Monday, September 19, 2016

A Puzzlement

Something is and has truly been a puzzlement to me.  Let's set the stage. 

First scene.  A true, big, sovereign, all-powerful, merciful and perfect God exists.  That God is the same God we sin against whenever we choose to wander from God's path for us.  The sin can be omission or commission.  The Bible says we all (every one of us) sin and falls short of God's requirements here.  And the sins carry equal weight ... my sin is no more noble than your sin.  The just penalty for that sin is death.  We are ALL guilty.

Second scene.  We gather on Sunday, go to a Christian concert.  Attend a Christian movie.  We say and do all the right things.  We sing songs like "Jesus gave it all ... all to Him I owe" ... "Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me."  You get the point.  We KNOW the jargon.  We say we get the point.  But do we?

Third scene.  Jesus is nailed to a cross, dying so that the penalty for our sin is paid.  By the way ... that is ALL of the sins of the whole world.  We read about this event in Scripture and all of us say, "Yes ... we get the point. This event is about God in Christ dying so I can be forgiven of my sin and so I can be invited to a life inside His Kingdom forever and so I can share this blessing by passing on the message and act of forgiveness to others." 

Fourth scene.  You say, "Wait a minute!  I am all good with the dying for my sin and being forgiven and living a Kingdom life in and with Jesus!  But come again with that "passing on" thing."  OK ... here it is again.  How can we say we get the point of forgiveness unless we understand it well enough to pass that message forward ... that is the message of the cross.  We even pray it when we say, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

Fifth scene.  We are rich young rulers.  We have lots of stuff, freedom and a legalistic view of God that we apply to others not as "religious"as we are.  We sin, but not like those other folks who commit those "terrible" sins.  We meet a man named Jesus who says ... "time to sell out.  Give away the ownership of your stuff.  Give away the pride that allows you to believe you are better than other people.  Give away your time and come and follow me.  Oh ... and one last thing ... give other people the kind of forgiveness I give you."

Sixth scene ... you  have a choice.  You can go away sad and saviorless.  You can follow and start by going to those people you have held to your "high" standards and say, "Please forgive ME for my lack of forgiveness.  Please give me the chance to throw my pride away and instead of dying on the hill of self-righteousness, let me die on the hill of Calvary where my savior forgave me."

Very simply put, your choice here is a decision to accept or reject the salvation Jesus offers every person in the whole world.  We all fall down ... only one can lift up.  David said it best ...  "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord." [Ps. 40:2-4].

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