Just for a fun, I tuned in on YouTube to a debate between Reformed Baptist Apologist Dr. James R. White and The American Atheist President David Silverman in what has turned out to be a very lively debate. The duration is over three hours so, obviously, I am watching it in bits and pieces. But I have to tell you it has been a very lively and spirited debate thus far. You can check it out here.
Perhaps the biggest thing I came away with thus far (I’m only half way through it) is the opening statement and first rebuttal. He painted the picture of Jesus coming into creation as being like a rescue party to a shipwreck at sea. And when the ship came in, the people not only were happy being in the shipwreck, the people at sea spat on the rescuers and dove beneath waterline because they didn’t want to be saved. They liked where they were. Much like human beings in sinful rebellions. Much like I was for most of my life.
That kind of language isn’t the popular method of modern evangelization. We are usually implored to come to Jesus because of the overwhelming sense of hurt and pain that many of us have in this life. Certainly, this is not to minimize those true feelings. We have been hurt. We are in pain.
But let’s be honest, if many of us look back on our lives, we’ve done more than our share to hurt others and to cause them pain. We have been victims but we’ve also been perpetrators spurred on by “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16).
We’re rebels. Criminals. And as you can deduce from the sins that I have confessed on here, I was an accomplished criminal. I’ve hurled insults, hit, and spat upon the Lord, my creator just as much as those who lined the path where He carried the cross that would be used to crucify him.
I’ve heard it said that Christianity is the last refuge of scoundrels. It is appropriate that I be a Christian being that I am a scoundrel. And when I read this passage from Romans 5 again the other day, I began to cry.
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” -Romans 5:6-11.
For a rebel like me, who has been straining under the weight of a condemning conscience and years of sinfulness, these are the words I want to hear. I need to hear them. There are so many things in my life that cause me, like Adam and Eve, to run and hide from the Lord. Things that I believe keep Him at arms distance. To read those words gives life, peace, and rest for my weary, selfish, and rebellious soul. I tear up when I read them or even think about them.
Like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, God came looking for me. My sin caused me to run from Him. But when I look at the words of the Apostle Paul, I see there is no reason to run from my Creator. Jesus knows of my rebellious acts. It’s why He came to die. I could not make the peace with Him. He made it with His blood.
And I have tears just thinking about this.
Praise the name of Jesus.