Medicine for a Fatal Virus
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
I know lots of kind, beautiful, well meaning people who sincerely and seriously believe there is a God, and they also believe that they are going to heaven because they consider themselves to be a good person. They are sadly mistaken because of one simple and obvious fact: Morality doesn’t cure illness.
When a doctor informs a patient of a present illness, he also prescribes a treatment, an antidote, for their sickness. No doctor has ever said, “Hey you’ve got pneumonia, but just go volunteer in a soup kitchen, give a ride to a hitchhiker, and sponsor a starving child in a foreign country and you’ll be cured.” Good deeds and being a moral person doesn’t cure anything. A person dying from cancer needs medicine and a miracle not morality.
Consider what Ephesians 2:4-5 says:
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
Everyone one sins. And the wages, the “grand prize,” what we earn for sinning is called death. And since everyone sins (Romans 3:23), everyone has contracted this fatal virus that leads to death (paraphrase of Dr. Stuart McAllister). And everyone needs a cure not a conduct critique.
Believers know that Jesus, not good moral behavior, is the cure!
But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. (Romans 3:21-22)
Salvation, the cure for death, has nothing to do with how good of a person I can be; it has everything to do with how good Jesus is to us!
It’s really difficult to explain to good and moral people that they too have contracted this fatal virus that leads to death. People who are aware that they are not acting as evilly as they possible could act mistake that for being good when it is really only less evil – but still evil. A little bit of pneumonia is still pneumonia and still needs medicine not a moral code.
Everyone needs Jesus because everyone dies. Everyone will one day “catch” death like catching a cold during flu season; it’s inevitable. Jesus is the only cure. Being “good” as a strategy for eternity is about as helpful as helping an old lady cross the street to cure your cancer.
Thank you for your Son, Jesus, who absolutely took the shame of sin and sting of death away from everyone who believes in him. Thank you so much that salvation is not based on what I can do because I can’t do much. Thank you so much for forgiveness, love, mercy, and eternal life. I love you and thank you and pray in Jesus’ name, amen.