Sunday, March 15, 2009

I am Second

"Christ is never fully valued, until sin is clearly seen. We must know the depth and malignity of our disease, in order to appreciate the great Physician."
J.C. Ryle. The Gospel of Luke, 1858.

"I believe that God will save His own elect. And I also believe that if I do not preach the Gospel, the blood of men will be laid at my door."
C.H. Spurgeon

This week has been an odd week. As of late, I have had a rather joyous season of life albeit the momentary ups and downs of daily living are something from which a person can never be truly separated from. About a week ago, a fierce restlessness settled in, something of a cross between anxiety, discontent, and hormones strong enough that if my thoughts were to propagate into actions I could have fathered a small village of some sort. One of my friends told me that women are not the only ones who go through a regular hormone cycle of sorts, a fact unbeknownst to me, as men on the whole do not discuss this. Who knew?

Well, apart from some of the mild mental disturbances of this past week, I have had many thoughts come to me that have been quite beneficial to me. The recurring them of the week has been how much people need to hear the Gospel. After all of the "stuff" connected with being a Christian is out of the way. the question(s) we come back to are: "What is the Gospel?", and "What must I do to be saved?".

When people are in despair or have half their dreams ripped apart, people don't usually say "All I know is Christ, the cross, and pretribulation premilleniumism." This might be the case in some Fundamental/Independent Baptist churches, but it is not the norm. People who are going through crazy things in life cling to the cross and to that alone.

It is easy to get lost in the various things in life that come up, and a person will never get to a place where they don't need to know and hear the Gospel. The cross of Christ and being freely justified by grace alone through faith alone through it is where the church stands or falls. If we do not have free and abundant grace from God to save us, we have nothing; there is no good news apart from that.

It is odd to see how much we need to hear the Gospel, how good it is to hear it, and how easy it is to forget about it when the feelings of discontent or restlessness settle in. I remember a long time ago when I was starting to date a girl I liked I was having another week where I was feeling quite restless and thoughts began to flood my mind about how this girl would bring contentment and satisfaction to my life. I was deluded enough to believe that this person would in time be a large source of satisfaction in my life and that I would not longer feel restless the more we got to know each other. I remember having a dream one night that week that deeply disturbed me but revealed a lot to me about what I was believing in my heart.

I remember seeing this girl in my dream with a voice speaking in the background telling me that she would bring satisfaction to my soul. The voice went on and on, and was almost believable until it got to a certain point. The voice in my dream spoke saying:

"In fact, she will be such a source of satisfaction that she will even die for your sins."

The next thing I know I saw her on a cross, and the voice said:

"Behold, your God!"

This dream has always disturbed me in ways beyond what is expressible in words. This dream revealed that my heart had made this girl my god, a source of worship for my soul. The dream revealed that I had forsaken the only place where true satisfaction can come from.

The dream still flashes through my mind even up to this today whenever I begin to build my alter "to an unknown god". Our idolatry isn't always as obvious as us demanding X (whatever X may be for us at the moment) to die for our sins to restore our souls.

Jeremiah tells us something quite interesting about this.

"My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water."
(Jeremiah 2:3, NIV)

The older I get, the more I am realizing that I need the Gospel every second of every day. I cannot live without it. I need to be a Gospel-centered person, both for my sake and for the sake of a dying world around me. My future, the world's future, depends on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment