It’s an understatement to say that in a world of sin there’s bad news. Who could overstate the fact that with God – simply said – there’s good news! But sometimes good news is not understood and appreciated unless we understand the bad news first. Who could appreciate the cure unless they had a clear diagnosis of the disease? In fact the Bible says that the good news that God offers humanity is foolishness to them (1 Corinthians 1:18). Why would such amazingly good news be foolish to anyone? It’s because they do not have a clear understanding of their disease.
Why do they lack this understanding? The Bible makes this clear:
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits. (Proverbs 16:2. See also: Proverbs 21:2 and Proverbs 12:15).
God, Who weighs the hearts of men has this to say about the heart of mankind:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
People don’t see their sin. They know they have sinned but their own hearts have deceived them into thinking their good outweighs their bad and they are convinced that God is tolerant of their sin and will open His arms wide to receive them into His kingdom. After all how could a loving God send them to hell? (See Matthew 10:28)
But the truth is after sin came into the world through Adam’s offense all humanity became completely unprofitable to God. There was no “God-shaped hole” in our hearts as if we were just incomplete without God. We became wicked through-and-through.
Isaiah 64:6 says “For we have all become like one who is unclean [ceremonially, like a leper], and all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags or a polluted garment; we all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away [far from God's favor, hurrying us toward destruction]”. (Isaiah 64:6 Amplified Bible. Also see Romans 3:12).
But God sought to redeem us to Himself not because He saw value or worth in us. He sought to redeem us to Himself solely and exclusively because of Who He is. He did it because He IS Love. You still might think that you’re not such a bad person but that’s because you have not come into contact with the schoolmaster referred to in Galatians 3:24:
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Here the Apostle Paul says the Law helps to bring someone to Christ. But how often do you hear of anyone using the Law to bring someone to Christ? As Christians we’re too busy distancing ourselves from the Law in the name of grace that we don’t realize that grace was given for the very purpose of fulfilling the Law. And we don’t realize that the law is our most powerful ally to help bring people to Christ.
I Timothy 1:8 says that the Law is useful to the Christian and who it’s for.
But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine… (1 Timothy 1:8-10)
So the Law is the schoolmaster and is useful in bringing someone to Christ. How does the schoolmaster work? Brace yourself because this may be hard to take…
Romans 3:19 says: Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
The sole purpose of the Law is to make an unsaved person feel guilty before God and to stop the mouth from self-justification. Once the Law has accomplished its purpose they see their desperate need for a Savior and cry out to God from their heart in true repentance. The Law breaks the proud sinner’s heart but the Gospel then heals it! The result is a genuine convert who will bear fruit and become a productive part of the Body of Christ.
Without the schoolmaster we’ll continue to see the majority of those who prayed a “sinner’s prayer” go on to seemingly bear fruit for a season and then backslide. Could it be that they never slid forward in the first place? Could it be that they never found a place of true repentance because we wanted to present them with a message that they were comfortable with? Could it be that the very people you affirm as being saved, who never seem to bear any fruit for God, will live by your affirmation until they die and then wake up in hell?
Look at these sobering words from Charles Spurgeon:
“Ho, Ho sir surgeon. You are too delicate to tell the man that he is ill. You hope to heal the sick without their knowing it. You therefore flatter them. And what happens? They laugh at you. They dance upon their own graves and at last they die. Your delicacy is cruelty, your flatteries are poisons… you are a murderer.
Shall we keep men in a fool’s paradise? Shall we lull them into soft slumbers from which they will awake in hell? Are we to become helpers of their damnation by our smooth speeches? In the name of God, we will not!”