I went to my family doctor last month with a bad cold, and he gave me a prescription and a shot, and sure enough I got better quickly. While I was there, he spotted a suspicious lesion on my forehead and said I needed to get it looked at right away. He set me up for a biopsy immediately. Yikes! We all know what that means.
I got the biopsy done and had about five days to wonder what the future would hold. On one hand, it could be nothing. But on the other hand, it could be melanoma, a deadly cancer. Those five days dragged, as time moved slowly that week. I’m thankful that the news I got was that it was not cancerous, but if it had been, the doctor would have been most merciful to tell me so. Anyone would be angry if a doctor found some deadly disease in us but did not let us know about it. What if he had said to himself, “I just don’t have the heart to tell this guy he’s got cancer, so I think I’ll just be quiet.” I’d be furious, and you would be too! Attorneys would be licking their chops to help you bring a lawsuit.
Against all logic, some don’t want this same approach when it comes to something even more deadly than cancer. If we are sinners, and the Bible says that we all are, then we have the sentence of death. Romans 6:23 says ‘the wages of sin is death’ and if God took us to court, we would lose.
Recently a famous pastor was criticized for saying that Muslims, Jews, and all non-Christians will go to hell unless they repent and accept Jesus Christ as Savior. There was a firestorm of criticism, calling this pastor hateful, bigoted, and a nutcase. His Baptist church was called the “hate church”. But what if he is only saying what the Bible says? The Bible records Jesus’ own words saying “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME.” (John 14:6) In essence, Jesus says you must trust Christ in order to have eternal life. Even more hateful, Jesus says ‘unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.’ (Luke 13:3) Is Jesus hateful, or is He a faithful doctor who is telling sick patients that they will die if they don’t get the right prescription?
God is Holy, and will purge sin from His world. In His courtroom He will call it out and judge it. But God is also merciful, and His mercy is expressed through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus took the punishment you deserve. If you reject Jesus’ death as payment for your sins, you reject the only prescription for your terminal disease. It’s the only chemo for the melanoma called sin.