God laughs in the face of $700 Billion.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
For the past two months or more the talk of bailouts has become the new chic conversation piece. It started with the banking industry, or the credit industry, or was it the real estate industry? Who knows! In any event the federal government has been inundated with bailout...excuse me, "rescue" plans, packages and those wanting a piece of the proverbial pie. Of course, just like every other problem we have in this modern age, the solution is to throw inordinate amounts of money at it in the hopes of drowning the problem in cash. It seems a little bit like the person who wishes to drown their troubles in alcohol only to end up with a splitting headache, a pickled liver and no memory of how it all happened. I digress.
I have a question. What if people desired a bailout from sin and guilt as much as they desired a bailout from bankruptcy or foreclosure? What if people actually went to God with faces down begging for help, begging to be delivered from the terrible place they find themselves? Would God be as gracious and loving and kind as the government? I hope you have detected by now that these are rhetorical questions. The obvious answer is that YES, not only will God be gracious, loving and kind to we sinners who repent BUT, He has already offered the best bailout package in history! Let me turn your attention to on of my favorite verses in the Bible, 2 Chronicles 7:14
if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
and then in Romans 5:8
but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died to us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.
I'm not going to sit hear and tell anyone that if they give their heart to Jesus then He will heal their bank account or save their company from going out of business. It could very well be the case that the Lord sees fit to do these things, however, this is not the guarantee that the Word give us. That is not what Christ came to do though. He came to save us from our sins, redeem us to God and redeem our entire life. Why then do we not see people storming altars and churches begging God to forgive them like we see C.E.O's and C.F.O's storming Washington D.C with outstretched hands? Well I think people like Charles Spurgeon and Ray Comfort have the right idea. People don't know that they have done wrong. We have told them that God will heal their bank account if they follow Him and when that isn't the Lord's plan they...bail out. You see God does not have to make good on our deals. God is not responsible for making sure that we are not liars. We are, however, responsible for telling people the truth that He has given us in His Word. This is the truth about God's ultimate bailout package:
1) God created the world, everything in it including us.
2) We messed up and sinned, every one of us.
3) Because of that sin we cannot enter into the presence of the Holy and Perfect God.
4) God loves us and doesn't want to live without us so He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ.
5) Jesus paid the penalty, He picked up the tab, He bailed us out of moral bankruptcy, sin.
6) By accepting this sacrifice we are forgiven of our sins and allowed to enter into Heaven.
7) God's bailout plan is the only one that will work.
Now, if we do choose to accept God's rescue plan then some things are going to change or should change. One thing for sure, there will be no $400,000 executive retreats. We don't just get forgiven and then turn right back to our old ways. Will we still be in the woods? Yes, but we will be heading in a different direction. We have a new life, new hearts, new minds and new desires and new motivations. God wants to give us a new life not because He is fundamentally against fun, but because He created us and knows how we are supposed to function best. The point is this, God is able to do and has done far more than we could ever imagine. He has offered us salvation from a terrible, horrific eternity in Hell. He has also offered us eternity in Heaven and to make us a new creation even while we are here on earth. God's bailout package didn't cost $700 billion, it didn't cost a trillion, it cost Him the life of His one and only Son. To us it is a free gift.