By Neil Richardson, Longheath Church Elder & Outreach
Have you ever been sitting at the traffic lights behind another car?
The lights turn green. But the car in front stays still! What’s going on inside your head? Maybe you’re thinking, “What are you waiting for, slowcoach?”
Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” God has given us his green light in Jesus Christ. He’s saying to us, “The light’s green! What are you waiting for, dear and weary one?” But instead we often give him our amber light. We say, “Maybe later!” or “I’ll come when I’m ready, after I’ve finished this important stuff I’m doing now!” And Jesus might say, “Well, what’s so important that coming to me can wait?” And we might reply: “The Great British Bake-Off” or “Getting more likes on Instagram” or “Achieving that beach-ready body, don’t you know?” Sometimes it’s worse than that. Jesus says, “Come to me.” And the angry red light of our soul flashes out: “Don’t want to!” or “Ain’t got the time!”or “Who made you the boss of me?”
In the book of Acts, Paul, Christ’s ambassador, ends up in Athens. He sees idols, idols, everywhere, but not a God who lives! They even have an altar to an ‘Unknown God’. So because Paul knows the Unknown God, through the risen Jesus, he can’t help speaking out. He encourages them that they can know the one true God (not lots of false ones), a living God who made the world (not dead idols who had to be made by human hands). Although God doesn’t need us (our temples, our prayers, our statues), he does want us. He’s not far from any one of us. But our idolatry and sin get in the way.
So God has given everyone, everywhere this order: “Repent and turn to me!” Change your mind 100%. Do a complete 180. If you’re going south, turn round and north. Turn away from self and towards your Creator God. But why should we do this? Especially if we quite like the direction we are going in. (Because, let’s face it, if sin wasn’t enjoyable, we wouldn’t be doing it so much!) Why should we give God the green light? We should do it because of what Paul says next: “For God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
Judgment Day is coming. The movies, even with all their special effects and fantasy fluff, are basically correct about that. How do we know? Because Jesus’ tomb is empty. An real flesh and blood man really came back from the dead. He really ascended into heaven, and he’s really coming back. And when he gets back, we’d best be ready. As his cousin John put it: “His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he clear the threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Dear reader, will you be ready on that day? Will you come to Jesus now as your loving Saviour so you won’t have to face him then as your angry Judge? Have you repented and turned to God? Have you given God the green light? If not, what are you waiting for?
Author: Neil Richardson
 Matthew 11:28
 Acts 17:31
 Matthew 3:12