Friday, 3 December 2010

What animal buries its head in the sand?

Apparently it's not the ostrich!  In fact, it's not an animal at all that does it, but many people do...

I was speaking to a lady who suspected she might have had a serious health problem but she didn't want to go to the doctor for fear she would get bad news.  I tried telling her that if she went to the doctor she might get bad news, but the doctor might also tell her he can do something about it.  Living in denial could ruin her chance to have the problem dealt with, and rob her of the opportunity of a cure.

Most of us would think that is a very foolish attitude, yet I see it happen all the time regarding a much more serious danger.  There are people who are not prepared to think about the message of the Gospel, to consider the evidence for the reality, reliability and relevance of the Bible, to honestly allow themselves to look into Christianity, for fear they may find it to be true, and then they'd have to do something about it.

Too many people are prepared to hide behind the myths of popular opinion, and dismiss the Gospel with a wave of the hand and a scoff of ridicule.  When they are pressed to explain why they believe the Gospel is nonsense they are usually pretty light on reasons.  When you ask them to give arguments rather than merely make assertions for the falsehood of Christianity not much is forthcoming.  When they are challenged to face the evidence of the fulfilled prophecies or the resurrection of Christ, there is no sensible answer that accounts for the facts.  Does this lead to them saying, "Hold on, That's a good point.  I don't have an answer to that.  Hmmm, you may be right, I must look into that"?  Hardly ever.  The usual reaction is to increase the volume of the ridicule and the boldness of the assertions.

This was demonstrated again to me a couple of weeks ago as I spoke to a couple of people about the Bible.  They had asked me, with a measure of incredulity, "Do you believe the Bible?"  When I told them I did, I think they thought they found a prize specimen of foolishness and gullibility.  I read Isaiah 53 to them and asked them to tell me the name of the person about whom I'd been reading.  They both could tell me it was Jesus.  What they couldn't tell me is how such a description could be given 700 years before His birth.  One pointed to his friend and said, "He'll tell you."  His friend shook his head and said, "I don't know what to say."  I asked them if they were going to investigate the issue further, and they both said they had no intention of doing so.  I reminded them that I had just given them a very good reason to believe in the God of the Bible and the Gospel of the Bible, a reason they could not refute, but they were just going to close their eyes and cover their ears and not think about it - they were living in denial.  They didn't want to face up to it because they might not have liked what they heard.

One of them asked me, "What difference does it make if it is true?"  What a worthwhile question!  If it is true then we have broken the law of an infinitely holy, absolutely righteous God.  If it is true then there is a heaven and there is a hell.  If it is true then we're going to hell because of our sins, and if it is true then we are loved by this God we have offended, and we can be saved from our danger and cleansed from our sins by His Son who gave Himself to suffer the penalty for sin on the cross, and rose again from the dead.  If it is true then we can know and enjoy God, now and forever.

No one wants to think about hell, no one wants to be told they're going there, but what if it's true?  Your sins are mounting up, hell awaits, eternity approaches, opportunities are fleeting, time is flying...if it's true.  I'm convinced it is true; are you convinced it isn't?  Don't bury your head in the sand.  Have the courage to face up to it.