2006-10-26 - Excuses: 6
1 Corinthians 1:23, "But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness."
We will finish the series today on the excuses people use for either not coming to faith in Christ or for not following Christ consistently once they have made a profession of faith. The last one is maybe the most obvious. The excuse is Christ Himself. We have looked at how some object to the plan of salvation, and others view the followers of Christ themselves as excuses, but the greatest obstacle is Christ.
The non-Christian will not have Christ lead, rule, or direct His precious life which sadly for him/her will soon be over anyway. Rather than resting in Christ for all their hope and trust they will go about their lives trusting in themselves, and often thinking they are saving themselves by their works or self-righteousness. Many good people fall into this trap. Many seemingly good people are on the space shuttle to hell. They fail to realize that in order to be good in any meaningful way, they must first be made good. Left to themselves and outside of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ they are poor miserable wretches who put on a farce of goodness like one applies make-up. They would rather perish in their sins than have Christ gain the honor of their salvation.
You might think I am harsh, and if I have offended anyone reading this who is trusting in their goodness and efforts to bypass Christ, I hope you will prove me wrong, and show that Christ is not a stumbling block for you by resting in Christ alone for all your eternal hope. But for many the offer of free grace, forgiveness of sin--all sins, is too much to grasp or actually believe.
Many want to have to do something, even something difficult to earn salvation. So maybe, if anyone feels they need to earn their way to heaven we should tell them, that they have a choice if they would like to be saved. They can either (door #1) rest in Christ alone for all their hope, and have salvation, or (door #2) they can do some heroic or difficult task (give up a kidney, walk 10,000 miles, climb Mt. Everest) and then when they have done this difficult self-sacrificing task, they can rest in Christ alone for all their hope and be saved from their sins. I commend door number one to you. However, if you must do something, do it, then understand that it meant nothing as far as the state of your soul is concerned, and rest in Christ.
The excuse is not only Christ, and the fear of yielding to Him, it is often the fact that Christ's offer of salvation from sin is so free, and that all we can do to obtain it is believe. (John 6:37, "He who comes unto me, I will in no wise cast out.") We often feel we have to do something, or earn it in some way, but in truth we take all our good works and our bad deeds and give them over to Christ, resting in Him alone for forgiveness of sin.
There was once a guy named David Dickson who had this down well. On his death bed he was asked his thoughts. He replied, "I have taken all my bad deeds, and I have laid them on one heap, and I have taken all my good deeds and I have laid them on the same heap, and I have run away from that heap and into the arms of Jesus, and so I die in peace." Christ was no stumbling block for David Dickson. He rested in Christ alone fully. May we all do the same as well.
Soli Deo Gloria,