How Bad Is It?
A number of years ago I was taking a group of young people camping in the Black Hills. We were taking a most-of-the-day hike, and everyone was having a great time. We had Hiked along a rails-to-trails trail that went through an old railroad tunnel, which was one of our favorite hikes to take. Along the rail grade there were places where large boulders had been deposited to provide fill for the grade. We were coming down off the grade at a point where these boulders were, and one of the girls “ her last name was Johnson, but I can't remember her first name so we'll call her Paula “ was jumping from rock to rock on the way down as any red-blooded kid loves to do “ in fact, I still do “ and she stumbled and fell face down against a boulder. Her forehead was split wide open and blood was gushing out as she got up and declared, "I'm alright “ it's really nothing. She had no idea how badly she was hurt, but it was obvious to me that we had to get the blood stopped immediately and get her to a doctor. We had a first-aid kit along, but nothing in it was designed to stop a cut like that. We ended up tearing up a shirt, and binding it around her head with my belt. Then, of course, we had to get her out and to the doctor, and that meant several hours hiking. It didn't look good. To make a long story short, we met a fellow on horseback, and he had a summer house in the area. He had us get her to the nearest road, and he rode home and got his car and took her to the hospital for us. The reason I tell this story, though, is because that girl was very much like many of us. She did not realize the condition she was in, and we are just like her when it comes to the injury in our lives from sin. We say, "oh, it's really not so bad, all I need is a little counseling, or, "if we could just get our debts out of the way, things would change, or "if I just had a different husband (or wife) everything would be fine. We are completely un-aware that sin has so devastated our lives that nothing but a new heart will ever fix our problems. That's why our situation is so serious. When people realize how much danger they are in, there is hope. When danger is un-recognized, there is no remedy, because we will not take the remedy.
In Romans 6:23 God's Word tells us that the result of sin is spiritual death, and there is no recovery from that. The results of our injury from sin will be eternal torment in a place completely separated from God. That separation alone would be enough to make us miserable forever. Some Band-Aid is not going to help. We must get to the doctor. Jesus is the great Physician. In Mark 2:17, Jesus told the Pharisees, "They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. The problem is that sinners (that means you and it means me) are so often unaware of how serious an injury sin is. As a result, they see no need to go to Jesus. And Jesus' heart breaks over this. In Matt. 23:37, Jesus grieved over the city of Jerusalem, because they would not accept the help he offered.
Because, you see, if we would only recognize how seriously we are injured, and get to the doctor, he could help us! Romans 6:23 goes on to tell us that the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. We don't have to die! The Philippian Jailer recognized how dire his situation was, and he asked Paul, "What must I do to be saved. The answer for him was the same as the answer for us. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and though shalt be saved. It's as simple as that. The publican prayed, "God be merciful to me, a sinner. God tells us "this man went down to his house justified.
Friend, don't be deceived. Sin is not "nothing. It will utterly destroy you. It must be taken away, and only Jesus can do that. David cries "as far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. You can't get any further away than that. Receive Him now, before it's too late. You'll never be sorry that you did.
By Pastor Joel De Ford