Sunday, December 21, 2008

Isaac's Debt

Debt is a topic we're all familiar with. Our economy is built on it. Our society revolves around it. The Bible tells us that the longer we live, the more debt we accrue. Although the Bible talks a lot about money, in this case, I am referring to spiritual debt. Every moment we breathe as moral, rational beings, we think, speak and act in ways that are not always consistent with what God demands. We often seek our own glory above God's. The Bible calls this sin. Like credit card purchases, our sins earn us debt before God. Debt that can only be satisfied by death and eternal punishment in hell.

The most tragic part of our condition is that we can't ever pay off our debt to God. The "IOU" just keeps getting bigger and our attempts to 'cancel out' our bad with good actions, thoughts and kind words to others just offends God and adds to the list. One good action does not erase a bad one.

So what are we to do? How are we to pay off the debt we owe? Will anything satisfy God other than our burning in the eternal lake of fire? Praise Jesus that yes, God has made a way for our sin debt to be 'cancelled out.'

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross (Colossians 2:13-15).

When Jesus died on the cross, He had all of our sins nailed there with Him. That is what He died for. So that all who believe in Him can and will have their sin debt paid in full. God looks at Jesus on the cross who never sinned, and pours out His just anger over our sins on Him. This is amazing!

It should have been me. It should have been you. It should have been Isaac.

If God had allowed Isaac to grow to maturity, he would have sinned against God. God is clear that all of us adults have no excuse before God because we know we have a Creator but we choose not to believe in Him. Every sin we commit is an act of unbelief. An act that flows from a belief that God is not who He says He is. If we don't trust in Christ, if we refuse to believe that He died for us; if we refuse to believe that He alone is good; if we refuse to accept His free offer of eternal life, then we will be judged by God. Listen to this passage from Revelation:

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Many people will look at the death of an infant and say, 'how could God let that happen? He is not good.' But He is good! God graciously took Isaac before he could commit any evil deeds against Him. Therefore, I believe that Isaac will not be judged on the Day described above. His name will be included in the Lamb's Book of Life.

However, it's important to know that Isaac is not in heaven because he is sinless. He is there because he is forgiven. He could not exercise faith. He could not exercise unbelief. He had not the ability nor faculty. So, I believe that God applied the blood of Christ to him in a way I do not know.

For all of us old enough to understand this post though, we have the ability to believe or not believe. And God calls us to believe in His Son. I know that I will see Isaac again because God has applied the blood of Christ to me by His grace through the gift of faith in His Son. Unlike Isaac, were I to stand before God on my own merits, I would have nothing to offer but sin deserving judgment. I praise God that Jesus paid my debt.

What about you? In what are you trusting? Know assuredly that since you did not die in infancy you have one of only two options available to you - either kneel before Christ now and trust in His payment of your sins, or trust in yourself and receive the judgment from Christ that you deserve.

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