strange to quote Satan on this point, but—“ye shall be as gods…”—full partakers of the Divine nature.
No one can make that peace for you. Realizing true peace with God is not something you can have by listening to others talk about it, or watching other people do. Congregating isn’t enough and memorizing rules is not enough. You must hear the terms, weigh them, and accept them without reservation.
On Judgment Day it will not matter what others have said or done to you. It won’t matter how hard you tried or how close you came to perfection. It will not even matter how much God loves you.
What does matter is that you met Christ on his terms and accepted, of your own free will, the peace treaty he offered.