There is no shortage of the idea and rule by which people live than cheap grace or boundless mercy. It is not a rare thing to find people who have convinced themselves somehow that all will be well in the end and that their sins against God amount to but little . . . and that He will forgive all . . . to all.
Look around and hear . . . the abundance of those who say "the purpose of life is to please yourself, follow your heart, pursue your dreams, you CAN have it all. . . . God made all of this so that YOU can be happy and self-fulfilled. . . .
Not only should you not care about your own sin, but you certainly shouldn't care about the sins of others, they say."
Yet to one who truly grasps even a fraction of the holiness and glory and majesty of God, the affront to that God found in any sin, wherever that sin may be found, is enough to break their heart.
People have no trouble feeling deep sadness and even outrage when they see some injustice being done to an "innocent" child, or a little animal. The heart is pierced, tears flow and the pain at seeing some such crime of abuse is practically devastating.
But it is nothing for the same people to see the holy, righteous, perfect, patient, good God of all--He Who suffered torment as a man, out of love for our undeserving sake--being abused, maligned, ignored, blasphemed, mocked, spat on, flaunted . . . a million, a billion, a trillion times a day, times a minute! No, we go on our merry way, feeling nothing or but little at such injustice, lawlessness; but will weep over various sleights to His creatures. . . .
We don't love nor fear God.
We love our friends . . . our family . . . our mates . . . our pets . . . food . . . entertainment . . . comfort . . . our country; we fear sickness, the government, "terrorists", thugs on the street . . . but will go day to day without the slightest notion of fear or awe at God . . . let alone love Him Who alone holds our eternity in the balance.
Reading Jeremiah Burroughs' "The Evil of Evils" . . . I realized it was shockingly true what he wrote in a particular case. . . .
Think about it. . . . The purpose of our existence is to glorify God. Yet, you are so sinful, so rebellious, so naturally hating of God, that BUT FOR CHRIST . . . God would be glorified more if you were not even born (same for me, or any of us.) Each of us, aside from the work of Christ Who stands in our place . . . brings nothing but dishonor and disgrace to God . . . in and of ourselves.
We don't love or fear or live for God. We do everything for ourselves and our own pleasure, including when we claim to follow God. If we are ashamed of sin it is not because of the affront it is to our Creator, but because of what it means for us--because of the shame it puts on us. We don't even think of what it means and says to God.
If you say you do, then you are a liar as well. None come anywhere near fulfilling the first commandment. The greatest divines and saints in history have known this from the start. What makes them "great" is the real humility found in the knowledge of their fraudulent, needy position. . . .
Now, God WILL be glorified in and through our being. But not because of anything we are or did. Only because of what the Son does and is. Aside from that, as to glorifying God, He would actually be glorified more if we were not even born; as all we do is sin and wickedness, albeit often disguised as if in His service, which only makes it all the more insidious.
To the worldly, dead ear, this sounds like horrible talk, terrible news. To the regenerating mind, this is like pure, refreshing, invigorating water from heaven. What we don't need is more pride, more self-satisfaction, more excuses and justifications.
What we DO need is a larger dose of reality--of seeing the real spiritual situation we are in--our utter and complete and dependent need for a Savior! Blessed are the poor in spirit.
"I am persuaded that more men drop down to hell in our day under the
abuse of gospel light than ever did in the gross darkness of popery…O
how heavily does the wrath of God lie upon the professors of our age for
the abuse of gospel light and they do not fee it, God’s administration
in this latter age of the world being more subtle and spiritual and,
therefore, more undiscernible than in former ages! O how many have we
nowadays who think they walk clearly in the midst of gospel light,
magnifying and exalting free grace, triumphing in their Christian
liberty, looking upon others as kept in bondage who do not come up to
their pitch and practice, and yet are no better than Solomon’s fools who
make a mockery of sin, being conceitedly set at liberty, but really are
slaves to sin and Satan.” ~ John Yates