Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Anatomy Of The Gospel (Part 5)


Last year the Star Trek Movie was watched by millions of people. Seeker sensitive churches worked hard and fast to develop their “Star Trek” sermon series’ and stay on the cutting edge of relevance. Relevance? Less than 10% of people went to see that movie! My brother-in-law recently told me that his home church has become so relevant that it is now totally irrelevant. Brothers and sisters, we are not relevant because we are like this sinful world. We are relevant because we are different.

Do you know the ultimate statistic? That one out of one people die!

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

It is a stunning irony to see trendy seeker friendly churches priding themselves on how relevant they are and never preaching the most relevant message of all. Less than ten percent of people went to see Star Trek but 100% of people will die and be judged. And that is what I mentioned in my previous posts. Here is a quick revision:

We learnt that God is Holy and demands perfection. We see God’s standards of perfection in His law.

We learnt that man is very sinful and God’s law serves as a mirror to show us our total wickedness.

Isaiah 64:6 tells us that even our righteous works are as filthy rags – wow! Imagine what our sin must look like!

This leads us to todays post in which we examine the third pillar:

The problem with sin is not only how evil it is. But Who it is done against. The bible teaches that God is good and righteous and loving and because of this He must punish us for our sin otherwise He would be violating His goodness, righteousness, and loving kindness. Do you think a judge is loving if he lets murderers, rapists, and paedophiles go free? Certainly not! How much more so that God cannot be good and let the guilty go free.

The Bible teaches us that God loves us. That he is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). This leads us to Luther’s great question. How can God be both just and the justifier of sinners (Romans 3:26)? Luther, as crazy as he seemed to all the other monks, actually was the one who was asking the right question.

These are the wrong questions:
1. How can a loving God send people to hell?
2. What about people who never hear the Gospel or grow up in other religions?
3. Why does God allow suffering and evil?

Next time someone asks you those questions hold up the mirror of God’s law and show them they are asking the wrong questions. When they understand Who God is and who we are they will ask these right questions:
1. How can a good God forgive anybody?
2. How does God put up with me?
3. Why aren’t there more disasters and suffering?

Heaven and hell are real places where real people go. When we understand the Holiness of God and the depravity of man, we can start to fathom why hell is a reasonable consequence of our rebellion against God - and be mystefied as to how God can save anybody. The judgment of God should provoke us to serious self examination and motivate us to fervent evangelism.

When you are humbled and broken by God’s law. When you see the impossibility of being right with God. When you abandon all hope in your own flesh and cry out to God for mercy. Then you are ready to hear the good news, the Gospel, of Jesus Christ. Pillar 4 is all about Christ's redemptive work and that is the subject of Friday's post - so stay tuned!

Go On To Part 6
Go Back To Part 4
Go Back To Part 1
Click Here To Read A Biblical Defence Of Pillar 3

1 comment:

Cameron Buettel said...

A correct understanding of Who God is and who man is resolves the most common questions regarding God being just.