The saddest day in the history of mankind is the day when our first parents, Adam and Eve, ate of the forbidden fruit. On that day the floodgates were thrown wide open and sin entered in with its destructive consequences.
For the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23), and no accountable man and woman is spared the death sentence; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23).
Man is desperately lost in sin. Looking back across the sands of time, what do we see but the ravages sin has caused in the lives of men? What men are doing to each other in mindless, selfish pursuit of power and material gain are the evidence of the grasp sin has taken hold of man.
Man is aware that there is a problem. Philosophers since ancient times have tried to understand and explain what is wrong. They have tried to offer solutions to the problem, at least to alleviate it if not to cure it altogether.
He has a sense that the answer has to do with the virtues of kindness and mercy toward his fellow-men, of checking his own inordinate desires and exercising self-control.
Man understands the concept of law. He observes nature and declares confidently that this natural world operates on laws of nature. What he must recognise is that the Author of these natural laws has also decreed laws whereby man must live.
Part of the tragedy is that man is looking in the wrong direction for the source of these virtues. He looks within himself. What a sad irony! And so he cannot explain why in spite of his best efforts, he can never end wrong-doing in this world or even overcome his own shortcomings.
Man is desperately lost in sin. But man cannot effectively deal with the problem unless and until he humbles himself under the authority of the revelation in the word of God. Continuing down the vain path he is on is like a dog chasing its own tail.
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1Jn 3:4). Sin is the result of breaking the law of God. If man will not acknowledge this revealed truth then he cannot progress in his search for a cure.
Man is desperately lost in sin. But man is not abandoned. The God whose laws are repeatedly broken with impunity still cares for His stubborn creatures. He will not leave them without trying to pull them out of the pit they have dug themselves into.
So He set in motion the great plan of rescue. For thousands of years He prepared the ground for the most momentous event in history. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal 4:4).
To what end? “To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal 4:5).
Jesus says, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
There are two kinds of person who cannot be saved. The first kind thinks he doesn’t need to be saved, and the second kind thinks he can save himself. Both remain in a lost condition. Thankfully, not all hope is lost.
He must become aware of his desperate situation. He has to realise that he has broken the law of God and has sinned against His divine majesty. He cannot save himself by his own devices.
Such a soul may be lost in sin but he is by no means abandoned. For the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes (Rom 1:16). He must come before God, just as he is, and determine to obey the demands of the gospel.
The terms of the gospel are non-negotiable. Many have turned away like the rich young ruler did (Mat 19:22), not because the terms are impossible to meet but because they were unwilling to obey.
The gospel demands that we must believe in Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ, the Son of God (cf. John 8:24; Mat 16:16). It demands that we repent and bear fruits worthy of repentance (cf. Luke 13:3; Mat 3:8; Acts 17:30).
The gospel demands that we must confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus (cf. Rom 10:9-10; Acts 8:37). It demands that we must be immersed in water for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16). It demands that we live a life of faithfulness and steadfastness (Rev 2:10; 1Co 15:58).
God has not abandoned man to his own sins. But He does demand that man lay down his rebellion and surrender on His terms. Are you willing to do that?