How Trite Can We Be?
In this spiritual war we are all involved in, there is a need to insure that the message preached is perceived as being serious. One of the greatest detriments to that is the sad fact that many churches and “Christians” out there do not perceive this to be the case at all. All they are focused on is how they appeal to the larger population so as to gain members, without regard to how they get those members. Thus, there is a solid reason for the title. Look at the picture above and be honest with yourself about the seriousness of what they are stating. The question must be asked:
How trite can we be?
It is obvious that the whole attitude of the sign trivializes a very real issue.
If we were to do a comparison, it would not be difficult to compare the issue of salvation to a defect or malfunction on an automobile. Almost everyone understands that brake failure on an automobile is a serious issue. If you had a friend that had a car with brakes which were in imminent danger of failing, you would be utterly serious and earnest in telling them to get the brakes on their automobile fixed, unless you just did not care about them. You certainly wouldn’t make light of it or joke about it. Rather, you would tell them what is at stake, and would contend with them about getting it fixed.
In comparison, how serious is the issue of the destiny of each of us after we die? Certainly, it is far more serious than the condition of the brakes on an automobile. After all, you may experience brake failure and survive quite well. It is not so with the issue of salvation and eternity. Once we depart off this earth, we will find ourselves in eternity with no recourse as to where we are. Moreover, we will be there a very long time, even forever. I say that, as it does not quite impinge upon people that eternity is forever — that it is truly unending and does not cease to be.
Hence, where one will spend eternity is a very critical issue. It is express from Scripture that there are only two places man will go: heaven or hell. There are no other options. The Lord made that very plain when he spoke of a judgment to come:
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: . . . (Matthew 25:31-34)
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: . . . (Matthew 25:41)
It is inescapable that there are two, and only two very distinct divisions the Lord makes here. Clearly there is only a left hand and right hand, and everyone is placed into one of the two groups. Everyone on the right enters into heaven, and everyone on the left is cast into hell. Since there is such a clear division, it is reasonable to ask: What is the dividing line? The answer is very succinct:
Since this is the case, just how serious is the message of the Gospel? How serious is the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ had to die for our sins, seeing that it was the only way that the judgment of God could be satisfied? And yet, how serious is the message put forth by Osage Assembly of God church on their sign?
Simply put: It isn’t.
In fact, the message is nothing but trivial and trite, and cannot be seriously taken any other way. Isn’t a church supposed to be about preaching, not only the gospel, but the seriousness of the gospel? Isn’t a church supposed to bring the message that the price for our sin is extremely high? In fact, the Scripture is express that the wages of sin is death. For any of us to have salvation made available to us, it was essential for the Word to come in the flesh and die in our place. Outside of the salvation that is in Christ, there is no escape from the spiritual death and subsequent suffering in the lake of fire for all eternity.
Unfortunately, what is displayed by the above sign is at best total ignorance of the seriousness of the Gospel, and at worst a mockery of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross on our behalf. Sadly, no one will tell this church and its leadership that they are mocking Christ and giving the Atheists justification for their mockery of Christianity. Is it any wonder that people reject the Gospel message in this society? After all, all the above sign tells me is that I need (at best) fire insurance. However, I am assured that those who are responsible for this sign will hear about this again – from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Moreover, I am absolutely certain that He is not now pleased, and will express His displeasure when they stand before Him.
I leave you with a question that must be considered:
If you are unwilling or unable to deliver the message in a serious manner, do you honestly expect anyone to respond to that message in any serious manner?