|"Only One Cure For Sin"
Last year when my urologist told me the dreaded news that my biopsy revealed cancer, I was stunned. As a 50 year old man, in perfect health (so I thought), the news hit me like a ton of bricks. My mind began spinning. I felt as if I had been suddenly cast into a state of confusion and hopelessness. It did not take me long to realize how little I knew about prostate cancer. The answers to my questions were not very comforting. The doctor could not tell me how long the tumor had been growing. He told me, based on the results of the test, there was a 20% chance that it had metastasized or gone to other parts of the body. When I asked him about my options, he said, "There is no cure, we can either remove the prostate and hope the cancer has not spread, or try to destroy the tumor with radiation."
In the weeks that passed, I was comforted and encouraged by so many verses of Scripture. I gained a deeper understanding of divine providence, in that, "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). It is so heartening to know that God has caused this affliction for His good purpose. This gives me a peace that surpasses all understanding as I trust my sovereign Lord, "who comforts us in all our afflictions" (2 Cor.1:3). By the measure of grace God has given me, I can rejoice in my sufferings "because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit" (Romans 5:3-5).
I began gathering what turned out to be a maze of information on possible treatments for cancer. There are so many different authorities and expert opinions to sort through regarding our physical health. The search left me bewildered and confused. Who could I trust? Who was the greater authority? There was a time when I asked these same questions about my spiritual well-being as a Catholic. These troubling questions led me to dig deeper for answers. So I began a study on the comparisons and contrasts between the disease of cancer and the disease of sin.
One observation, which gave me great peace, is the fact that there is no confusion about the cure for the sin disease. God has given us His Word, the one infallible authority to know, understand and trust His only provision for sin! The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is so clear and indeed powerful enough to save sinners from the penalty, power, and presence of sin (Romans 1:16). There is no higher authority to seek. His Word is our very best counsel because our "faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God" (1 Cor. 2:5). Anyone who has been putting their faith in the authority and wisdom of men needs to get a second opinion from the One who created them, our omniscient God.
Both diseases often go undetected
The Catholic Church gives its followers a false diagnosis by telling them water baptism has washed away their sin. Thus there are many Catholics today who are unaware they are carrying the sin disease which they inherited at conception (Psalm 51:5). The reason: there are very few Christians willing to give them their true diagnosis. They are not fulfilling their role of spiritual doctors, speaking the truth in love, telling their family, friends and neighbors that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Many Christians avoid telling sinners their true condition for fear it will cause hurtful feelings and harm relationships. I am so thankful my doctor told me the truth about my cancer rather than withholding the unpleasant and alarming news.
Both diseases are deadly
Like cancer, the sin disease is deadly. With cancer, the death is physical but with sin the death is physical as well as spiritual and eternal (Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:14). Ultimately those who die with the sin disease will spend eternity in the lake of fire. Catholics are taught to believe that some lesser sins (venial) are not serious enough to cause death to the soul. We must tell them, "whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it" (James 2:10). Many go through life convinced that a loving God would never send sinners to the eternal fires of hell. We must tell them the truth! God does not leave the guilty unpunished (Ex. 34:7). Sinners are destined to be "punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thes. 1:9). There are some people afflicted with cancer who do not take it seriously or seek treatment. Ultimately their lives are cut short. Likewise, there are many who do not take the consequence of their sin disease seriously. Instead, they blindly trust the opinion of the clergy without consulting the Word of God.
Both diseases have no human cure
For as long as we have had cancer, billions of dollars have been invested in research for a cure. Likewise, ever since the first sin in the garden of Eden, man has made futile attempts to cover his sin by the work of his hands. Man continues to fail in his own efforts to eradicate his sin disease and be accepted by a holy God. Catholics have invested billions of dollars for indulgences to expiate the sins of their loved ones so they can be removed from a nonexistent place called purgatory. We must tell them there is no human cure. "No man can by any means redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for himfor the redemption of his soul is costly, and he should cease trying forever" (Psalm 49:7-8). But Catholics are not the only ones who believe there is a human cure for sin. All the religions of the world declare their litany of good works and rituals will make them acceptable to God. As a result, billions of people are trusting in a human cure that is ineffective in removing the sting of death. They go through life believing they are being cured even though God says, "Your wound is incurable....There is no one to plead your cause; no healing for your sore, no recovery for you . Because your iniquity is great and your sins are numerous" (Jeremiah 30:12- 14). It is only when people come to the end of themselves, realizing there is no human cure, that they will ever seek the divine cure.
Think for a moment, what if you were to discover a cure for the deadly disease of cancer? Would you hold it to yourself or would you proclaim it to the whole world? As Christians who have been born again by the precious blood of our Savior, we know the cure for the sin disease. We must actively fulfill our roles as spiritual doctors. We must give our lost friends and loved ones the true diagnosis of their condition. They were born with a deadly disease called sin, which has no human cure. Thats the bad news. The good news is: there is a divine cure available! It is offered to those who cease from trusting any human cure. The divine cure is available free for the asking because of a love story, written in blood, on a wooden cross, two thousand years ago: "Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18).
By combining our passion for Christ along with our compassion for the lost we will be motivated to follow the example of Paul, who wrote: "I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 2:10). May God give us all a greater desire to proclaim the glorious gospel of grace, the divine cure for the dreaded disease of sin.
In the months that have passed since I was first diagnosed with cancer, I have come to know the whole experience as a blessing. May God be glorified as I learn to trust Him more! "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song" (Psalm 28:7). Therefore I will not lose heart, even though my body is decaying, my inner man is being renewed day by day. "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison" (2 Cor. 4:16-17)
|Reaching Catholics For Christ
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