Harmony Baptist Herald Number 6, Summer 2006
According to TV and Radio commercials, YOU DESERVE a new car, a new house, a better vacation, better sleep, a new set of golf clubs, etc. . . . According to our modern culture, it is YOUR RIGHT to have all of these things. Whatever will make you happy is your right, and you deserve it now. This has been pounded into us for so long that most people believe it is true. Perhaps you are among the many who become unhappy and resentful when you cannot have that which “you deserve.” You blame the government, your boss, or your parents or spouse when you do not get “what you deserve.”
It is extremely sad that recent generations now believe it is their RIGHT to have a nice house and a new car. It is their right to have a two-week paid vacation. Most now believe it is their right to have whatever makes them happy, when they want it.
The idea of sacrifice, working hard, and waiting for years to get these things is just not an option to the modern mind. The sad results are that we have a society with greater personal debt and less savings than perhaps any in our nation’s history. This is borne out by the record number of bankruptcies in the midst of a booming economy.
Allow me to suggest four reasons for this destructive frame of mind. One is the bombardment of advertisers, eager to sell their goods, telling us we deserve it now. It is our right to have it. Secondly, we had a generation of parents and grandparents who went through the depression and the World War and did without many things for many years. In their eagerness to give their children or grandchildren what they did not have, they failed to teach the value of hard work, sacrifice, and patience. Because we have had so much from so young, we think it is our right, or because we deserved it. Thirdly, is the failure of our Churches to teach the Bible truth that everything in this world is temporary and should not be coveted after, because it can not bring happiness.
The last reason is the one on which I want to spend some time. It is another truth from God’s Word, so foreign to our modern thinking that I ask you to invest a few minutes to read the following few paragraphs for the eternal good of your immortal soul. That truth is this, you and I do not really deserve anything good. If we knew the truth, we would not want “what we really deserve.”
WHAT DO YOU DESERVE?
To help us understand this important Bible truth, let’s first note that everything in your life and mine is a gift from God. Stop just for a moment and think about whatever you would consider to be good in your life: perhaps your family, or your job, your home, our nation, all of your possessions, education, health, etc. . . These are all gifts from God according to the following Bible verses.
Preaching about the God of Heaven, the apostle Paul said, “. . . He giveth to all life, breath, and all things;”
Also James writes, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, . . .”
The Holy Scriptures teach us that God is the Sovereign Creator and Lord of all things. He feeds the sparrows as well as the kings. He sets men up in high places, and He takes them down. Think carefully on the words of the Heavenly chorus sung about the throne of Almighty God; “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”
This is why our Lord Jesus taught us that the first and the greatest of all commandments is this; “. . . thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all
thy mind, and with all thy strength:”
This brings me to the second thing we must
understand. That is that all of us have failed, and are sinners before God our Creator. Not one of us can say that we have loved God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We therefore are ungrateful rebels against God. As God’s Word says, “There is none righteous, no not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no not one.” God gave us His Holy Law, not as a way to get to Heaven, but, “. . . that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” God’s holy Law reveals to us our sinfulness. The result of our sin is God’s just condemnation. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Every grave is a testimony of this awful truth, “the wages of sin is death.”
But, dear Friend, the news is worse yet. Not only do we deserve to die, but “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” And when we stand as guilty sinners before a holy and righteous God, we will be justly condemned to the second death, the lake of fire, also called hell. Because we are law breakers of God’s holy law we must be justly condemned to eternity in hell with the devil and his angels. Each one of us deserves to hear these terrible words from Jesus Christ, the Creator and Judge: “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” THIS IS WHAT YOU AND I DESERVE.
NOT GETTING WHAT YOU DESERVE
Praise God there is GOOD NEWS. God, by infinite mercy and grace in Jesus Christ the Lord, will save untold millions from their justly deserved condemnation. By God’s unmerited favor [GRACE], God sent forth His Son into the world to “. . . save His people from their sins.” The Bible also says, “But God commendeth [demonstrates] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” And, “. . . Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;”
We are guilty of sin and deserve to die and be cast into Hell. But God in His grace sent His Son into the world to become a man. Jesus of Nazareth is both God and man. He “sinned not” and did not deserve to die nor suffer God’s wrath upon sinners. But God put all of the sins of all of His people on Him. He became their substitute. God’s wrath and judgment were poured out on Him on the cross, so much so, that He cried out, “My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?” As proof that the sacrifice of His Son was acceptable and perfect, He raised Him from the dead. The Lord Jesus Christ is now at the Father’s right hand making intercession for every sinner that comes to God through Him. Jesus got what I deserved. And in place of God’s wrath in hell, I received the perfect righteousness of Jesus. He takes away sin and gives holiness. He takes away wrath and makes peace with God.
This is why John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” And this is why Jesus Himself said, “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: . . . (and) should not perish, but have everlasting life. . . . but he that believeth not is condemned already.” If you, dear Friend, confess yourself a sinner, who deserves to die and be cast into hell this very minute, you can be saved. Simply repent of your sin, and cast yourself wholly on the Lord Jesus, trusting that He died for your sins. Trust that God condemned all of your sins in His own Son on the Tree. The apostle Peter said this about Jesus Christ, “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree [cross], . . . For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” Right now, trust completely on Him for the salvation of your soul, and you will not get what you deserve, because He did. Rather you can enjoy all the blessings of God in Christ Jesus.
One last warning. This great salvation of God in His Son, Jesus Christ, can not be gotten by any effort of man. The Church can not save you. Baptism will not take away your sin and guilt. Good works of any kind are to no avail. We have only one hope to avoid the righteous judgment of God upon our sin. Trust on the Lord Jesus Christ. God declares that, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us . . .” Also He says that we are “. . . justified by His grace.” Again, I urge you, in His name, trust on the Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for sinners, and you will be saved.