I cannot think of a more useless profession than a sports broadcaster or journalist, the continuous repetition of facts only relevant to yesterday, hours of research into statistical analysis. It is hard to imagine a life more wasted than one spent in building houses, one devoted to the medical sciences, the head of a large corporation, the president of a food bank or a nation, all are nothing more than a complete and totally wasted life.
Try repeating these words to that friend of yours who is a nurse working in a hospice or children’s cancer ward, to the man who picks up your trash every day, or perhaps the manager of the store where you purchase your groceries each week, see just what kind of response you will get. “He hath made everything beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” (Eccl. 3:11) They will of course deride you and probably not speak to you for quite a while, because deep down they know the truth of this verse, they know all of their works are going to amount to nothing when they stand before Christ, but they have no other hope to grab on to, works are the only path they know, grace is a foreign word to them.
Known serial killers and rapists are in the kingdom of heaven right now because of grace, heads of many churches of the past are in hell at this moment with the knowledge of the truth beating at their brow every moment. It does not matter in any way what you do in this life to the Lord, the most compassionate, loving, caring grandmother who does not know and serve Christ as Lord is going to go to hell when she dies, and these words are definitely not something that go over very well even in most Evangelical churches today, for many have become just as deceived as the lost, the wicked that the wrath of God is abiding on, they also have lost the path of grace.
It is difficult for them to see the wrath of God at this point though, their lives are going fairly well, there is no real need or trouble, and so they feel assured that the works they are doing must be alright in His eyes. To these individuals the wrath of God is fire, floods, earthquakes, and other “natural” disasters, it is a toothache or cancer, a friend dying without warning, it is the advent of the unusual, not a life lived in ease and relative peace. This is so ingrained into nearly all of them that grace is never contemplated, for them more and better, happiness and relative contentment are the sure signs of the mercy of the Almighty, anything out of the ordinary, any circumstance that is negative in their life is seen as a sign from Him that they have done something wrong and that they had better fix it by doing two right things.
This of course is the modem that the Roman Catholic Church, the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witness, and a host of other organizations, including an ever growing population of Evangelical churches are built upon, Joel Osteen’s church is a prime example, they believe that if they are good, God will bless, if they are bad, God will punish, and the sure sign of both of these are the materialistic and emotional context of the current situation of their lives.
We are not only saved by grace, (Eph. 2:8) we live the entirety of our lives by His grace and mercy. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20) We are more than aware that all of the works that we have done to try to earn His grace are useless, (Isaiah 64:6) the price was paid on the cross by Jesus Christ, there is nothing left to pay, nothing more can be done that has not already been done. Every single thing that anyone does to try to stand in good favor toward God is a total waste of time, no work is worthy, no life spent in servitude to man or any religious credo will avail you anything. “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
Most will remain blind, most will die in their sins, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:14) But that does not mean you should not try, no matter how much they rebuke you, no matter how much they ostracize and hate you, they are blind, but eternity still rests in the depth of their soul, at least the knowledge of it.
I have mentioned this before, and will more than likely bring it up again if He so desires, you must see them as if they are on fire, screaming for mercy at the top of their lungs continuously and forever, until you do, they will just remain cattle in your eyes. “But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.” (Jude 1:10) If it hurts their feelings to find out that the entirety of their lives has been completely wasted, too bad, the truth is rarely easy for anyone to accept. How do you suppose Paul felt inside when he came to the realization that all those years of studying and applying himself to the ministry, if you will, were all years wasted?
“For there is no respect of persons with God.” (Romans 2:11) But He loves those that love His Son, and these are the only ones that understand the word grace.