This Tuesday marks a year that a significant event took place in my life. It was a Monday morning, a day like every other, when I got up out of bed, got dressed, and headed for work. When I arrived at work I found what I found every Monday: a truck driver waiting to get in the gate to unload the ice cream from his truck .
I let him in the gate and he backed up partway to the dock and stopped. He asked me if he could break the seal on his truck and back in all the way. I informed the driver that because we had no power equipment and it would take two of us to unload the truck he would have to wait until the other gentleman arrived to help me.
Being that I work in a freezer that maintains temperatures of –10 degrees, and when it rains the moisture gets underneath the door and causes it to ice up. When that happens I always have to chip the ice away from the bottom of the door from the outside before it can be opened. It happened to rain that weekend and so I followed my routine of grabbing the hammer and the chisel from the dock and began chipping away the ice from the door.
The tractor trailer had no warning back-up alarms and I never heard the truck backing up. Before I realized what was happening my body had been pinned between the truck and the loading dock. I struggled to breathe and could feel the breath slowly leaving my body. I knew without a doubt that if the truck didn’t move soon I was going to die!
In that moment, in didn’t matter how much money I had ever made; it didn’t matter what kind of vehicle I happened to be driving at the time; it didn’t even matter that my wife and I would be closing on our new home just weeks later. What did matter was the scene that would transpire shortly after my soul would leave this earthly body. I wondered if, when I stood before God, if I would be able to stand before Him knowing that I had used the time He had given me. Would I be able to say that I had lived unreserved and unashamed of Him?
These were the kinds of thoughts that were running through my mind. Now, the Bible is clear that we are not saved by doing good things (Eph 2:8-9) but that we are saved unto good works (Eph 2:10). Unfortunately, our society had focused so much on a social, do-good gospel that grace has been but all removed from the process. Scripture makes it clear that our hearts are wicked and deceitful (Jer 17:9), that we are at enmity with God (Jas 4:4), that we cannot on our own receive the things of God (1Cor 2:14), and that we are dead in our trespasses in sin (Eph 2:1).
Most of us would like to think of ourselves as good people but the above passages say otherwise. When we judge “goodness” by our own standards rather that God’s standards all of us come out squeaky clean. But God is righteous and will judge all of us by the same standards. Those standards are called the Ten Commandments and we are commanded to keep ALL of them or face God’s judgment (Gal 3:10).
That is bad news, for who among us can stand before God and claim that we have never broken His commandments? None of us can! If we have lied, blasphemed God’s Name, dishonored our parents, or any of the other commandments we are guilty of breaking God’s Law! In fact, James 2:10 warns us that if we stumble in just one area of the Law then God will hold us accountable for all of it.
But there is good news! God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, who was fully God and fully Man to keep the Law for us. At the end of His ministry He voluntarily laid down His life to die on a cross in order to redeem all those who would ever believe in Him (John 10:27-28). But that death was not the end of Him. He was buried, and laid in the tomb, and on the third day God raised Him from the dead proving once and for all that He was the acceptable sacrifice for sin. He appeared to His disciples over a forty day period and then ascended into Heaven at the right hand of the Father, waiting to return in judgment. When He returns, He will not come as Savior but as Judge. He will judge all who those who have violated His commands and separate them from Himself in Hell for all eternity (Rev 20:15, Jude 15).
The Father only requires two things: repentance and faith in the Person and work of His Son on the cross for the redemption of sins. Nothing else can save you; no religion, baptism, church membership, or any righteousness you think you may have (Isa 64:6). The only way is to turn from your sins and trust in the completed, finished work of Christ, and Him alone.
I am confident that had I met the Lord on April 2, 2012 that I would have been seen clothed in Christ’s righteousness and not my own. For 16 years ago, on April 13, 1997, God reached down into this hardened and sinful heart, regenerated my dead soul, and granted me faith to believe and repentance unto life.
My friend, if you have never examined yourself in the light of God’s Holy Law, please do so immediately and pray that He will grant you repentance unto life. God bless you.