If you recall, yesterday, I left off with the thought that we are asking the wrong question and had the wrong presumption. Let’s examine this further.
Why is it that we struggle with that big question? Deep down, isn’t it because we think it is unfair to judge somebody for something they knew nothing about? Yet, the bible is clear about faith alone in Jesus is the only way to salvation. Somehow, something must be wrong, correct? Either the bible is incorrect or incomplete or God himself is unfair. Now, I have read arguments jam-packed with scripture in favor of those who have never heard of Jesus yet who follow their good conscience. I’ve also heard that this applies to people who have been presented the gospel yet haven’t clearly heard it. These folks blame the lack of communication on the evangelist who somehow falls short in his/her words or lifestyle. In other words, they aren’t perfect.
Bottom line is this. We don’t think it’s fair.
I heard R.C. Sproul say something to the order of we are all in agreement that God is sovereign until it comes to matters of justification. We want to take his authority away on this topic. Oh sure, we feel justice is a good idea, but not really. We really don’t think our sin is that bad to condemn us all to whatever it is outside of heaven. To take it from another angle, don’t we feel we deserve forgiveness if we call on the name of the Lord, however our good conscience may know him?
Yet, we struggle because of all the bible verses that say otherwise. So, you may do as I do and put all that aside and live like we believe the bible is true, cover to cover. Fine and good until a teenager rocks your boat with a simple dinner-time question – a question that has seemingly derailed her faith as well.
This is therefore the whole crux of the matter and the basis of our incorrect presumption – is our sin bad enough to exclude us from heaven? The answer is yes. As in everyone. All of us. Forever. Period. End of argument, you little human.
I think until we can get to the bottom of this, we will always be confused about our faith. I disqualified myself from heaven. So did you, and you, and you, and you, and you. All of us. Permanently. As in forever. That’s a fact, Jack.
Yeah, but I repented and was saved! Yes, but stop to think for a minute. Until that happened, you weren’t. We’ll get to the saved part Monday, but for now it really needs to sink in that hell is for real and forever. Why? Because I refuse to acknowledge God or give him thanks. I have no excuse. None. Period. All of us. Every single human being ever born or to be born. Rotten to the core. It is in our own deception that we try to compare ourselves in favorable light to others. I shudder at the thought of how many times I denied God. Really, what Isaiah says is true, all of our “good” deeds are filthy rags in the eyes of the Lord.
Can you let that sink in? It’s horrifying. That word doesn’t even begin to describe it.
What’s even worse to think is that I did all this with my own free will. I didn’t want anything to do with heaven if it meant doing it by God’s rules. Neither did you. So, not only do we not get to heaven, it is by our own free will that we refuse to enter. How incredibly stupid can I be! I have to be out of my mind! Indeed, I am! Indeed, had it not been for the Lord’s intervention, I would be dead and in hell. If for some reason I would still be alive, I would still be shaking my fist at God, if not outwardly then by my denial alone.
Can we agree on all this, that nobody deserves heaven? Can we let that sink in to the very recesses of our minds so we are no longer confused by this? If so, then we are ready to continue answering that big question.
Father, I am so overwhelmed by the magnitude and ramification of my sin. Yes, I know that I am saved, but I have forgotten how bad my situation really was. Actually, the more I look into it, the deeper that pit actually is. It’s unfathomable. Thank you for reminding me. Amen.
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers