I used to have a roommate that smelled bad most of the time. We often tried to drop hints to him that he should take a bath more frequently, but he didn’t take the hints. Soon we resorted to more direct methods: “Hey man, you stink. Take a bath.” But that still didn’t work! One day I decided to have a heart to heart with him. I said, “Have you ever been to a farm? Have you noticed that farms stink?” He nodded and I continued: “However if you live at the farm and are there every day, you become accustomed to the stench and don’t notice it anymore.” Then I said, “That’s you.”
This is a funny (and true) story, but it illustrates an important truth. Just like my roommate believed that he smelled good when he didn’t, so many of us believe that we are morally good when we aren’t. That is, we believe we are good people.
It might be offensive to you that I would suggest that you aren’t a good person, but the truth is that almost everyone thinks they are a good person–even if they’re not. This is because everyone has their own standard for what is good and what isn’t. However, when we compare ourselves to God’s standard, we all fall woefully short.
For example, God has told us not to lie. Have you lied? He told us not to steal. Have you stolen anything? Even something small? He has commanded us always to be sober, to look at things that are pure, and to have sexual relations only in marriage. Have you kept all these commands? Chances are that you are like me: you haven’t.
And that’s bad news. It’s bad news for us if we continue to live in a way that is displeasing to God. He will judge the world one day soon and we don’t want to be found before Him as people who have continually done wrong. Hell and damnation will be our only future.
BUT, there is good news! The good news is that God loves us, even if we aren’t good people. He sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross for us. Jesus offered Himself willingly to be a sacrifice for our sins. He suffered as a substitute for our punishment, so we wouldn’t have to. Then, after He died and was buried, He rose from the dead! And He has extended a very gracious offer to all that will listen to Him: Turn away from doing what is wrong and embrace the person and teachings of Jesus Christ. When you do, God will forgive your past and grant you everlasting life.
Don’t wait to do this. We must seek God while He can be found. His gracious offer won’t last forever. Seek Him today!
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