“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18.
Earlier this week, I saw an interesting exchange between two people online. The young lady appeared to be a reporter of some type, and she was relating a story to a man whom I assumed to be a Christ follower.
Her story told of a man who was driving in traffic and a truck jack-knifed in front of him. The man was not a Christian, but in that moment he prayed to Jesus and said if Jesus would help him, the man would believe in Him the rest of his life.
The man’s vehicle hit the truck and the man suffered a skull fracture and two broken legs. Because of this, he says he wants to have nothing to do with God or Jesus ever, and in fact, he would physically attack Jesus if he ever encounters Him.
The woman then asked, how could Jesus do that to the man? Unfortunately, the man she was asking made some offhand comment about why bad things happen and then the clip ended.
I confess, my first reaction was anger and disgust. Here we have a man who has spent his life ignoring God at best and actively spitting in His face at worst. And yet when he finds himself in trouble, he cries out to God to save him along with trying to offer God a deal for His help.
Then, when God doesn’t answer the way he wanted, he declares all deals are off and expresses his anger and hatred toward God. Such arrogance and entitlement, to believe he deserves mercy from God, much less the right to bargain with Him, and that he even has something worth bargaining with.
But God showed me a few things here. Some in response to this man’s situation and some in response to my reaction.
For my part, God reminded me that all men, and women, are created in His image. We’re not counted as God’s children until we receive Him as savior, but we are all His creations. And John 3:16, reminds us that God loves everyone on the planet enough to die for them. So I need to see this person as worth God’s love as much as me.
As to how I would respond to that young lady’s question, I’d ask her a couple of things.
First, by her own admission of this man’s situation, he did not believe in God and wanted nothing to do with Him. What made him think God would even hear that last ditch cry for help? Why did he think that he was worth enough for God to even care about him? Where did he get such arrogance and sense of entitlement to think that God should suddenly listen to him and grant his immediate request?
As the verse says, those who don’t believe in Christ are condemned already. We’re already on our way to hell. We don’t deserve the mercy and grace of God. We have no entitlement to anything, no defense, no righteousness on our own. All we have and are come from Him.
God made us in His image, not the other way around. You cannot treat the creator of the universe with such disrespect and disdain, then expect to manipulate Him at your whim. People want the loving attributes of God like grace and mercy, but still want to use Him like an idol, something they can control and deal with only when it suits them.
God is a person, not a thing. He is creator and master of everything. And while He loves us more than we can imagine, we must approach Him in view of what and who He is.
And second, personally I think her question shows she and he are totally missing what happened.
She asks, why did God do that to him, why the skull fracture and broken legs? I ask, are you sure you see exactly what happened?
Let’s look at another possibility. Let’s say that man was supposed to hit that truck, and God did not intervene. The man suffered not only a fractured skull and broken legs, but also broken arms, a broken back and pelvis, a ruptured spleen and liver, and two punctured lungs.
He was taken to the hospital where he suffered in agony for five days before finally dying and going to hell. Certainly not an outcome anyone would ever want.
But instead of that, God did intervene. All the man suffered are head and leg injuries which will mend with time. And the man is still living and still has a chance to know Jesus and escape eternal damnation in hell.
So now, how does it look to ask why God did that to him? I would say it was the love, mercy, and grace of a holy, righteous, but forgiving God who gave the man another chance. Too bad the man is too blinded by his pride and arrogance to see the truth.
And lest someone say what I suggested couldn’t happen, here’s another quick story.
I personally know of a man who was thrown from a horse. He suffered multiple broken bones and internal injuries. They had to fly him to the hospital to keep him from bleeding to death. And he endured months of painful rehabilitation just to be able to walk with a cane.
But he praises God every day for preventing him from getting hurt worse or dying. He chooses to trust in the love and mercy of God and see what happened as God’s blessing, not misfortune.
That’s the right point of view.
Do you know Jesus? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? According to scripture, all anyone must do is recognize their sin condition, realize that Christ died to pay for that sin, and ask Him to save them from it. Salvation is a gift of grace we receive by faith. Meet Him today! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information.
Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think!