It’s all about a relationship. Not a religion.
Life is all about relationship with one another. Where does this come from? This is because we are created, designed in the likeness of our Creator, of the Lord God. “Let us make man in our own image!” We are designed for a relationship with God.
It is about relationship with the Father of Jesus of Nazareth who was killed because he dared to reveal his relationship with God—My Father. Killed by his own people, treated as rubbish, by whom the world and everything that exists was made.
And he wants you and me to welcome him, to receive him. With open arms.
Friendship with God for us.
For Jesus has done what it took to bring us reconciliation with God by his sacrifice.
Some preachers are critical of those who speak of “receiving Jesus”. For example, they might say “no, you don’t receive Jesus because he is in heaven”.
They may say this as if it is a certainty, an absolute.
But they are only half right.
In their rush to be theology perfect—which is impossible— or to drive home some favourite doctrine, they almost forget that he is also “with us even until the end of the world” and that his Father and himself “will come and make our home in us”.
Did you get the force of that?
Now we must be very careful that in our efforts to maintain a certain dogmatic position that we do not reduce the gospel and its power to only one way of expression. The New Testament authors use a variety of expressions for what is an inexpressible and glorious salvation and eternal life in Jesus.
Let’s consider the following passages in the “gospels” where the Lord Jesus spoke of various people “receiving him”.
“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” Gospel of Matthew (10:40)
“Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.” Gospel of Mark (9:37) and Gospel of Luke (9:48)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” Gospel of John (13:20)
And what about this . . .
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” Gospel of John (1:12-13)
So if you receive Jesus, just look at what wonderful new start you have in him, with him, in relationship with him, in friendship with him, in union with him and with the Father. Your chance to leave behind brokenness and embrace wholeness, belonging, forgiveness and peace.
God with us, actually.
Paul wrote “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him”. (Colossians 2:6)
Receive him, ask him. And he will receive you.