The wages of sin is death, and there is not a righteous man among us. But does that mean pastors should talk exclusively about the fall of man and how short we are from the glory of God?
One reader asked famed evangelist Billy Graham, "I get tired of preachers who constantly tell us how bad we are. Why don't they have something good to say once in a while about the human race? We're not all evil monsters, you know."
And Graham issued a clarification to the reader's statement.
You're right, up to a point; most of us aren't as evil or depraved as we could be. Think how terrible the world would be if we were!
But if we're honest, neither are we as good as we could be. No, most of us may not be evil monsters (as you term it)—but neither are we as thoughtful or kind or compassionate as we should be. Instead, we are by nature wrapped up in ourselves, and even the nicest or most loving person you know would be embarrassed to have anyone see his or her innermost thoughts and motives. The Bible puts it bluntly: "There is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10).
Why is this? The reason is because of what the Bible calls sin. We have left God out of our lives, and we think we can take care of life on our own. But when we abandon Him and depend only on ourselves, we end up in conflict with others and at war within our souls.
Be thankful for every good gift God has given you. But also face honestly your need for God's forgiveness, and for His help to live the way you should. He alone can conquer the greed and bitterness and self-centeredness that plague us, and He alone can give us hope for the future. Don't let your pride, or your spirit of independence, or anything else keep you from Christ. His Word "teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives" (Titus 2:12).
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