Wednesday, May 28, 2014

would you be willing to tell your friend they have cancer?

Imagine someone tells you you need chemotherapy. And that this life-saving chemotherapy is going to heal you.

But you have no idea that you have cancer. 

Would you let them give you the IV?

Would you take a medicine with the side effects of losing all your hair, and having extreme nausea, weakness, or possibly even worse symptoms if you had no reason to?

It would make no sense. Maybe you could try it once, but as soon as you felt the first round of effects you'd quit because there was no reason you'd ever endure that kind of suffering for no purpose.

That's what happens when we present the message of salvation without acknowledging our sin and guilt.

A gospel that doesn't show us our sin and sentence is not the whole Gospel.

We cannot neglect the truth of God's Word: we have all sinned. And whoever does not believe is condemned already. John 3:18

None of us our righteous- no, not even one. Romans 3:10

Yet when you go out and meet a stranger and ask them what they think will happen when they die, almost all of them say they will go to Heaven. Everyone thinks that they are good enough to go to Heaven because they are good people.

They have no idea whatsoever that they are sick.

The Great Physician is useless to them, because they have no idea that they have terminal cancer.

If only they knew:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23

and that:

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36

If you knew that you were destined to die because of the cancer you brought upon yourself, you would understand that you desperately needed the medicine to live, and you probably wouldn't hesitate to take it. You would be thankful someone told you before it was too late!

The short term effects of the chemo would be worth the end result, and you would be grateful for the chance to be healed, wouldn't you? If you didn't believe you were truly sick, you'd never feel the need to be healed.

Jesus came to heal the sick, not those who are well.

And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17

He came to bring good news to those who are poor, brokenhearted, and in captivity.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; {Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18}

But please listen- if you don't know you have a need for a Savior, you are lost. 

15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 

19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. Revelation 3

Realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked on your own is necessary to understanding what your Savior has done for you. You must understand you are naked so that you realize you need clothing!

To pretend that we are something when we are nothing is a fool's game.

For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Galatians 6:3

To avoid telling people they have sinned against God is to lead them straight to Hell. To not tell them of their sin is to not tell them they have cancer and will die.

We cannot neglect to share the whole Gospel. The truth is that you and I both have gravely sinned against God, and His wrath abides on us because we have broken His law. We have lied, stolen, coveted, hated, and set up idols of worship in place of the one true and living God.

And we will stand before Him in judgment. There is no question that we must all give an account to God. {2 Cor. 5:10}

The question is, will Jesus take your place on that day, or will you stand condemned because you didn't believe? He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes unto the Father except by Him. {John 14:6} He stood in our place- He took our punishment, so that we could live. The Father's will was to crush Him so that we could be saved:

Isaiah 53:
10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall seei and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Why did Jesus die?

To bear our iniquity. To bear our sin- the righteous one died to make many be accounted righteous!

4Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53

His crushing was necessary because we sinned against the Holy God.

But praise the LORD, by his wounds we are healed!!! By taking our punishment, He brought us peace with God!!!

Though He was perfect, He willingly laid down His life as the sinners deserved and satisfied the legal requirement of death because of sin. Because of OUR sin. He fulfilled the law, and defeated death itself.

And that is the Good News, my friends!!!

That's what the world needs to know- there is only one way to be saved, and it is through the name of Jesus.

12And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among menc by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Do the people in your life know this? Your friends, your co-workers, your family? Do they know they  are sick and wretched because they have sinned against the Holy God, and that they are condemned if they do not repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?

That's what we are called to share. And we cannot wait another day to obey the Lord's command:

15And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15

It is more important that they know the painful truth than they perish without the knowledge they were ever sick.

We must love them more than we love what they think of us. WE must love them enough to tell the truth, and we have faith in the Lord enough to obey His command.

We must share the whole truth with them, so that they too can be saved from the wrath of God.

When I fear to share the whole truth, I have to remember- 

In the end, what they think of me means nothing, but what they think of Christ means EVERYTHING.

He is the Good News of the Gospel.

He alone can heal us.

He alone can save us from the wrath of God we deserve.

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