Things have certainly changed in the USA since I was a child. When I was very young I have distinct memories of being taught about the depravity of man and of our sinfulness.
Now, we seem to have flipped to the other extreme. In many churches it’s seldom that you hear a great deal about sin and its effects. And in the general public through our educational institutions, the populace hears from the humanistic psychological perspective that we all are really good people. We just need some good education and that ember of wonderfulness within us will just spring to life!
Well, that just doesn’t play out in real life. Human beings are capable of horribly wicked deeds. We are a depraved race! Adam’s sinned knocked the goodness right out of us. Just listen to Paul. …being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them (Romans 1:29-32).
Outside of the new birth and grace of God changing our natures, we’re heathen! Barbaric! Treacherous!
We need to spread the good new of the gospel that God so loved us that He made redemption from sin available to us. And that mercy, grace and forgiveness are available through Christ. And that God has made a way available so that our sins are already forgiven if we’ll only accept His plan of salvation through Jesus.
But before that will make a difference in a human life, a person must realize that he is a sinner in need of a savior. And that he is not just a nice sinner, but that he is morally and spiritually bankrupt and depraved.
Jonathan Edward preached his famous sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, and people shook with deep conviction of sin. Revival fire spread through our land as revivalists preached of a God who is a consuming fire. We need this in our age too.
Don’t get me wrong, we need to know that Jesus became our righteousness, and that God thinks we’re special. And that He has blessed us and destined us for blessing and favor. But these truths are for the saints who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Sinners need to know that the Father loves them. But we need the Billy Grahams of our day telling the masses of the lost that the wages of sin is death.
When a person gets a good understanding of their utter sinfulness, they will reach for the life raft of salvation with zeal. It’s time for us believers to awake to righteousness, and take the two edged sword of truth in our mouths motivated by the burning love of God in our hearts.
Before God’s best can be granted, a sinner must squirm with Holy Spirit conviction under the weight of his sin and understand sin’s wages. Only then can he really appreciate hearing that the gift of God is eternal life thought Jesus Christ our Lord!