The simple truth about mankind is that left to our devices we are naturally rebels against God. Left on our own we are depraved beings. Left to our own devices we make very poor company indeed. Left to our own devices everything we do is a sin. Left to our own devices we run our Hell bound race indifferent to the cost.
Don’t believe me? As Paul writes:
“and everything that does not come from faith is sin.”
Romans 8 v 23
Paul relates our moral standing not to how we treat our fellow man but to our relationship with God. If we have no faith in God then nothing we do is morally good. For if we have no faith in God we have no faith in truth, no faith in righteousness, no faith in good for all these things are God.
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Romans 1 v 21
The basic condition of humanity is one of rebellion against God. And as such we will never willingly come to God. Of course not! We run our Hell bound race indifferent to the cost. We hate God: “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8 v 7 - 8
We don’t understand God: “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2 v 14
We approve of other’s rebellion against God: “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1 v 32
We harden our hearts: “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.” Ephesians 4 v 18
We do not seek God: “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.” Romans 3 v 10 – 11
As Jesus says: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” John 3 v 19
Man will never approach God of his own violation. No, man will first and foremost choose to run his Hell bound course rather than bend before God in submission. When it comes to spiritual matters man is dead:
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.”
Ephesians 2 v 1 – 3
And here’s the rub: dead men can’t choose to be alive. Spiritual dead people cannot choose to have spiritual life. Man, on his own, cannot, will not and never would choose God.
And we’re not only dead but blind as well: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4 v 4
So we in our dead, blind, hostile, foolish, futile, rebellious hearts we run ever onwards to Hell indifferent to the cost. For make no mistake, our rebellion against God, is perfectly deserving of eternal punishment in Hell.
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Matthew 25 v 46
“God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marvelled at among all those who have believed.”
2 Thessalonians 1 v 6 – 9
So we run our Hell bound race indifferent to the cost.
And if it weren’t for the glorious love and mercy of God our story would end here. If it weren’t for the love of God everyone’s final destination would be Hell. If it weren’t for the mercy and love of God I’d still be running my Hell bound race indifferent to the cost.
But I’m not.
I once was lost but now I am found. I was dead but now I am alive. I once hated God but now I love God. I, who was depraved, now stand before God as righteous. How? Why? What is this good news? These are topics for another day but I leave you with this verse:
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
Ephesians 2 v 4 – 5