The Shepherd Kindly Calls
THE WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVEThe world in which we live is a world created by the Holy God. Upon its creation it was in perfect state. But envy and pride overtook our first parents (Genesis 3). They listened to the devil who enticed them They sinned. Ever since, mankind has been born in sin (Psalm 51:5).
THE CONSEQUENCE OF SINWith the entrance of sin into the world, we are told that the imagination of man's heart is only evil continually (Genesis 8:21). Of this we are reminded everyday. Every misuse of God's holy name, every word of anger, every thought of evil, every crime committed, is a reminder that the world is very evil. A world of people who are caught in sin and who practice sin, is not a very happy world. But the final consequence of sin is far deeper than any unhappiness we may experience while we live on the earth.
By nature, all people are eternally lost, condemned to hell (Romans 5:12). Furthermore, the Lord God tells us that the day of judgment is coming (Genesis 6:13). The wrath of the Holy God is fierce and His judgment is sure (Matthew 25:41,46). The Bible tells us that judgment day is coming. It does not tell us when it will be. Only God knows (Matthew 24:36). But this fact is sure! One's personal judgment day comes when one dies (Hebrews 9:27). The thought of our own death, and the final judgment is not a happy thought.
THE ANSWER, NOTWhat is the answer to all this sin, unhappiness, and fear? Some people try to deny the reality of God. If God does not exist, than there is no judgment. But that poses a problem. If there is no God, then why does one have guilty a conscience? Conscience is a reminder that there is a God (Romans 2:15). The very creation itself leaves us without an excuse (Romans 1:20). Denying the existence of the Holy God is not the answer! Others deny the reality of sin. If sin is not real, then there is nothing for which anyone would be judged. Further, without sin, there would be no evil in the world. The rational person knows that is not the case. Denying the reality of sin is not the answer.
But not all deny God or the reality of sin. Yet they do not have the answer either, if they think that they are going to find peace of mind and certainty of heaven by their own works (Ephesians 2:8,9). Peace of mind and eternal life is not gained in whole or in part by the works of men. God is holy. Man is unholy. He who thinks that he can satisfy the holiness of God by his own works can never be sure on this earth that he has done enough. Salvation is not accomplished by personal works of righteousness (Titus 3:5).
THE REAL ANSWERThe real answer is found in the Gospel. And what is the Gospel? The Gospel is the good news of the love of God the Father. The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should be saved (2 Peter 3: 9). This includes you who read this! He promised a Savior from sin (Genesis 3:15). He sent the Savior from sin (Luke 2:11). The Savior came for one purpose, namely that He, the true Son of God, should destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Jesus kept the law of God perfectly. Yet the Father laid on Him the sin of everyone who ever has lived, or will live in the world (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus died on the cross; He died for all (Romans 4:25). He bore the wrath of God (Isaiah 53:5,6). Now all our sins are forgiven in Jesus (1 John 1:7). But what good is a dead Savior? Absolutely no good at all. But do not be concerned. Our Lord Jesus Christ rose again from the dead (Luke 24:6). Jesus restored life (2 Timothy 1:10).
OUR CONFIDENCEOur confidence of eternal life lies in the word and promise of the Heavenly Father. He has given life in Jesus (1 John 5:11). He will give eternal life to all who believe in Him (John 3:16). We need not fear the condemnation of hell (Romans 8:1). Therein is peace for the troubled conscience. The victory belongs to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57). What must we do? Only believe (Acts 16:31). Our Lord promises in His Holy Word that all who repent and believe shall be saved (1 John 1:9). To such belong these precious promises (John 11:25,26).
WHAT NOW?Will one ever sin again? Certainly! So long as one is in the world, he sins (Romans 7:21). But the believer in Jesus has a new attitude. He does not pursue sin. He does not excuse, defend or justify sin. He certainly does not delight in sin, but goes to the Father and pleads for the forgiveness of sins found in Jesus. The peace and confidence of the Christian does not lie in a ceasing from sin, but in the forgiveness that is in Jesus Christ. He gives the invitation to come to Him for peace and rest (Matthew 11:28). He promises you that as you believe and trust in Him, and follow Him in faith, you shall have eternal life (John 10:28).