Monday, April 11, 2011

Does God Owe You a Chance?

Some people on the other side of the street are going to hell. Just as likely, some people on this side of the street will accompany them. By the grace of God and knowing I work out my salvation with reverent fear and silent trembling, I trust in Christ for salvation knowing He is my kinsman redeemer. In this modern world, an evangelized nation, city and street, everybody from one end to the other has had a “chance”. They have heard the Gospel. They know of Jesus Christ. Yet, most reject that “chance” and remain ensconced in their sins and with others like minded. However, there are people and have been through the ages that have not heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What of them?

There is a fresh faced kumbaya singer on the street corner. She has a big toothy smile and is all happy and joyful. She seems like she would be a pleasant neighbor and doesn’t present any threat at all. Doesn’t she deserve a chance? Well, she lives in Asheville, NC and she has heard of Jesus. There is another likable person on the other side of the world whether in China or India or some remote place that hasn’t heard of Jesus. That person didn’t get a “chance”. While the two people might not share in their “chances”, they both share in something else. If we remove the fa├žade of goodness, that outward mask of civility, and present Christ, it is likely to generate a common response, one of enmity. The street corner singer has a real hatred for Christ. She hates everything associated with God’s justice, with the need for repentance and the essential requirement of submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. She will sing songs of peace but it is not the peace of Christ. She will sing about love but it is the lust of an intolerant and carnal love she has in mind. In rejecting both the witness of God in this world and the specific Gospel of Jesus, God has given her over to her inclinations (Rom 1). The person who has not heard of Christ can be joyful and pleasant as well and might even acknowledge that there is a god. The god might look like a fat man squatting or could be 18 feet tall, carved out of a single tree trunk. Does this person have a love and desire for the true God who demands faith? Not any more than the singer in Asheville. They both share an enmity with God (Rom 8:7). Even the souls seeking an unknown god at Mars Hill had no love for the God of Paul. Scripture instructs us that no man seeks after the LORD, no man does good (Rom 2).

The heart of men is desperately wicked (Jer 17:9) and the only thing that brings a change to the wickedness of fallen man is the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ (John 14:6). “Does God owe you a chance?” we are sometimes asked. The liberal and emergent man might state yes, God owes every man a fair chance otherwise He is not just.  Yet, hasn’t He already given every man a witness to Him, given every evidence of His existence to every man that comes into this world? (Rom 1) Hasn’t God already provided what is necessary to seek Him and yet, men continue to reject Him and hate Him as well as those who love Him. Will their excuse for hating Him be they didn’t have a chance? The street singer has been given innumerable chances and continues in her enmity. What gives cause for some to think it is otherwise for those souls on the other side of the world?


SLW said...

Absolutely true!

The Seeking Disciple said...


biblicalrealist said...

Very well said. Your comparison between the kumbaya singer and the person who hasn't heard is excellent.

Ken Hamrick

A.M. Mallett said...

To clarify some thoughts, I know a lot of these type of people, the "kumbaya singer" types. My own family has a contemporary musical background and in all outward appearances, they are all "good people". Yet, I also know how to push a particular button with some that surfaces some of what I refer to. Start talking about the sanctity of life and a woman's right to her own body will be the reply. Respond with advocacy for the other body within that body and the label "fundamentalist" is drawn from the sheath. As soon as true righteousness enters the discussion, regardless of who is involved, the unredeemed will become defensive and often aggressive. The darkness of the lost flee from the light of Christ lacking the power of God evident in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Kyle said...

Does God owe anybody anything? Sometimes I think of John 3:16, for God so loved the world so much more than any man could, that He did what is totally contrary to what any man would do- He redeemed us! Seriously, any man would take things that he made that had mistakes and toss them, but not so with our God, who did what is contrary to our understanding and saved all those who will cooperate with Him.

God owes nothing to no man.

A.M. Mallett said...

Kyle, in my view God only "owes" what He has obligated Himself to in His Word and only because He is perfectly Holy. Now, keep in mind that the LORD DID toss all but one family although He certainly made His promise to not do that again.
I think what drives my thoughts here is the mistaken notion that God owes man, all men, a chance. I don't think that most realize that natural man when given the choice will most often reject it and carry on about his wicked way. That seems to be the lesson of Rom 1, that the sinful man loves his sin and the company of those likewise inclined.

I want to avoid the contentiousness of this issue as it has consumed a lot of good will over the past several weeks. At the end of the day I think the issue comes down a matter of differences between reality and hypothetical.
Thanks for your comments.