Sunday, 3 October 2010

Without a doubt?

John had been doing a Bible correspondence course we run, (if you want to do it then email me and I'll get it to you -  He was burdened by a sense of his guilt, and was impressed by the evidence of the reality of the Gospel message, and he said he believed that Jesus had to be the Son of God, but he couldn't be 100% sure.  To him, this seemed to be sufficient reason for not receiving Christ as his own Lord and Saviour.  Was he right?  Do you need 100% certainty before you become a Christian?  Do you need to know without a doubt that it's true?
I'm suggesting you don't.  I tried to give John a few illustrations to help him understand the point. 

Suppose you needed life-saving surgery done, is it necessary that you have absolute confidence that the surgeon will save your life and successfully carry out the operation before you entrust yourself into his hands?  No!  All that is required is that you realise that he's your only hope, and if you don't trust him you're definitely going to die!  With fear and trembling you commit your case to him - you put your faith in him.  Your level or degree of confidence isn't the point.  The point is you've put your confidence in the surgeon.

Suppose you're drowning and someone throws out a lifeline.  You don't know the man, you don't know his name, what age he is, where he's from, etc.  And you don't know for sure that he's not going to pull you part way in and then let go of the lifeline.  You don't have 100% certainty, but the reality is there is are no other lifelines on offer, if there were you still wouldn't have 100% certainty, and what is certain is that if you don't take the one on offer you're going to drown!  Once you've embraced the lifeline you will then know if your faith was well placed, and once you've met your rescuer you can then begin to get answers to all your questions.

I tried to make the application to John - he has a felt need - his conscience making him aware of his guilt before God and the danger he is in due to impending judgment.  In the message of the Gospel we find someone who is presenting Himself as the only one who is qualified and capable to deal with the problem and meet the need - the Lord Jesus Christ; we find God's one lifeline to a perishing world - a Saviour is provided, a Substitute is offered.  This is a message that answers to the deepest needs of the human heart.  As regards religions, there are loads on offer, but when it comes to saviours who offer to save you here and now, there's not one other on offer - Christ is the only one.  So I said to John that while he might have loads of questions and doubts, the reality is that Christ is his only hope.  If he were to come to Christ in sincerity and humility with his guilt (and with his doubts and fears) and entrust himself to Christ for salvation, then he would know if the Gospel was true because the Gospel says that the Lord makes a change in the lives of those that trust Him for salvation.  You can then spend the rest of your life, and indeed the whole of eternity, getting to know this wonderful Saviour and getting answers to the other questions you have.

John, as yet, hasn't grasped the lifeline.  Will you?