Mar 12, 2009

Good or Bad News?

By Bruce Oyen

Imagine what it would be like to sit in the ER waiting room while your loved, who has just received serious head injuries in a car wreck, is being taken care of by doctors and nurses. Your anxiety level is very high, your heart is pounding, and it is hard to restrain the tears. Then, the ER doctor walks into the room. You can tell by the look on his face that he has bad news. He walks over to you, puts his hand on your shoulder and says, "I'm sorry, your loved one didn't make it. We did everything we could, but the injuries were fatal." Then, you sit there for awhile, stunned into silence. Now, you must cope with the horrible reality of what just happened. You had hoped and prayed for a miracle, but, instead, death came. You had wanted good news, but all you got was bad news.

Maybe that is how a chronic drunk, a longtime gambler, a habitual sex offender, a heroin addict, a slave of pornography, and many others who seem hopelessly given to sinful behavior would feel if they were seeking a way to a new life, but then had the misfortune to read the following statement from chapter 4 of John MacArthur's book, HARD TO BELIEVE: "We can't know Jesus as the Messiah until we surrender to Him. I couldn't know Him as my Savior until I gave up my life to Him. Then I knew. Parading an infinite number of miracles in front of me wouldn't have proved anything. Miracles are beside the point. You will never know whether Jesus can save your soul from hell, give you new life, re-create your soul, plant His Holy Spirit there, forgive your sin, and send you to heaven until you give your life totally to Him. That is self-denial, cross-bearing, and following Him in obedience."

This has the potential to put those just mentioned into stunned silence, for they know all-too-well their long history of trying to change, only to fail again and again. They had been hoping for good news, but instead got bad news from MacArthur.

Such persons don't need to be told what MacArthur says above. They need to be told just what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28 - 30: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn off me; for I am meek and lowly of heart; and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." They need to be told what the jailer in Acts 16:31 was told, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved." If they do these things, their lives will change for the better, for they will have turned from their sins to Christ, who came into the world to save sinners, we are told in 1 Timothy 1:15.

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