Thursday, October 2, 2008

Speeding Toward Eternity

So here’s a little story. Say a person, we’ll call him Bubby, was traveling down the interstate heading to Nashville for a weekend getaway with his wife Sissy and their young son Bubby Jr. The speed limit is 70 MPH so Bubby sets the cruise to 75 and sets back for a nice little drive looking forward to the weekend getaway.

About 30 minutes into the drive Bubby notices that everyone around him is just flying by, staring him down like he’s going slower than Granny on her way to the grocery store. (No disrespect to Grannies anywhere, but you do drive on the slow side). So Bubby presses down on the gas and eases it up to 80 where he seems to be going the same speed as everyone around him. There are a few exceptions, the guy in the Vette that flies by doing about 95, with the top down, his bluetoothe headset in full use because he looks like he’s yelling at the windshield. Bubby also passes by a few cars that seem to be going somewhat slow and looks at them like they are out on a Sunday drive in the country and need to get out of his way. Sissy has her head plastered to the pages of the newest John MacArthur book, Bubby Jr. has his thumbs in a frenzy trying to get Mario to the next level on his DS and Big Bubby is rocking out to Third Day’s newest CD.

In the rear view mirror are flashing blues. Bubby’s heart drops to his stomach and thinks, “Whew, I’m glad he’s not after me and is after one of these other guy’s going faster than I am”. He proceeds to back down his speed to 70, the speed limit, and pulls over into the right lane to let the officer go by and get the guy in the Vette. To Bubby’s dismay, the cop pull’s into the right lane as well. “I must have a tail light out or something, my tags are good, the other people were speeding past me. I better pull over and see what this guy wants”.

Bubby pulls over. Sissy closes her book and asks what’s going on, Jr. is still pounding away at the DS controls, oblivious to anything except Mario. The officer walks up to the door and Bubby hands him all the required info – license, insurance and registration. The officer asks if he knows why he pulled over him.
“Tail light out?” Asks Bubby with a twisted grin of concern.

“No sir. You were going 80 in a 70 zone. I am going to have to site you.” Was the come back answer the officer gave, without a smile, without blinking his eyes, without an ounce of compassion.

“What about those other people officer? The guy in the Vette especially was going waaaay faster than I have all day. Shouldn’t you have pulled him over instead?”

The officer was visibly shaken by Bubby’s inquisition. And informs Bubby that he could also add reckless driving and a whole slew of other charges, maybe even pull his license on the spot and take him down to the station for a blood test to see if he had any illegal substances in his system. Bubby slumps down and as the tears stream down his face, tells the officer he is sorry and realizes now that he was breaking the speed limit and is very sorry. The officer sees how distraught he is and allows Bubby, Sissy and Jr. to resume their trek to Nashville with only a warning. Bubby resumes the drive, drying his eyes, blowing his nose and telling his wife how thankful he is that that nice, kind officer didn’t give him a $250 ticket. He matter of factly sets the cruise at 67 and leaves it there for the whole trip, thankful that he got off with just a warning and not a ticket.

“So Jeff, what has this got to do with God?”

I’m glad you asked Bubby (or Sissy). Because it is a prime example of how people look at their sins. Everyone is going down the road, some people doing some things that are very sinful. Others look at them and justify to themselves their own sinfulness with a “At least I’m not doing what that guy is doing” attitude. They can very easily determine someone else’s sinfulness, but their own sins they don’t even see. They justify telling a white lie because its not as bad as someone’s lying on their taxes. They justify looking at porn on the Internet because they are at least not cheating on their wife like that guy at work. See where this is going?

Until the law steps in and shows someone of their sin Romans 7:7-9, they are doomed. They will keep sinning while trying to justify their sins by someone that is worse in their eyes. In all actuality God sees sin as sin. In our eyes we have degrees of sin. A little white lie is o.k. Eating a grape at the grocery when you walk by them is perfectly acceptable. Watching the girl in a bikini across the street washing her car is fine and dandy. Partying a little here and there is not going to hurt anyone. After all, at least we don’t cheat on our taxes, steal the whole bunch of grapes from the supermarket and there is no way there is a chance that you would have an affair with the girl across the street. But to God, you have stolen, lied and committed adultery. You have sinned; you have broken God’s law. It doesn’t matter what the guy at work is doing, it doesn’t matter what your neighbor is doing, it doesn’t even matter what your pastor is doing. It is one on one with God, you broke His law and you must answer to Him. You can’t justify by what so and so did, or “at least I am not doing what that one guy did”. You have to answer for you. The Light in your rearview mirror exposes your sin for how sinful you are until you cry out to God for mercy.

Praise the Lord that He made a way that we can be justified. Thank God that He loved us enough that He took His entire wrath for our sins out on His only Son (Isaiah 53:10), Jesus. See, Jesus is the only way we can be justified. He is our advocate, our propitiation (1 John 2:1-2), our Savior. Do you see how sinful you are? Do you know how wretched you are? Do you know that Christ is the only Way (John 14:6) to be forgiven of your sins? If so, cry out to God to have mercy on your soul this day. Praise His wonderful name and the sacrifice given so you may be whole. Cry out for Christ to stand on your behalf to justify you in the eyes of the Father. Repent and turn from your sin loving life. Produce the fruits (Galatians 5:22-23, Titus 3:14)that will evident your conversion. Praise God in everything that comes your way - good, bad, feast or famine (1 Cor 10:31). God is Good. But you must do as Jesus Himself said in Luke 13:3,5 Repent or perish. Do not look for justification anywhere else but the foot of the Cross-. You can’t work your way to heaven with good deeds. You can’t say a magical prayer and have a ticket to sin and blaspheme the Lord. Don’t rely on a decision that you made when you were a kid to be your salvation. There is salvation by only One Way – Christ Jesus, Savior and Lord of all.

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