If salvation is not by works, why is the Gospel rejected by sinful man? Jesus warned in John 3:19-20 speaks this terrible truth, "And this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds be reproved." Whenever you preach the Gospel to to the lost sinner, it's offensive to them because their deeds will be reproved. It's because in man's own natural tendency is not to think of themselves as sinful people but as naturally good people. Take note that many people who live sinful lifestyles even dare to say nothing is wrong with them.
Whenever I read through any of Spurgeon's sermons against sin, I really would only say, "No wonder men hate godly preaching because it interferes with their sin." When I got saved, I had to realize the one terrible fact that because I am a sinner, I cannot save myself and I need God's grace. In preaching salvation, it is very necessary first to preach the Law before the person realizes that they are lost sinners in need of salvation. If the Law is not presented first, how can the person understand that they are indeed fallen sinners and that they are not basically good?
Romans 3:19-20 declares about our status before God as, "Now we know that what things soever the Law saith, it saith to them who are under the Law, that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight for by the Law is the knowledge of sin." James 2:10 says this sad truth, "For whosoever shall keep the whole Law and yet offend in one point, He is guilty of all." God's standard of holiness does not make light of lesser sins or greater sins because if you want to earn your salvation on your own, make sure you haven't sinned once. But as truth reveals, even the tiniest sin is enough to condemn a man to Hell.
I hear atheists say that sin is just a fantasy word and people just did what they needed to survive. The reality is they laugh at the idea of repentance of their sins and trusting in Jesus Christ is because the Gospel attacks our sinfulness. Any person who is not saved tends to think, "Nothing is wrong with me." even if you see that person is a habitual philanderer or a habitual adulteress. There is always the tendency to treat sin as something light and say, "Oh that's nothing big." until that every little sin flourishes leading to the downfall of society. Worse, you have these sin-loving people condemn Christianity as wrong only because it goes against their sins.
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