Imagine someone from Australia, where they drive on the left side of the road, visiting the United States. Do American traffic laws apply to visitors from other countries? It’s a no-brainer, right?
Well then, why do you suppose some people refuse to believe that God’s Law applies not only to Christians and Jews, but also to them?
If you are a Buddhist, God’s Law applies to you just as much as if you were a Christian or a Jew. The same is true for Muslims, and atheists, and every single human being on the planet. You see, “Whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God” (Romans 3:19).
You and I do not have the authority to tamper with God’s Law and make adjustments to it. “The Law is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes” (Psalm 19:7-8).
It was reported last summer that “a record-low 20% of Americans now say the Bible is the literal Word of God, down from 24% the last time the question was asked in 2017, and half of what it was at its high point in 1980 and 1984. Meanwhile, a new high of 29% say the Bible is a collection of ‘fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.’”
Sadly, those who reject the Bible as the literal Word of God wrongly assume that God’s Law does not apply to them. This is a terribly dangerous belief to embrace. If visitors from Australia ignored American traffic laws while driving on our roads, you can imagine the chaos that would ensue. But such commotion is nothing compared to what happens to each person who dies while rejecting the Gospel and dismissing the Bible.
Whether you believe in American traffic laws or not, you will be held accountable to the laws of our land while you are in this country. Likewise, everyone on God’s planet is “accountable to God,” (Romans 3:19) whether they currently realize it or not. The fact of the matter is that you will ultimately be brought before the Judge prior to entering either Heaven or Hell. There is not a third option beyond the grave.
God’s Word declares: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due Him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Lawbreakers will be sentenced to eternal punishment in Hell, unless of course their sins have been forgiven. The reason the Son of God was sacrificed on the cross was so that our sins could be washed away with His blood. You can either believe the Gospel and receive forgiveness, or reject the Gospel and stand before your Creator and Judge with the full weight of your sins upon your soul.
My friend, God’s Law absolutely applies to you regardless of your personal beliefs on the matter. “Through the Law we become conscious of sin” (Romans 3:20). You are accountable to the One who owns the entire world. Without God, you are unable to take even a single breath. Therefore, you would be wise to turn to God today in repentance and faith.
You see, “God commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). This includes people like atheist Richard Dawkins, who said, “Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.”
In reality, it is entirely vain and presumptuous to reject God and His Word, while ignoring what the Bible discloses concerning man’s existence beyond this world. Those who despise God’s warnings and the Lord's free offer of salvation eventually regret it. Those who assume God’s Law does not apply to them also assume they have no need for the Gospel. After all, who needs a Savior if your “sins” before God are merely an invention of Jews and Christians?
Did Jews and Christians invent the Old Testament and the New Testament, or did Scripture come directly from God in Heaven? Be very careful how you answer that critical question. Your soul hangs in the balance!
The Apostle Peter wrote, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
Some people simply laugh off God and the Bible. For example, English actor Ricky Gervais said, “A Christian telling an atheist they’re going to Hell is as scary as a child telling an adult they’re not getting any presents from Santa.”
But just because you currently do not have the fear of God in your heart does not mean you won’t experience tremendous fear once you cross over to the other side. Everyone who enters the next realm without faith in Christ is instantly filled with terror, dread, and horror.
Unless Ricky repents and turns to God, he will definitely not be laughing when he stands before God on Judgment Day.
Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in Hell” (Matthew 10:28). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10).
So, does God’s Law apply to you? Absolutely! 100%! And I hope you will ask God to impress this fact upon your heart and mind. Why else would you ever come to Jesus to be forgiven and accept God's free gift of eternal life in Heaven? The Lord grants this “indescribable gift” (2 Cor. 9:15) to every guilty sinner who repents and believes the good news.
“The Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ” (Galatians 3:24).
So, will you turn to God today and accept the good news of the Gospel, or do you presume to be smarter than your Creator? Does God’s Law apply to you, or do you pretend to be above the Law, thereby becoming a false god unto yourself?
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.