This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. — Romans 3:22-24
Years ago, a Moscow theater put on a satirical and sacrilegious play called Christ in a Tuxedo. At one point, the actor who played Jesus, Alexander Rostovzev, was supposed to recite a few lines of the Sermon on the Mount, remove his gown, and cry out, “Give me my tuxedo and top hat!”
But as he began reading the words from Matthew 5:3-4, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted,” he was moved to continue reading, ignoring coughs, calls, and the foot-stamping of his fellow actors.
When he had read several verses, he recalled a verse he had learned in his childhood in the Russian Orthodox Church. He cried out from Luke 23:42, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Rostovzev trusted Christ as his Savior on the stage that day. And whether it be the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, Zacchaeus up in the sycamore tree, or Jonah in the belly of a great fish, the Lord meets each of us in unique ways.
Maybe you know someone today you consider too far gone to ever come to the Lord. But the hope you have is that Jesus actually comes to us, not the other way around. The next Christ encounter for that person may be just around the corner. So pray and have hope. You never know where Jesus will meet someone!
Think of a few lost people you know and pray for them. Pray that God, in His way and His timing, would reveal Himself to them and give them the free gift of salvation.
Questions for thought
If you’re a Christian, think back on how you came to know the Lord. How did God meet you?
How do the stories of Paul (Acts 9), Zacchaeus (Luke 19), and Jonah (Jonah 2) give you hope for those who you might think are too far gone to be saved?