Most evangelicals still get this wrong...
What part of 'there is none that doeth good; no, not even one' is so hard to understand?
Once there was a man who had a house, and one day he discovered that his house was being attacked by termites. Before they had done a whole lot of damage, he called in an exterminator, who went through the whole house to “treat” – that is, kill – them.
But in the course of the treatment, the home-owner happened to notice a termite that had escaped the treatment. Not knowing a whole lot about termites, and being rather curious, he rescued this one little termite before it could be harmed. He got an aquarium from his garage (his fish hadn’t survived) and tried to re-create a living environment for his lone termite. He went to the internet to learn about termites and figured out how to keep this one alive.
And the termite lived. He named it ‘Gus.’ He took good care of Gus and thought it was interesting to have a pet termite.
When Gus got sick, he found an entomologist who could help diagnose the problem, and he kept Gus for a long time.
Of course, termites have lifespan issues too, and eventually Gus died. The man, with some sadness, took the remains and buried them, even erecting a very small headstone.
Question: Was the man unfair?
“Unfair to whom?” you might wonder.
Unfair to all the termites besides Gus.
Folks, what follows probably flies in the face of most of the theology you have heard in your lifetime. God is the homeowner and we are the termites. Every single one of us has attacked the sovereignty and holiness of God. Each of us is in rebellion, and that of our own free wills. We’ll offer God some ‘religion’ from time to time, and we will ‘serve’ God and ‘honor’ God, but only on our own terms.
And that’s not service or honor; it’s contemptuous insults, totally unacceptable to God.
And though all of us, in our arrogance and wickedness, have rebelled against and insulted God, still He, out of His own grace and mercy, has decided to save some of us. It isn’t that some of us are better than others, and therefore ‘more deserving’ of salvation. It isn’t that some of us are smarter than others, and were able to figure out how to make God save us. All of our hearts were deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. There was no goodness in any of us at all. What part of “there is none that doeth good; no, not even one” is so hard to understand?
God, in His mercy and despite our ‘merit’ (we have none) has saved some of us by His grace. Taking Ephesians 2:8 at face value, we see that God gives the gift of faith to those He has sovereignly elected to salvation. Jesus said something illuminating concerning the same thing at John 3:18 where He stated that the condemnation of living unbelievers was already a ‘done deal.’ Of interest is that He didn’t even suggest that there remained some ‘window of opportunity’ while these unbelievers yet lived, during which they could repent, change their minds, and decide to ‘get right with God.’
This whole understanding appears to be foolishness to those who, in their unbelief, think they can understand the justice of God. Worldly wisdom characterizes this exercise of God’s sovereignty as ‘unfair’ and even unbecoming of God, Whose transcendent character trait (they think) is forgiveness.
To them, and to all, I repeat what Jesus said: “By their fruits shall you know them.” We’re in a country where the majority of people claim to be Christians. Some surveys indicate that up to a third of the entire population claims to have had a ‘born again’ experience. And the same country is crumbling before our eyes. It very much reminds me of the Jews who presumed on God’s desire to preserve Jerusalem in 70 AD and convinced themselves that the Romans could never prevail. Today, the ‘Christians’ think they can presume on God’s grace and, as long as we provide national support for the State of Israel, God is somehow required to continue to bless us, regardless of our wholesale and institutionalized disregard for His law.
Well, fellow Termites — I hate to burst your little theological bubble. But you’d best take the blinders off and re-visit those verses that your blind leaders ignore or tap-dance around. Judgment begins at the house of God. Those who reject God’s sovereignty at this point are, as Jesus said, condemned already. For the rest – the ‘few’ (Matthew 7:14) – it devolves on you to return to God, rend your heart and not your garment, and save yourself from this untoward generation.
The author of this piece is a cantankerous, yet humble foot-soldier in the army of Christ. Thoughtful responses to the sentiments and opinions expressed above may be posted on this site. Then again, they may not be. I'll read 'em, then decide. Fair enough?