Jesus Really Satisfies
God created us to be hungry animals. The pangs of hunger and thirst are tormenting. They serve as precursors of the eternal longing of hell itself. Hell knows no satisfaction; therefore we must learn our illustrative lessons sooner, rather than later.
Men of flesh look for their deliverance from hunger, by way of fleshly provision. They set their minds on the flesh, but the Bible warns us that this is death (Rom 8:5–6). Man’s real need for eternity is spiritual.
Created as body and soul, man is subject to the death of each because of sin (Rom 6:23). The death of the body, which everyone is familiar with, is followed by the second death. Dead souls are complemented by dead bodies, and in the resurrection, body and soul, there is judgment (Jn 5:25–29; Heb 9:17). This is not to determine condemnation, for that is already declared, today (Jn 3:18). Rather, the Day of Judgment will be a hearing, for sentencing, which is eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire, for those outside of Christ (Rev 20:14–15).
Sinners occupy a sin-filled, fallen world. With their sin nature (Eph 2:3), following the reign of sin (Rom 5:21), men oppress one another. Sometimes this leads to war and starvation. Men blame God for the totally depraved travesties put forth by wicked men. In this, there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl 1:9).
The poor man marvels when he hears of the rich and famous man’s suicide. The poor man listens to the prosperity gospel preacher, who has himself become rich, and he imagines that having more of the world’s goods will be his salvation. Not only does that transfer of wealth rarely happen, but because he has believed the wrong gospel, of the wrong salvation, provided by the wrong god, he dies in his trespasses and sins, for a damnation common to many.
The psalmist, David, saw the physical and spiritual parallel, when he wrote, “I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for Thy commandments (Ps 119:131).” Wretched, godless, socialist societies invariably demonstrate the cursed, even demonic, politics that leave people starving, body and soul. Man was made for God, and he is destitute without Him.
The face of material wealth has ways of being exposed, along with the idolatry that accompanies it. Whether it is covetousness, theft, greed, pride, or the idol of perceived self-sufficiency — materialism is the bane of conversion (Lk 18:18–30). It causes men to forget eternity and miscalculate the time of their required departure from this world (Lk 12:31–21).
Having never tasted and seen that God is good (Ps 34:8); or maybe they have tasted the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, even tasting the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come — yet, without those becoming permanent aspects of their lives, the experience of God remains temporary (Heb 6:1–8).
The spiritual man has received Christ (Jn 1:12–13; 1 Cor 2:15), who promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb 13:5).” Like a Type 1 diabetic, who has lost her regular supply of insulin (death of her pancreas) and faces death, she needs a permanent solution. This remains elusive, but it serves as a foil for the dead souls of Adam’s progeny (Eph 2:1), some of whom have been given new life (2 Cor 3:6; 2 Cor 5:17) that is eternal (Jn 17:3). This life is Christ Himself (Jn 14:6), made reality by the baptism and subsequent indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9, 11), who is the life of God in the soul of man, made new (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13).
The spiritual man is the one who cries with longing for God’s Word. The vanity of cheap substitutes never satisfies this man. Like one who has had a bagel in New York City, a wiener schnitzel in Vienna, or a cheese steak in Philadelphia — everything meant to mimic these originals is a mere imposter. Once you have had the real deal, you will ever long for it — the genuine, the authentic, the original. Or as the Puritan, John Owen, once wrote, “Christ is the meat, the bread, the food of our souls. Nothing is in Him of a higher spiritual nourishment than his love, which we should always desire.” True love is original love. Nothing compares.
God’s Word, the Bible, has no comparison or competitor. The chosen people of God (1 Pet 2:9), the Israel of God (Gal 6:16), the church of Jesus Christ knows the One that is true, and the truth about that One. When someone comes knocking at his door with a false gospel, he is able to say, “No, thank you, I have the bread from heaven, which is good like no other, and unchangeable, despite your efforts to change Him.”
Do you have true knowledge of God from His Word that will not pass away like religious fads? Materialism and success in the world will also be proved meaningless; therefore, as a beggar, who has been blessed with this good bread, I am happy to point you to the One and only supplier, who is the exclusive and authentic bread of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our only hope and satisfaction.
Hood River, Oregon
July 31, 2022