What Should I Do?

Norbert Lieth

The coronavirus, perplexity, fear, and existential worries…These all beg the question: “What should I do?” An answer with a heavenly frame of reference and an eternal time frame.

The question “What should I do?” is as old as conscious thought itself. The famous philosopher Immanuel Kant asked himself similar questions around 1770: “What can I know? What should I do? What can I hope for? What is man?”

Man may search all over, but he’ll continue to search until he reaches for the Bible. It is the only source for a conclusive answer to what we should do and what we’re meant to be.

The Lord Jesus was once asked, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” (John 6:28). He replied, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (v. 29).

The greatest misery is unbelief in Jesus. There is no greater omission! By contrast, all other negative experiences are trifling. Anyone sitting in a dark place will do anything just to get out. People will take the greatest risks just to be alright again, even resorting to committing small evils. But the solution to life’s original problem is faith in Jesus Christ.

On the day of Pentecost, the Jews realized that things weren’t really going well for them in spite of all their compliance with the law. As a result of Peter’s Christ-centered message, this happened: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Peter gave them the only correct answer: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (v. 38). The result was inevitable: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day were added unto them about three thousand souls” (v. 41).

Saul of Tarsus was a man who passionately hated Jesus and His church. In his rage, he tried everything to destroy the Christian church. But one day, the Lord confronted him. Overwhelmed by this supernatural event, Saul asked the all-important question, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). The Lord forgave Saul’s sins and chose him to be an apostle to the nations. He was also given a new name: Paul.

The prison guard in Philippi was given the task of guarding two prisoners: the Apostle Paul and his companion Silas. This brutal prison warden was already accustomed to the responsibility. He did his job strictly by the book, but it brought him no satisfaction. He had time to watch Paul and Silas, so he heard how they didn’t complain about their suffering, but instead began all at once to sing, and even to praise God. Suddenly, an earthquake shook the prison, causing the doors to burst open and the prisoners’ bonds to be loosed (Acts 16:26). The prison guard awoke from his sleep, became aware of his fatal situation, and tried to kill himself with his sword (v. 27). Perhaps he’d been questioning his life for some time and was frustrated by everything in and around him. Paul noticed this and spoke comfortingly to him. Then the man asked the essential question: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (v. 30). Paul answered without hesitation: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (v. 31). Belief in this message turned the prison guard’s life completely upside down, and he literally became a new person: “And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house” (vv. 33-34).

Now let’s take a closer look at the aforementioned questions from philosopher Immanuel Kant.

What Can I Know?
You can know that Jesus is the hope for every life. For Him, there is no such thing as a hopeless case. You can also know that He has the power to forgive sins, and to give you life that is not only new, but also eternal. You can also know that Jesus offers a security that will continue to endure beyond tomorrow. The Apostle Paul’s spiritual life began with the question, “Who art thou, Lord? …What wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:5-6). As an old man shortly before his death, he was able to testify with great certainty, “I know whom I have believed” (2 Tim 1:12b).

What Should I Do?
The previous examples show us that a person must choose Jesus because, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:29b). Those who heard Peter’s sermon at Pentecost willingly accepted the proclaimed Word of God. The prison guard in Philippi was delighted that his whole household had become believers—it was a decisive act. He gave himself to the Lord willingly.

What Should You Do Now?
Accept the invitation that God issued through His prophet: “Seek ye me, and ye shall live” (Amos 5:4b).

What Can I Hope For?
Those who earnestly seek God will find Him, receive forgiveness from all sins, and live! Any such person has hope that the Lord will never let go of him, and will carry him through for all eternity. With Jesus, burdens fall away, hope arises, prayers are answered, and existing difficulties overcome. You are no longer on your own; Jesus is there!

What Is Man?
Without Jesus he is hopeless, prey to Satan and sin. But with and through Jesus, man receives a new position: child of God and co-heir with Jesus, and thus an heir of the Father in heaven. Then this is true: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor 5:17).

Midnight Call - 09/2021

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