MISSING THE MARK?
Many of us are guilty of
incorrectly using the adage, ”A miss is as good as a mile”. If we narrowly
escape any type of accident, this seemingly applies. Actually this saying has an
entirely different meaning, a meaning clearing defined by yet another saying -
“Close, but no cigar.” Both sayings explain that a failure, regardless of the
margin, is a failure.
People who throw darts
or participate in archery often miss the bull’s eye by a fraction. Others
narrowly miss a golf shot, slightly over-shoot a hoop, miss an ‘A’ by a mere
point or lose a race by inches. Regardless of the circumstances, a miss is a
miss, and it may even bring with it loss of temporary rewards.
Such is NOT the case
with ‘missing’ God’s ‘mark’ of perfection – Jesus Christ! Missing this ‘mark’
brings with it permanent consequences! Unlike trophies and medals that will rust
away, the outcome of missing God’s bull’s eye will last forever! But thankfully
we’ve been given the exact and only trajectory required for
‘hitting this mark’! ‘Jesus saith…I am the way (to Heaven)…and the
life (everlasting); no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John
14:6) Jesus not only shows us the way; He IS the way!
So why do we miss? Sin!
Interestingly the Greek word for sin (hamartano) is defined as to ‘miss the
mark’. What an apt description! By allowing sin to blur our vision and cloud our
focus, we can be convinced that we don’t need Jesus! Sin will persuade that any
religion is suitable, the Bible is not divinely inspired, and any changes to
God’s Holy Word are acceptable.
Sin can convince us to
believe we can create our own path to Heaven through good works. Yet the Bible
makes it abundantly clear that it is impossible to obtain salvation through our
own efforts. Why? “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
(Romans 3:23) Why? “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and not of
yourself; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
(Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 11:6) Because “…we are all as an unclean
thing, and all our righteousnesses (good works) are as filthy rags…” (Isaiah
64:6) Sin steers us away from the ’mark’ and without Jesus we are unclean in
God’s eyes (Matthew 23:28), and our works are insufficient and worthless.
Yes, works are an
integral part of serving God, but only AFTER we have ‘hit the mark’ (accepted
Jesus Christ)! “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). But
how can our works glorify Him if we don’t know Him? Only when we our secure in
the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ will our works have merit! (James 2:18) But
we must understand that ‘hitting the mark’ is not reaching sinless perfection.
(Galatians 5:17) Rather, it is truly believing with a deep rooted faith that
Jesus Christ carried our sin burden at Calvary (John 19:17), thus paying the
debt for all our sins past, present and future. (Romans 7:18-23)
We either hit the mark
(believe) or miss it (disbelieve). No margin of error or excuse reverses this
fact! “For the invisible things of him (God) from the creation of the
world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his
eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
God has revealed Himself throughout all creation, so we are without excuse as
was King Agrippa who, when upon hearing Apostle Paul witness, ALMOST “hit the
mark’, but didn’t! (Acts 26:28) Regardless of his reasoning, he had NO excuse!
Neither do we!
“For Christ is the end
of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Romans 10:4)
‘Hit the mark’ and Jesus’ righteousness is applied to our account and eternal
salvation will be ours. “Miss the mark’ and we will experience everlasting
punishment as endless millenniums reveal God’s wrath. Separation from Almighty
God will be forever, and the flames of judgment will blaze throughout eternity.
(Matthew 18:8; Revelation 21:8) “And these (non-believers) shall go
away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous (believers)
into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:26)
Let’s not be among the
mass of wailing humanity who will forever dwell in the Lake of Fire (Revelation
20:15), agonizing in everlasting torment, haunted by what could have been, all
because we ‘missed the mark’ … perhaps by inches!
“…WE MUST BE SAVED.”