Tuned Out or Turned Off

Why we reject the Gospel.

Posted by David Wyatt on August 30, 2021 · 5 mins read
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:7-8

My wife often says I have selective hearing. And I have to admit she’s right. When she says, “Let’s eat and then do the dishes,” guess which part I don’t hear? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not the part about digging into a plate of fried chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy!

It’s the same way with the Gospel. We jump all over that part about “believe in Me” and “everlasting life” like I jump on a chicken wing. We can even swallow that “Christ died for us” bit. Sure, it may be a little salty but, “Mmmm, chicken! Mmmm, potatoes! Mmmm, eternal life!”

But when it gets to that part about WHY he had to die … because we were “of the devil” (1 John 3:8), “enslaved to sin” (John 8:34, Romans 6:6), “enemies of God” (Romans 5:10), and incapable of doing anything good in the eyes of God (Romans 8:7-8) … it’s like my wife saying, “Wash the dishes.” We tune out. Or, more often, act like someone just swapped out our gravy for vomit. “Yeah, I hear what you’re saying but I AIN’T swallowing THAT!”

Why do we balk when the Bible, the GOSPEL, tells us who we are? Because it’s offensive to the flesh. Our rebellion and pride say we’re not THAT bad. But this attitude belittles the cross and denies the fullness of the love God displayed for us through the crucifixion of His Son.

In a great article entitled “You Can’t Preach Christ Without Preaching Depravity,” Bradley Larson said:

“Depravity isn’t exactly en vogue these days. You don’t hear friends at coffee shops talking about the blackness of their hearts. We don’t put verses about human sinfulness on coffee cups, or surround them with filigree in inspirational memes.

We want to hear uplifting verses, ‘for I know the plans I have for you’ verses. We don’t want to hear ‘the heart is desperately sick’ verses.

But if we are to understand the magnitude of God’s grace, we need to understand the totality of our depravity. In fact, we must never shy away from depravity, for not only is it true, but it clarifies what Jesus accomplished on the cross. We must preach this doctrine, understanding that our job in gospel proclamation is not to tickle ears with self-help, but to pierce souls with truth.”

And yet while we were sinners, God made a way for us. Not because we deserve it but because of His grace and mercy.

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:6-10

The love of God.

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