Have you ever noticed that some people always seem to have things easy in life? There always seems to be a few people in every group who never appear to have a problem at home or at school or on the job. They don’t seem to have problems gaining or keeping friends. They don’t have problems with their weight or with their appearance or with their family. It appears that life just seems to flow along so smoothly for some people, doesn’t it?
It’s sometimes easy to look at these people and think, “I wish that I had it as easy as they do.” But would you really like to trade places with someone who outwardly appears to “have it all”? The Doctor would advise you to be careful because things may not always be as they appear.
You see, while some people may seem to really have it all together it’s also true that we don’t know everything that goes on in someone’s life. Although things many appear to be going well outwardly, people often still struggle with many things inwardly.
For example, there are many, many people who struggle with a fear of death or a nagging sense of guilt or an ongoing feeling of unfulfillment in life. Some people live in fear of the future. Others spend their lives trying desperately -and often failing- to live up to the unrealistic expectations of a parent, coach or teacher.
Of course, you’d never know about these inner fears simply by looking at people but they often still exist. The sad fact is that many people can look vibrant and happy on the outside but feel still feel empty and miserable on the inside.
You see, everyone longs for a sense of inner peace and security but so few people ever seem to really find it. The good news is that it’s possible for someone to be free of this inner emptiness and unfulfillment- if they are willing to be honest with themselves about why those things exist.
For example, the Bible tells us that things like fear, guilt, emptiness and unfulfillment find their ultimate source in the fact that people are separated from their Creator. In fact, God’s Word spends a lot of time discussing how this problem happened and how it can be fixed.
The word the Bible uses to describe the solution to this problem is salvation. In it’s most basic terms, the word “salvation” simply means “deliverance” and it refers to God’s deliverance of people from this problem of separation from Him. It’s been said that you can reduce the Bible’s teaching on salvation to four simple things…
1- God Exists And He Is A Holy And Righteous God
The word “holy” seems to be one of those words that is often used by people without much thought to what it actually means. However, The Doctor suspects that people wouldn’t use the word “holy” in the way it’s often used if they really knew what it meant. You see, the word “holy” refers to God’s moral flawlessness, ethical perfection and absolute 100% purity. The word also carries the idea of being entirely separate or set apart from anything that is wrong, dirty or impure.
When the Bible says that God is “righteous” it means that God always does those things that are true, honest and right. God never “breaks the rules” to favor one person at the expense of another- He always does what is good and just (Psalm 11:7). Holiness and righteousness are things that are central to God’s character and nature. Holiness and righteousness are not some standards that God had to live up to- He is the source of these things.
Now this sounds all well and good until we stop to think about how God’s holiness and righteousness apply to us. You see, God’s standard for human beings is perfection. He has every right to demand that we meet this standard for that’s how He originally created us (see Genesis 1:31). Unfortunately the very first human couple broke this rule when they chose to disobey God. Everyone since then has followed in the footsteps of this first couple (Adam and Eve) in disobeying God (you can take a look over here if you’d like to read a little more about how that happened and why it’s a problem).
Anyway, because God is completely and totally perfect, he can’t just let things “slide;” He has to punish people when they break the rules. Unfortunately, the punishment for disobeying God results in the death penalty for anyone who is guilty. In fact, God gave Adam fair warning that he would be subject to this death sentence if he ever broke the law. (see Genesis 2:16-17).
Now this may sound a little harsh but it’s really not so difficult for us to understand today. Think about it- in a court of law, a judge is responsible for making sure that the law is upheld, right? It’s the responsibility of a good judge to make sure that people who break the law receive the punishment that they deserve. Now everyone can surely agree that it would be wrong for a judge to let guilty people go without being punished, right? In fact, if a judge let lawbreakers go unpunished then the judge would be a lawbreaker and subject to punishment!
This is why God can’t just overlook it when people do wrong things. Psalm 89:14 says of God, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne…” (NIV) and God is a totally honest, fair and morally perfect judge. As such, He has to punish those who break the law.