Lesson for the Lord’s Day

And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there. Matthew 19:2

According to the polling company Barna Group, 83 percent of Americans claim to be Christians, but only 17 percent identified themselves as being born-again Christians. Sadly, we know that claiming to be a Christian does not make a person a Christian any more than claiming to be a truck enables you to run on diesel. Unfortunately, claiming to be a born-again Christian is also not a sure test for having eternal life. Many of those making such a claim are from churches that have neo-evangelical backgrounds, and often involve no more than a pledge-card signing or a ‘give your heart to Jesus’ prayer with no realization of what God’s great salvation is. Across the world, some places have more true Christians than North America, and many places have much fewer. However, every one percent of the world’s population that is truly saved represents 71 million people! When we look at the figures that way, even with a tiny percentage, there is a great multitude of believers in our world today.

Our text speaks of great multitudes following the Lord Jesus. We know that many of those people were just curious or fascinated by the miracles, or went along with their spouse or friends. But many truly did believe on the Lord Jesus. And all who were sick among them were healed. Today, the Lord Jesus heals all of those who truly come to Him with their fatal sickness of sin. We look back in our own experiences and appreciate how the Great Physician gave us eternal life when we were among the perishing and lost. And we became part of the great multitudes who have been and are following Him.

It might not seem today that there are great multitudes following Him, when we see only a dozen or two attend an Assembly meeting. As we watch a world wrapped up in its mad race for pleasure, entertainment, trinkets, power, and popularity, we acknowledge that only a tiny few are even interested in the truths of the Word of God. And as we watch the deluded crowds chase after false religions and good works, we are made to declare that there are many who seek to enter in and are not able. But we need to look beyond our horizons and realize that the Lord Jesus has His multitudes throughout the world. For example, in the free world, there are many hundreds, if not thousands, of Assemblies of believers who gather as we do. In the slave worlds such as Moslem lands and Communist China, we cannot make even an estimate, but faithful little Assemblies are there. The power of the Gospel is still greater than we realize, isn’t it?

In what we perceive to be a day of small things, the Lord Jesus still has His great multitudes, all healed by His marvellous grace. -Jim MacIntosh

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