Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I Didn't Kill the Sick Bird

“What a depressing belief system you subscribe to. Humankind is intrinsically evil? I don't buy it. Are we capable of evil? Sure. But we're also capable of good. For instance, while taking a walk one time, I saw a hummingbird on the road. I picked it up to get it out of danger, and I warmed it up (it was a cold day) in my hand. Eventually, it recovered from whatever shock it was in and it flew off. If I was intrinsically evil, then I would have smashed it, or I would have simply left it lying on the street. Your assertions make absolutely no sense.”

The reason you think that you aren’t intrinsically evil is because you have your own standard of “goodness.” God’s standard is absolute perfection in thought, word, and deed. It means to love the One who gave you life with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Do you love God like that? It also means to love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. “Neighbor," according to the Bible, is all of humanity. Have you done that? I certainly haven’t. Let’s see if you have. Have you ever lied to or stolen something from your neighbor (any other person)? If you have, you are a lying thief, irrespective of the "color" of the lie or the value of the item you stole.

Human nature trivializes lying and theft. God, however, doesn’t. Because they are so counter to His perfectly holy nature, they are extremely serious in His sight. Have you used His name in vain (blasphemy)? Jesus said, “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Have you ever done that? Let’s presume that you have red blood in your veins, and that you, like the rest of us, have violated God’s Law. So, now the scenario changes. Now you are not a good person with a few moral weaknesses. Rather, in God’s sight, you are a desperately wicked criminal with a multitude of crimes against God Himself. (Try to estimate how many times you have committed adultery in your heart, by lusting after a woman, or how many lies you have told throughout your lifetime.)

So, how will you justify yourself on Judgment Day, when every secret sin comes out as evidence of your guilt, including your thought-life and the deeds you have done in darkness? Your sins are heinous in the sight of a holy God. The Bible says that they stir His just wrath (see John 3:36). What will you say? What would you think of a man who said, “Judge, I raped and murdered that woman, but I picked up a sick bird and didn’t kill it. You should therefore let me go”? In doing so, he somehow thinks he balances the scales of justice. He offers kindness to a sick bird as payment for raping and murdering a woman. What sort of twisted individual would he be to say that?

No, there’s nothing we can do to justify ourselves. We can only throw ourselves on the mercy of the Judge . . . and God is rich in mercy to all who call upon Him. He made a way for your “case” to be dismissed. Two thousand years ago, a legal transaction took place between God and mankind. We broke God’s Law (the Ten Commandments) and He became a person in Jesus of Nazareth and paid our penalty in His life’s blood. Now, because of the suffering death and resurrection of the Son of God, our case can be dismissed. God can forgive our sins and commute our death sentence. God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. What you and I have to do in response to that is repent (turn from all sin) and trust in the Savior.

In English bowls, there is something called the "bias." This makes the ball curve one way when it is bowled. Until we are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, we will have a bias towards sin. However, the moment we repent and trust the Savior, we receive a new heart that wants to please God. How incredible!