God has revealed in Scripture that lawbreakers deserve to be punished. In fact, God's holiness and perfect justice require it. And it's a good thing for us that God was willing to tell us about it.
So just how guilty are we before God?
James summed it up this way: "Whoever keeps the whole law and and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." (James 2:10)
In other words, you are doomed if you commit even one sin in your lifetime. That is, unless your sins are washed away.
If you are a Christian, then you know what it took to have your sins washed away. You have come to realize that the death of Jesus on the cross paid for your sins. The blood of Jesus has cleansed your soul through faith in the Savior.
But what if Jesus had not died for our sins? Have you ever stopped to think about that? Just imagine how hopeless things would be if you and I were sitting here as lawbreakers, but with no remedy for our massive problem.
Try to imagine how devastated you would be if you knew that your appointment in God's courtroom one day was going to result in you being sentenced to spend eternity in hell. It is a real prison, and no one ever leaves once they enter it. Jesus often warned people about the reality of this eternal prison. (Matt. 25:46; John 5:29; Matt. 13:50; Mark 9:43; Luke 16:40-31; Matt. 13:42; Matt. 25:41; John 15:6; Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:5)
It is impossible for us to know just how miserable we would feel if we knew we were headed toward eternal punishment, and that there was absolutely no place we could turn to do anything about it. The only feeling worse than hopelessness in this world is hopelessness in the next world, as a person residing in hell becomes fully aware that he will never leave that prison.
In spite of this reality, many people on earth today live as though Jesus never died. They are living with little if any concern over their sinful condition, and they are clueless as to the eternal penalty that awaits their sin. It is the single greatest tragedy in the world today. Men are lost without Christ, and yet, they seem to have no concern for the eternal welfare of their soul.
It's like a man out in the desert whose body is dying due to lack of water, and he is unaware of the spring of water that is only 100 yards away. If we compare this man's plight to the condition of many in the world today, there is one major difference. The man in the desert knows he needs water, while many in the world today lack any thirst for God's living water.
When Jesus was speaking with a Samaritan woman one day who had come to draw water at a well, the Lord told her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." (John 4:10)
Just think. People all over the world today have no clue that God's living water is within their reach. Meanwhile, their souls are shriveling up and dying as a result of their sins against God. They are lawbreakers, but they seem oblivious to the condition of their soul. They are living as though Jesus never died. And they are dying as though Jesus never lived.
What a tragedy. If only someone would tell them. If only someone would reach them before it's too late.
After His resurrection from the dead and just before His ascension into heaven, Jesus told His disciples, "Go and make disciples of all nations." (Matthew 28:19)
In other words, go and reach lawbreakers with the good news. Reach them while there is still time.
Many unbelievers do not even know the bad news yet, let alone the good news. And they don't realize the sentence that awaits them if they remain in their current condition. In addition, they don't know what Christ did to pay the penalty for their sin. They remain clueless, just as you and I would be if we had not been reached with God's message of salvation.
Jesus said, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
Will you trust Christ today to wash away your sins? Will you receive Jesus today as your Lord and Savior?
"Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God." (John 1:12)
After you receive Christ as your Savior, the Lord will work through you to reach others with the good news of salvation. Do you have a relationship with anyone today who is living as though Jesus never died? You can prayerfully and carefully help bring someone with you to heaven. And the Holy Spirit will guide you as you embark upon this all-important opportunity.