No Escape Unless There’s Repentance

July 31, 2013

A friend of mine was telling me about her unfortunate, but necessary, recent overnight in the heart of a very wicked city. She described the abundant physical wealth there, and how block after block revealed the pagan worship centers dedicated to the idols of money and pleasure and greed. The idolatry sickened her, though toward the masses of spiritually impoverished people swarming the area, she felt compassion. “They just all looked like lost children,” my friend told me sadly.

It is a grievous thing to live in a world where so many adults are behaving like children. Not only do they act and think like undisciplined children do –demanding for themselves everything they see that looks interesting, bullying to get their own way, thinking of no one but themselves, void of the ability to live patiently, peacefully, and selflessly– but they also do not have the wisdom to realize that the idols they cling to exist in a huge lake of sinking sand. They don’t see it, for their lust blinds them. Like naive children pursuing all that interests them, they don’t understand that they are creating a maze for themselves that they will never find their way out of.

These blind and childish adults are like the fly, or the lizard, or the grasshopper that encounters a hole in a window screen and without a thought, enters in. Without a care, the foolish creature walks along the screen, searching for anything interesting. After a while he gets thirsty or hungry, but there is no way to get beyond the glass he did not earlier see blocking escape from that side, and the screen unmercifully has no more holes in it than that one which he can no longer find. Undoubtably, this poor creature, unless a person in the house sees him and helps him escape his prison, will die a slow and agonizing death. Yet is this not the type of predicament that most of the human souls of this fallen world are in? It is. If no one points out to them the Way of escape, or if they do not cry out to God Himself to rescue them, they will continue in their lostness, die, step into eternity, and reap the punishment of their stubborn foolishness.

But, for the person who humbles himself and stops denying what he has done, where his sins have led him, and that he is hopelessly lost and entangled, there is a Savior who stands near, One who has continually called out to sinners, doing all He can, except to use force, to get them to hear, believe, and repent. “But how shall they escape if they neglect or ignore such a great Salvation?” (See Heb. 2:3)

Yet many do ignore their doomed situation. Believing in their own ingenuity, they muster up a renewal of strength and just keep on searching for the treasures and pleasures of the world.

There are a few, though… And those few reach out for that gentle breeze upon which Wisdom and Hope do ride, and by which a man can shake off some of the fog so as to think clearly enough to know he needs help. And once this realization sinks in, the natural result is that he starts yelling for help, for mercy, and for forgiveness. If his heart is right –if he is truly finished with the sin through which he entered the prison, and is finished with all the other sins he gathered to himself there– then the Savior, He who Himself had been sending the compassionate breezes his way, will immediately come to that man and whisper, “Follow Me.” If the man obeys, he is saved. He is led by the Savior out into freedom, is forgiven, washed, and made clean, and given a place of sonship, a place at the Father’s table, and the privilege of growing into intimate friendship with his Creator.

It is unthinkable for any such saved person to go back to searching for holes in dirty screens. What a contemptuous idea! After being shown such great love and mercy, would anyone dare, or desire, to leave the gracious blessings, tutelage, and presence of God? Would not anyone who did wander off into disobedience be revealing the complete insolence of their souls and thus be worthy of double punishment? (Luke 12:35-48 // 2 Peter 2:20-22)

But for the genuinely repentant, the Hope stands close by (Acts 17:27), and if they reach out for Him, He will be found by them. (same verse // Jer. 29:13,14) He will remove their guilt, free them, refresh them, satisfy them, heal their wounds, and restore them to Life. (Jer. 30:12-17 & 31:23-25)

with love,

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