Marissa woke up deathly ill on Tuesday morning. She had fever, chills, muscle aches and a terrible headache. She did what she knew to do–she tossed down a couple of pain relievers with a glass of water and laid down, expecting to feel better in a few hours. Instead, she grew worse. It was 9 pm, now she was concerned. The medicine had no effect. So, Marissa drove herself to an emergency care clinic. A matronly woman in scrubs at the front desk gave her the once over.
The nurse, noticing Marissa’s flushed cheeks and hazy eyes, quickly gave her a clipboard with paperwork. “Honey, just complete the contact information, family history and sign the consent form. Then the doctor will see you.”
“Consent form?” Marissa asked dumbfounded. “I have to sign a consent form?”
“Sugar, it’s just saying you allow the doctor to treat you. Nothin’ to worry about.”
“Oh, I can’t sign a consent form,” said Marissa, gripping the countertop to steady herself.
“Well, why not? Honey, you don’t look good. You can barely stand up. You need to see the doctor.”
“I just don’t think that’s necessary. Why can’t the doctor just help me? You can see I’m sick.”
Oh Marissa, we’ve all been there—to the hospital—so sick we couldn’t help ourselves. Most of us can tell her it’s pointless to argue with the hospital’s admittance policy. If you’re conscious and refuse to give your consent, they will not treat you. You can be “sick as a dog” and they will do nothing. Why not? Your signed consent form is proof they did nothing to you against your will and that you agree to pay for the services rendered.
God also has an admittance policy. He will do nothing to you against your will, not even save you from your sins. But, God has provided payment for your sins through Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:9-10, King James Version
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
So why does God require us to believe in Jesus? If we’re good and obey God, isn’t that enough? Good works alone are not sufficient payment.
Isaiah 64:6, New Living Translation
“We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.”
Good works (praying, fasting, helping the poor and observing dietary laws and holy days) do not resolve the core issue—our tendency to sin.We are born with it. Just like Marissa’s taking pain killers did not cure her virus; good works are merely man’s attempt to mask the symptoms of a fatal disease. “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) Unfortunately, “All have sinned fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 and Romans 5:12)
If we want God’s help (deliverance from sin and restoration), all we need to do is…
- Ask for his help (admit our sins and ask God to save us)
- Consent to treatment (confess Jesus as Lord and believe he died for our sins—that’s God’s prescribed treatment)
- Pay for the services rendered (Jesus paid the price for our sins—just receive the free gift)
Salvation begins as soon as we consent to God’s treatment. We don’t have to wait until Jesus returns to get better.
Acts 4:8-10 & 12, New Living Translation
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Honorable leaders and elders of our nation, if you mean the good deed done to the cripple, and how he was healed, let me clearly state to you and to all the people of Israel that it was done in the name and power of Jesus from Nazareth, the Messiah, the man you crucified—but God raised back to life again. It is by his authority that this man stands here healed!…There is salvation in no one else! Under all heaven there is no other name for men to call upon to save them.”
Is there any other way? No.
- John 14:6, King James Version – “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 – “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.”
Perhaps a better question is: Would you like to consent to God’s treatment plan? He knows how to cure you, he’s ready to heal you immediately, and he’s already paid the full price.
John 3:16-18, King James Version
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”