Confess and Reconcile
Dr. John K. Mathew
Man is divided from man. Class from class: Gentile from Jew: nation from nation: ideology from ideology.
In every man there is tension. Every man is a walking civil war, torn between the desire for good and the desire for evil. The reason being: man’s estrangement from God.
The central thought of the Bible is reconciliation, because God's ultimate aim about man is his restoration to wholeness. The Bible speaks of reconciliation on three levels - God with humanity, human beings with one another and God with creation.
The need for reconciliation between God and humanity began when Adam and Eve rebelled against God. What had been a relationship of intimate fellowship became one of fear and mistrust as Adam and Eve's sin brought judgement from God. But in the midst of this judgement is the cryptic promise of a descendant of the woman who will crush the serpent thus putting an end to the estrangement between God and humanity. Apostle Paul explains it in Romans."You see just at the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone will possibly dare to die. But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ still died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Him. While we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son (5:6-10). A classic example of reconciliation between God and man is figuratively given in Luke chapter 15 about a wayward son's homecoming. The story tells that while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The lost son did only two things - he returned home and confessed his sin. It only takes a word of confession to be reconciled with God. He is compassionate!
The second level of reconciliation is between man and man. As evidence of being reconciled to God, believers are called to pursue reconciliation with others. Pursuing reconciliation with others is so important that Jesus warns his followers that failure to do so can cause a rift in their own fellowship with God. Paul says "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone". (Rom.12:18). Here is a praiseworthy story by Will Norton Jr. He recalls;"One of my best friends in college died when he was 25, just a few years after we had finished Mississippi State University. I was in Law School, and he called me one day and wanted to get together. So we had lunch, and he told me he had terminal cancer. I couldn't believe it. I asked him, what do you do when you realize that you are about to die? He said it is real simple. You get things right with God, and you spend as much time with those you love as you can. Then you settle up with everybody else. Then he said, you know, really, you ought to live every day like you have only a few more days to live."Remember we will all die sooner or later.
The third level of reconciliation, between God and creation, will take place upon the Second Coming of our Master. Until then, let us live in peace with God and with each other.