Friday, August 13, 2010
The Good News of Antithesis
God's Word tells the truth about man's condition; the diagnosis and prognosis is not good. Man is a sinner: "There is none righteous; no, not one." Man is not right with God—in fact, he is under God's just wrath and judgment. Left in that condition, he will die and go to Hell. "Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord." "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matt. 7:23).
God's Word provides the only remedy for man's condition. There are not many remedies: there is only one: "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me'" (John 14:6).
God's Word promises eternal life. "And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life" (1 John 5:11-12). "…But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 5:20-21).
All other so-called "remedies" are snake-oil. They may seem kind and loving, but they are in reality unkind and unloving. They are counterfeits—they will kill you. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Prov. 14:12). Man may not substitute his word for God's. It is true that the Lord Jesus will "in flaming fire take vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power" (1 Thess. 1:8-9). This is part of the gospel that we are not ashamed of. Jesus said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matt. 7:13-14).