In a previous leaflet we looked at reasons why the Lord God might feel far away, although the Bible tells us that we were created to know Him and live in a close relationship with Him. We explained that the main issue we all have to face up to is that sin has made a separation between us and our God.
Such a simple, easy-to-spell three letter word, but how many people get furious at even the suggestion that sin has anything to do with them or that they have anything to do with it?
They are horrified, they protest their innocence, they give the messenger a hard time but it doesn't change a thing. The plain truth is still true – all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Every single one of us, those alive now and those gone before, bears witness to that truth. Even “nice” people have sinned – though perhaps in a more socially acceptable way than those whom society labels evil-doers or criminals.
How often have you heard that saying, “Which do you want first, the good news or the bad?” In this case, the good only makes sense when you have fully taken to heart the bad. The Lord's accusation against mankind is undeniably true, the evidence bears it out and the consequences are visible all around us. All that remains is the penalty, and He has been quite clear about that. He tells us that it is appointed for men to die once but after this the judgement, and again, all shall stand before the judgement seat of Christ, each of us shall give account of himself to God.
If that were all He had said, you would be quite right in concluding that the news is bad. All have sinned, so all deserve the pay-out of sin: death, or separation from God. (We are getting some experience of that now as we live our lives apart from God in this world, but a much more complete and final separation is in store for those who die having rejected Christ’s offer of rescue.)
But wait! God has spoken by deed and word in the clearest way possible to people all over the world – when sin had every one of us enslaved, He appeared in the person of Christ to pay the cost of our sin by the sacrifice of Himself. That death on the cross which has become the symbol of the Christian faith is really significant. “The soul that sins shall die” God had decreed, and He had to stick to that if He did not want to compromise His justice. But what if a sinless one came forward and offered to take the penalty on behalf of sinful ones? That's just what Jesus Christ did – He came and lived here without any sin of His own, then died in order to take the penalty for our sin.
That is what God has to say to us today “Look at what I have done to make it possible for your relationship with Me to be restored.”
And as you consider what you are going to say to Him in response,
Don't deceive yourself into thinking that you're not a sinner.
Don't scoff at it, saying it's too simple.
Don't ignore it, saying you're too busy just now.
Above all, don't say you'll figure out what to say when the time comes – now is the time His offer is extended to all who will humble themselves before Him. When every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord, it will be too late.
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All written material in this section is copyright © Randall & Mary Hardy, 2015.