Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What We All Deserve

The other day I was talking to Kipp Greggory, our morning talk show host, during whose program this radio blog broadcast airs. We do not see each other very often, but when we do, it’s a fast-paced gab fest! He brought up a point of aggravation to him that amazed me, because it is something that bothers my husband and me, as well, and I have not heard anyone else make the point. It is the profusion of advertising that appeals to the prevalent sense of entitlement that infects many people in our society today.

You have heard the ads on the radio. You have seen them on television. Whatever product is being pushed, the message is often phrased in the “you deserve” angle. “Get the credit you deserve.” “Get the home you deserve.” “Get the job you deserve.” “Get the body you deserve.” “Get the love life you deserve.” “Get the good night’s sleep you deserve.” The list goes on and on, and is enough to drive you crazy, if you are paying attention to such foolish messaging.

I think one of the earliest incarnations of this dumb message was by McDonalds, when it launched the early-1970s “You deserve a break today” ad campaign. Yes, we all deserved our splendid pick from a delightful fast food menu.

What is it that bothers me so much about this message? Well, for one thing, it is stupid. How can we logically conclude that we “deserve” any of the things the advertising world pushes at us? If we have eaten ourselves into five sizes too big, how can we justify believing that we “deserve” to have a body like the beautiful, trim model on the exercise machine pictured on television? If we have spent ourselves into a chasm of debt, how can we imagine we should get the credit we “deserve”? It makes no sense, except to a mind blinded by lazy, selfish greed.

But, the bottom line of why this message irks me is the fact that I know what we all deserve, and some of you will not like to hear it. We all deserve death. Yes, death. Whether we like it or not, and whether we even accept it or not, we are accountable to our Creator. God is. And, we owe him our very existence, because we cannot take a breath without receiving it from Him. All we have comes from Him (and we think we earned it on our own). He made us and all we see, and He has a standard of perfection that none of us can achieve. His law requires perfect obedience, but not one of us could ever perfectly obey, and God’s penalty for breaking His law is death, which is eternal separation from Him.

God knew from before He created time and set us in it that we would choose sin and death, and Adam wasted no time in making that choice in the Garden, so God, Who loves us infinitely, made a way, a bridge, between God and man. That bridge is God the Father’s only Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus willingly took on the form of fallen mankind and lived a sinless life—not once did He break God’s law—and He offered Himself up as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He gave His life—no one took it from him, because no one could. He took upon Himself the death we all deserve.

There is no other way to God, except through His Son. Yes, it is exclusive. That is why Jesus said that broad is the way that leads to destruction—with the many, many false religions, false versions of Christianity and idols in the world—and many people go down that deadly path, but narrow is the gate that leads to life, and few find it. Jesus is that Gate.

I suppose this message of salvation is what makes the “you deserve”-entitlement-mentality advertising so sinister. The very message of “you deserve” is a lie, and although I realize lots of advertising is lies, this lie is somehow worse, because it directly contradicts the truth of God’s Word. It serves to lift man up on his own mini-god pedestal, where he “deserves” the finest things this world has to offer, and if he is up there on his lofty perch, how can he see himself as the hopeless wretch he truly is, who is in desperate need of salvation? He can’t.

The message of salvation is plain and simple, and it is a sweet fragrance to those who embrace it, but it is a stench to those who refuse it as they perish. The Apostle John transcribed the words of Jesus in this powerful passage,
“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. "

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
The fact that we are moving around and living our lives is a testament to God’s great patience and mercy. Most of us do not get what we deserve in a timely manner. God gives us countless chances to turn to Him and accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus. I thank God that I will not get what I deserve, for though I stumble on a daily basis, when I die, I will not experience eternal separation from Him. I will be covered by the blood of Jesus. Thanks be to my Father in Heaven!

The principle of getting what we deserve also applies to the shabby state of our nation today. The Word of the Lord through the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians states one of God’s immutable truths,
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”
America turned its collective back on God several decades ago. Those among us who despise God and Christ have worked hellishly and feverishly to force even the mention of the Lord’s name out of the public square, and those of us who love the Lord allowed it to happen with hardly a fight. What do we suppose we deserve as a nation for spitting in His holy face? We have the degenerate society we deserve. We have the corrupt government we deserve. We have the wicked public education system we deserve, which cranks out the godless, socialist automatons we deserve (Occupy Wall Street, anyone?). We have the criminal fraud of a President we deserve.

And, unless this nation somehow makes a sharp, right-hand U-turn to the Lord, we will continue to get the hell we deserve in increasing measure. But, no matter how bad things get in our country and the world, each of us individually has the opportunity—as long as we are still alive—to accept God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. If you have not already done so, please accept Him while you still can, so that you can possess true peace, wisdom and knowledge during your time on this earth, and so that on that great and terrible Day of the Lord, you will not get what you deserve.

What Must I Do To Be Saved?
The Ten Commandments Challenge - Are You Good Enough For Heaven?


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