Posted on : Thursday October 3, 2013

By Bob Simpson, BCM/D Associate Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer and Editor of BaptistLIFE

With an optical illusion, you tend to see one thing upon first glance. But as you look at it a little longer, and from a different perspective, you then seNEWBob Simpson-L300e something entirely different. Often with optical illusions, you see only the more mundane thing and miss the larger picture completely. This happens sometimes with the Bible. There are some truths in the Bible that are just, by any measure, really big truths. But, if you are not very careful, these biblical truths can be so big, and so overarching, that you can miss them completely.

I came to know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior when I was a seven-year-old boy. I surrendered all I knew about myself then to all I knew about the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Twelve years later when I was 19, I was an undergraduate student at Oklahoma Baptist University. One Sunday morning, Dr. Jimmy Draper, the pastor of my church there, shared a biblical truth that I’m sure I must have heard many times before. But it had never really gripped my heart like it did that day! The truth he shared that day was the truth of the ultimate Lordship of Jesus Christ!  JESUS CHRIST IS LORD! It is one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) truths in the entire Bible!

Yet, sadly, I have come to believe that it is one of the most neglected truths in the Bible. Jesus is referred to as “Savior” 24 times in the Bible. But, He is referred to as “Lord” 747 times! When you fully understand and surrender your life to the truth that Jesus is Lord, you have begun to get the big picture!

I am not a prophet (or the son of a prophet), but I agree with the statement made years ago by Dr. Vance Havner. He said, “Churches in America have become ‘non-prophet institutions.’” He was right. We are in desperate need of the next generation of Billy Grahams who will once again call us to the high demands of His lordship over our lives.

Pollster George Barna says that 50 percent of all adults in America say that they are “born again” in evangelical terms. Why, then, in America, where so many people say that they have received Jesus as their Savior, are we facing such a moral, ethical and spiritual crisis? I mean, if so many people profess that they have faith in Jesus Christ, why are the moral and ethical standards in this country at an all time low?

I think the answer lies in the fact that a lot of folks make an artificial distinction between believing in Jesus as their “Savior” and acknowledging Him as their “Lord.”

Some people even mistakenly think that they can receive Jesus as their Savior and then they have the option of making Him their Lord at some later date. However…when you study the Bible you will find that these two truths are inseparable. They are opposite sides of the same coin! They are inexorably linked like both perspectives of an optical illusion.

Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (NLT).

No person can knowingly receive Jesus as Savior and reject Him as Lord. You just can’t use Jesus as your Savior and refuse Him as your Lord.

When I came to understand this truth it totally changed my life!  It did at age 19 and it is still doing it today!

Say it when the tough times come. Say it when disappointments prevail. Say it when friends forsake you. Say it when your future is uncertain. Say it when life is short. Say it at all times: “JESUS IS LORD!” Period.