"He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything."
Colossians 1:18

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Simple Truth Entreated: The Response of Unbelievers (Part 4 of 5)

Simple Truth Entreated:  The Response of Unbelievers
If you are reading this and have not been saved from the just penalty of your sins by Jesus Christ, or if perhaps the force of biblical truth has removed you of all your certainty of your salvation, then do not barricade your heart against the saving truth of the Word  Repentance and surrender to Christ are your only rational recourse.  True, the gospel seeks to invade your sinful heart, to conquer it, and to change it as to make it utterly alien, but you must, you must throw open the gates and let it enter undisputed, or it will kill you someday, and for all eternity.  This gracious offer of the Lord, so real and substantial in this instant, will not endure even a hairsbreadth beyond your own life – what certainty have you beyond this brief moment? 

As Paul implored, “we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20b) We stand to gain nothing in this appeal, excepting joy, whereas you stand to gain “everything pertaining to life and godliness.” (2 Pet. 1:3b) Come; come now, before you draw another breath!  There is no matter of greater importance, nothing of truer urgency, than this matter of the sinful chasm between you and your Creator.  Do not wait for tomorrow when today may yet betray you!  “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:31) To die without Christ is to be judged by Christ, without the benefits of His protection or intercession.  He will weigh out your sins, and will justly repay each of them, including the sin of reading this appeal and ignoring it.  You will find yourself consigned to a blind torment beyond the reckoning of art or science, a lonely agony unsatiated by the endless passage of ages.  Surrender all to Christ; admit of your guilt before Him!  Plead His forgiveness, and lay your very life at His kingly feet.

If we urge you in light of His grace, we also charge you on the basis of His sovereignty.  “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30b-31) God not only invites all to repent of their sins; He commands that repentance.  The day of judgment approaches, over which Christ will preside as proven, triumphant Lord, so the command has gone out:  repent now.  God has created this world such that He is Lord over all of it; He sovereignly issues His orders, and it falls to us to obey Him.  Fortunately, He is entirely wise, powerful, and righteous – we need not fear His leading. 

Many objections are commonly made by those who resist the gospel; let us briefly examine but a few:

- Some of you will say, “This is all well and good, but I simply do not believe in God.”  This is merely to say that you believe in yourself, for, as your finite mind cannot account for a God like the One revealed in the Bible, then He clearly must be a fabrication.  So you set yourself up as your own sure authority, and all your life is washed through the filter of your own good opinions.  Do you not see, though, how dangerous this becomes?  An earthworm could hardly conceive of a thinking, feeling, deciding, inventing human being, but this does not render human beings any less real.  Does an annelid’s inability to grasp music or technology make you or I any less real?  Surely not!  Rather, it serves to underscore the vast difference between a worm and a person.  

This vastness looms larger still between us and our God, and we cannot afford to dismiss this reality out of hand simply because it does not reduce to a comfortable human understanding.  In actuality, how disappointing would an entirely comprehensible deity be?  If God were such a one that could be understood completely, He would not be God at all, for this would fully assure us that He was a fabrication of the human mind.  Our inability to fully understand Him should not dissuade us of His reality.

- Some others will say, “Surely; I believe in God, but I cannot believe in your God.”  My friend, my God is the God revealed by the Bible; what better revelation of God and His character would you have?  Your own suppositions?  Another book, perhaps?  When science and archaeology have crushed countless so-called holy books to powder, the Bible stands conspicuously intact, a solitary monument in the midst of so much rubble.  Space does not permit a complete treatment of its enduring character, but I urge you, look into its history.  See how it has been preserved in the face of determined and repeated opposition.  Mark how its truths have not been altered, though it passes through centuries, through languages, and through cultures.  Note how it is the product of dozens of human minds from different eras and different nations, and yet it comes together as a cohesive whole.  You begin to understand that the Bible you hold in your hand is a startling book indeed – it is the revelation of the one true God to humanity, written perfectly by that very God through human agents, and preserved diligently by God against every feeble calamity and opposition that this world could muster.  To understand this book is to see our Creator as He has revealed Himself.


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