2005-06-17 - Shattered Power
1 John 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (NASB)
When Christ rose from the grave, He broke the power of sin and death over humanity. The power of sin to ensnare us was shattered in an instant. Does sin still entice us and catch us if we are not careful. Yes. Why? Because the "old man", the old nature in us, which is being put to death daily as we grow in Christ is still fighting. It is the old man that still fights to control us, that refuses to go down without a fight, that longs for the pleasures and temptations this world offers.
Are we then not responsible? Since it is the our old nature that wants these things, do we not have to worry about them? John encourages us to walk the walk that Jesus Christ did. We are accountable for our actions. Paul reminds us that grace is not a license to sin. And sin will exact a price from us in health or reputation. There is a cost not to be ignored. We are forgiven. The price for our sins was paid in the blood of the Lord poured out on the cross. If we sin, we have an advocate in Jesus.
Here is the something that might take a few by surprise. Jesus did not die just for those of us who call Him Lord. He died as the sacrifice for the whole world and covered the sins of everyone who had ever lived, was living at the time, and who would live afterward. The power of the sacrifice is not limited by time or place. The work is not partial. It is complete, for everyone.
So what prevents someone who is not a Christian from attaining eternal life after they die? The fact of the matter is that they will live forever. The power of death was shattered at the resurrection as well. The problem for the unbeliever is that they remain spiritually dead. At the moment a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior, they are given His life. They are spiritually alive, and sealed as belonging to the Lord. Everyone will live forever. There will be no escape of decay and simple non-existence for eternity. Those who know Christ and who Christ knows as His own, will be granted the privilege of eternal life with the God. The alternative is eternal separation from the love and presence of God.
Eternal life apart from God is unimaginable. Even now the Holy Spirit influences this world and protects even the unbeliever from the worst that the enemy and the base nature of men are capable of doing. The Holy Spirit holds back the four winds of evil from running rampant. One day the Holy Spirit will be removed and those poor souls who remain here will suffer horribly. And it will only be the beginning. Eternal life apart from God for eternity is what waits for those who do not know the Savior. This should motivate us to prayer, to speak to those around us and to be examples in our communities to reach out to the lost before it is eternally too late. The power of sin and death lay broken and crushed. The work of salvation is completed. Jesus said, "It is finished." We have what the world is searching for to fill the void in their lives.
Let them know.