Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Utter Hopelessness of the Human Condition, Apart from Christ

'Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean thing? No one!" (Job 14:4) Not even God!

God, repeatedly states the extremity to which the human condition has become unclean:

“ The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)

"But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags [i.e. used menstrual cloths);" (Isaiah 64:6)

"They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:12)

There is only one end for that which is unclean; destruction and burning. The only just end for such uncleanness in mankind is death and eternal separation from a Just and Holy God.

Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.(Revelation 19:20)

The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)

Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (Revelation 20:14)

And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)

But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

And were God to simply cast the entire human race into the Lake of Fire to burn eternally as punishment for the uncleanness of their hearts, thoughts, words and deeds, then His actions would be perfectly Just, Holy and the Right thing to do (Righteous). It is the sure destiny of all of us, apart from the Saviour.

However, "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) Not only that, but we died in Him:

"Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death" (Romans 6:3-4)

God does not bring a clean thing out of an unclean thing. God destroys the unclean thing, but then ascribes the cleanness of His Son to the resurrected individual.

All attempts at reformation and cleaning up of unclean lives is wasted effort, energy and resources. The only way to deal with uncleanness is death. Either, co-death and co-resurrection with Christ, or eternal death in the Lake of Fire for those who will not embrace the glorious Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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