Maraca with Bible Verse

Maraca with Bible Verse
1 Timothy 2:5

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Everyday Evangelism - Thoughts About God's Standard vs. Ours

   Oftentimes, I encounter a response from people that sounds something like this; God will judge the really bad people, like Hitler, or, the ones that God sends to hell are those who are murderers and do really bad things like that.
   I went through the Gospel and the Law with one such lady a couple of years ago. She technically understood the Gospel and even admitted to lying, etc. Then it came time for the question, "Why would God allow you into heaven? Do you think you are a good person?" Her response was typical of our Western culture. It was something like, "God won't punish me in hell, because I haven't murdered anybody. I'm not a bad person!"
        People are having a hard time seeing what God's holiness looks like. Many people answer like the woman I talked with that night. "God won't punish me in hell because I haven't murdered anybody." The problem with these people in their thinking is that they see a difference between the sin of being angry and outright murder, such as the acts of Hitler. It seems like Hitler (and his name always comes up) has become the standard of who goes to hell. Since people aren't as bad a he was, they reason, that they won't go to hell. I can understand their reasoning. But it is hard to communicate to them that even their 'white lie' is evil enough before a holy God to send them to hell for eternity.
   This same criteria has come up again in a group setting which I am part of. Hitler's name comes up a lot and these people are using him as a standard of right and wrong, instead of seeing the Law of God (or even understanding it) as the correct standard. It sure sounds logical to them to talk about their white lie in comparison to someone who intentionally wanted to kill as many people as he could. Now to figure out how to bridge the gap.
   The main way to bridge the gap starts with who God is and what He is like. Not only is He different than human beings, but He is holy, and He is without any kind of sinful flaw. How can we explain to people what He is like? What does His word say about Him?
   People can read in History books what Hitler did. They can't see God with their eyes, because He is invisible. Unless people understand that God is all-knowing, and that God is a Spirit, they will fail to see Him as He truly is. They will be like the heathen in the book of Psalms, or like the scoffers who say that God doesn't notice their sin. He doesn't care. "When is He coming back anyway? We've been hearing this for centuries, and it hasn't happened yet, and I don't think it ever will." These people assume that a holy God isn't watching or they don't have to give account to Him because if they did, He would be visible to them.
   God is the One who reveals Himself to people. That is why we need to pray that will happen. We have to pray for a deep conviction of sin in the hearts of these people. Only when they see their 'white lies' and 'taking something small when they were children' as serious sin, they won't truly come to Christ. They can technically understand the Gospel, but will personally not see a need for it. From that will only result false converts to deal with later on. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that is what we need when presenting the Gospel to others.

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