We're working through a really excellent DVD series on Wednesday nights at church - Dust To Glory, it's called. The Story of the Bible, and God's plan for all of humanity.
Last week we learned about the Fall of the first man and first woman from their place in the paradise of Eden, all because they were hungering for sovereignty, and self-rule. And there was this one point Dr Sproul made that just really stood out to me even more than all the rest. . .
The first sin was an attack on the Word of God. "Hath God said...?" Satan asked, even though he knew very well what the answer was. "You will not die," the Serpent assured Eve. "You will not die. You will not die."
That message is eerily familiar in our society today. "You will not die. You will not die. Because God loves everyone unconditionally."
Where do we hear this message the most often? Sadly, it's in the one place where we should never hear the Word of God disputed: It's in our churches. It's too uncomfortable for people to talk about death and judgement. So, they chop out the hard-to-deal-with parts of the Bible, and focus only on the love. This "unconditional" love for everybody in the world completely undermines Christ's Passion for us. What is the point of Him suffering anguish, despised and rejected, if we were not doomed to Hell in the first place? We are told that we will not die --- not because Christ has ransomed us --- but because God didn't really mean what He said about Hell, and death, and all that; because we are "good" people and we don't deserve death.
The Church is, most often unknowingly, repeating the very first lie that was ever told. They are spreading the disease of doubt through the congregations. And Satan is chuckling to himself, because that old temptation - the one that began in the garden with a piece of forbidden fruit - is still very much alive.
Adam and Eve trampled on their beautiful role as God's image-bearers, when they believed the Serpent and bit into that fruit. Then it was, that they realized their nakedness, their shame, and they ran away. They tried to hide themselves from God. And the rest of scripture; the rest of the Story, is about a Creator pursuing His prodigal creation. It's about God coming for us, even when we don't want to be found.