We don't appreciate the gravity of sin. We are almost blissfully unaware of the offense of our rebellion and natural predilection to reject, spurn, loathe and ignore God.
We do not want to believe . . . in the hell the Word of God describes. We may accept the rest of the Bible, but there must be a mistake there . . . perhaps a bad translation . . . or some sadistic special interest hijacked the scripture just to terrify people and control them through fear . . . .
We do not understand the meaning of the pure, absolute holiness of God and how He cannot forever tolerate evil, but will have absolute justice rule.
People do not realize the dire situation they are in, flaunting their self love, claiming credit for "successes" . . . pursuing pleasure, shabby fame, temporary security . . . prideful, oblivious and nonchalant as to the gift of life--their life; shrugging it all off, saying "whatever happens, happens--who can know?"
Busy in following a chain of entertainments . . . we rarely, if ever, stop to think and appreciate . . . the magnitude of what God did . . . deigning to be born as a man, limiting Himself in order to suffer all the effects of sin and the fallen world . . . to be so utterly scourged and take the penalty which deviant self-willed creation wrought . . . .
How serious is it? Serious enough that He did that! Oh, but the casual soul doesn't care enough to ponder the real horror of such a situation. "Please, don't bring me down . . . . I don't want to feel guilt or shame. I've decided not to, in fact. Instead, I will live and party and work and pursue as I see fit, not really too concerned over big questions, like 'what is it all for?' . . . . "
First, of all things, we should be mortified--brought to our knees in humiliation and desperation. No? You mean that Jesus subjected Himself to the most debased, tortured, horrific of deaths . . . so that we can cavalierly shrug . . . chuckle . . . and walk away shaking the head, as if it's no big deal?
"Well . . . I don't know if I believe all that . . . . I mean, yeah, Jesus was a great man . . . maybe even the Son of God . . . but I don't believe in a God Who punishes people . . . Who creates a hell for those who reject and hate Him . . . . "
Well then, you don't understand the gravity of the situation here, do you . . . .
Perhaps you have been able to avoid real, life-changing tragedy in your life so you've never felt the need to find God, or, you do sort of believe in Him . . . but not with any intensity or urgency . . . . He is an afterthought . . . .
We do not understand the degree--the absolute degree!--that we are dependent on Him for our every breath; for every good thing that we enjoy; for the very fact of our individual life--the opportunity to experience, to choose, to enjoy, to have family, friends, work . . . the basics . . . all utterly and completely ONLY because HE IS . . . and that He deigned to create us for HIS "pleasure" (though not the tawdry, debased notion of "pleasure" we understand) . . . .
How insane . . . . How delusional . . . . How childishly small minded . . . . How weak and pathetic . . . is it that we are born . . . and then run off living a life for ourselves, amassing what honor and goods we can, attributing all to our "innate" attributes . . . NEVER realizing that not one second of this life is lived by our own power and ability and talent. Not one shred can we claim actual credit for. For our very existence in the first place . . . is only because of the will and intention of the divine, Fatherly Creator . . . .
And then to be angry and rebellious on top of it? Demanding things . . . . Resentful over this or that "bad luck" in our life . . . . Feeling entitled to more? . . . . Expecting what we want when we want it! . . . . Sinning all the time . . . . Mostly ignoring the suffering of others, content to pile up our own little corner of treasure while others starve and curl up crying in pain?
We should be mortified . . . . ! Who do we think we are? Barely listening, only sometimes reading, thinking on the commands and direction and intention of our spiritual Father, when we get a random urge or sleight twinge of guilt . . . .
Meanwhile, the rest of the time . . . it's me, me, me . . . . Hurry, while still young . . . . Horde and shun when getting old . . . serving King Self Comfort . . . content to put on a show of religion maybe, and if having found the little garden of self-righteousness to feed from, then dictating to others, demanding compliance according to our own opinions and predilections, and when they don't, feeling smug and superior . . . .
The idol of modern self esteem . . . recoils and grimaces at this message. "It's not 'healthy'. What are we supposed to do, go around hating ourselves? What good is that?"
Well, we should hate . . . YES HATE . . . the sin that we still carry and the evil which has infected God's Creation . . . . And HATE that life in us which is dedicated to conscienceless self serving ignorance--that cold heart which does not see or feel or recognize the seriousness of the situation, but only wants to revel in distraction, forgetfulness, ceaseless entertainment, pleasure and comfort . . . . That one who is GOING TO HELL if he or she . . . does not wake up to what has happened in this world, described by the very Word of God . . . Who shows us the way to safety, to salvation . . . . And Says that we must LOSE our life . . . if we are to gain life eternal, glorified, in the presence of God . . . .
The fool argues all day long and puts off decision . . . . "Well, I just don't know if I believe all that . . . . "
Yet, the truth . . . is written on the heart . . . and the still, small voice is ever testifying . . . and revealing . . . to the earnest seeker what is true . . . . Anger and resentment and rebellion . . . come from rejecting . . . what is known . . . within . . . .
Peace and joy and rest . . . come when we finally give in . . . and bravely and sincerely face . . . the actual direness of the situation we find in being in this world and our life in this world, and the saving mission of the Son of God . . . .