Dude, you’re dirty and drowning
Sometimes, actually quite often, I marvel and wonder why so many people, some of them family and friends, reject the truth of Christianity which has so thoroughly convinced me. Some may claim an intellectual barrier but that is easily dismantled with any honest investigation. Others are put off by doctrines and practices they believe are representative of the faith and which appear abhorrent or ridiculous. But again, any honest examination would reveal their disassociation from the unadulterated gospel. Perhaps the reason is more basic than that.
I believe in this one verse from Isaiah 66 we have the basic characteristics of those who would embrace Christianity as true…the groundwork, if you will, of the gospel…what needs to be true of a person before the saving work of Jesus Christ can be applied to them:
- an acknowledgment of God as Creator
- a humble recognition that one is in opposition to him because of sin, and
- a spirit of contrition and repentance in submissive, reverent fear of the one who has the power and prerogative of life and death…temporal and eternal
At the heart of unbelief for many is a blindness to sin. Of course, if there is no God there is no sin, and no objective duty to do right and avoid wrong. Yet, even atheists have a God-given conscience and unless that’s completely seared the sting of guilt has a way of marring even the self-satisfied mood of the ostensibly unaccountable.
But even for those who would admit to the existence of some supreme supernatural being, the concept of sin is too benign and abstract to cause them concern. If you don’t know you need a bath, why take one? If you don’t feel burdened, why seek relief? If you don’t realize you’re drowning, why grab the life preserver?
So the key to persuading some to believe in the Savior is first helping them recognize that they need saving. Not, they would be better off being saved, but, they must be saved or they will drown.
Unfortunately, people tend to resent being told they’re dirty and helpless. But if they don’t see it and unless they do they will eternally regret their willful blindness, isn’t shining a light on it the loving thing to do?
“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. – Revelation 22:12-15