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It occurred to me as I put together my post last week something I have missed.  One of my greatest complaints about the Christian culture is that people always want to “go deeper” and “get away from the surface” and “grown in their faith through some solid biblical teaching.”  That’s all good.  However, I remember having to take Algebra before I took Calculus (for the record I got an “A” in Calculus, insert self righteous nasal sniff here).  I have always felt like Christians want to learn DEF (or RRSSTT) all the while still struggling with the ABC’s of the faith.  So, churches oblige and teach some really great headsy stuff all the while creating two messes.  A large portion of the folks feel lost and inadequate and thus pretend to follow when they have no clue.  Newer believers or non believers shrug their shoulders and simply feel like it’s just not for them.  Secondly, those who are able to track may (or even very often) walk away feeling self important and super learned and above the rest.  NOT EVERY church, and not every person seeking deeper understanding/meaning is this way, but far too many for sure (in my opinion).

Yet, I am guilty of the exact same thing.  Really, in a couple of ways but I will focus on just one this morning.  In my post the other day I referenced the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus.  I had never really written about it before and assumed that you were either a Christian or not, but never explained the basics.  I’m ashamed of that.  Most of my life has been dedicated to bringing the truth about Jesus to a world that does not know Him.  Now, here I am throwing it in so that I could get on with the rest of my post about something else.  I am fixing that today.

Most of you know that Trey has cancer.  You also know that, according to doctors, this cancer will take his life.  He is walking around with a disease that will kill him.  He looks fine.  He acts fine (except for his penchant for being naked).  He is a normal healthy 5 year old boy.  But he is not.  There are tumors wrapped around his aorta and major arteries that if/when they grow inward will take his life.  They also may spread and kill him in some other way.

We tried to get the cancer out with medicine (chemo).  We tried to get it out physically (surgery).  We have prayed and prayed and prayed and yet the cancer remains.  Is he dead today?  No.  Will it be tomorrow?  I sure hope not.  Yet, at some point this cancer will take his life.

Dry your eyes (thank you so much for caring) and take one minute to hear this.  You are in a far worse place than he.  His disease is physical, yours is spiritual.  You have a disease called sin.  No, not that you swore/stole/lied/cheated etc., not the act of one sin, but the disease of Sin.  It started with Adam and Eve in the garden and continues with all people to this day.  Romans 3:23 states, “We all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.”  God is perfect and cannot be with one who is not.  If He were, he would no longer be perfect.  A lot, if not most of the first part of the bible details all the things we must do if we are to be perfect.  It’s impossible.  The news gets worse.  Romans 6:23 states, “The wages of sin is death.”  To a degree this is physically true but the more important reference is spiritual.  Yes, it speaks of hell.  Because of our desire to do things our way and not God’s way we face an eternity without Him, separated from Him.

How then, do we get rid of this sin?  Should we be religious?  Go ahead, go to church every Sunday, go every day if you want.  Pray all day.  Have you still sinned?  Yes.  Should we be a better person?  Go ahead, walk every old lady across the street, feed every homeless person.  Have you still sinned?  Yes.  Punish ourselves?  Go ahead, beat yourself with rods and sticks, don’t eat for a month, give away every penny you own.  Have you still sinned?  Yes.

Trey has one chance at living a long life.  It lies in the hands of the One who created him.  If He (God) so chooses, Trey can be healed with a miracle.  That’s it, that’s the list.

You are exactly the same.  You have one chance.  That is to believe in the one miracle that matters more than any other.  That God Himself would come to this earth in the form of man, live the perfect life you and I could not lead, and make the payment of sin that none of us could ever cover.  He came to earth as Jesus, He died on the cross, He rose from the dead.  Isaiah 53:6 states, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us have turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the inequity of us all.”

You say, “I’m Catholic” or “I’m Agnostic” or “I’m Jewish” or (insert whatever here).  Ok, I’m hungry and tired.  It doesn’t matter.  You have Sin, you have sinned, and that sin separates you from God.  It is a disease that will kill you and there is only one cure.

You might be saying, “Well, I don’t want to believe in a God that would send someone to hell.”    Perhaps you are thinking, “Yeah, but who says the bible is true?”  Many have uttered the phrase, “Don’t all religions lead to God?”  My answer to each of you is, “Well, don’t believe in Him.  Don’t believe in the bible (though to research it with an open and honest mind is really an amazing journey in and of itself).  No, all roads don’t lead to God (they don’t take away your sin).”

Look, if I don’t believe in cancer does it still exist?  If I refuse to believe that Trey has it does he still?  If I refuse to believe that it will eventually take his life (barring that miracle) will it still take his life?  If I want to be mad at God and say that a loving God wouldn’t give a child cancer will Trey still have cancer?  Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Lastly, if there was a miracle medicine out there that could immediately dissolve tumors and heal Trey but he did not take it would he be healed?  No.  You must take action for your sin to be removed.  You must make a decision as to who Jesus is and if His death on the cross does, in fact, pay for and remove your sins.

I love you.  I get that you may not believe this.  I get that you might even think that it’s wrong for me to use Trey’s cancer as a metaphor for sin.  You don’t have to agree with me or agree with what I have written or how I wrote it.  Nonetheless, our relationship is not based on us being lock step in line with each other.  It’s based on love.  If I didn’t explain this to you then I wouldn’t be loving you very much.

DEF will lie in the simple fact that we get to have a relationship with the God of all creation.  Yet, for now, the ABC’s are more than enough…for now.  Thanks for taking the time to hear me out.

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