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  • Writer's pictureAl Haywood

How Bad Can It Get?

Just how bad can it get? We hear of calamities and disasters all around us but it rarely touches our own back yard.  That’s why when I received a horrific phone call on a Saturday afternoon recently, I was in total shock. 


The call was from a friend who was mutual friends with a gentleman in a nearby town.  The tragic news was that his two four-year-old twin boys had been drowned by their own mother.  I use that term loosely – “mother.  I’m not sure that a real “mother” could have done such a dastardly deed.  At least a million thoughts ran through my head. How could a mother do this? How could a just, righteous and holy God allow this? Why? That is probably the biggest question of all -WHY? And that leads me to my subject, the Depravity of Man.


I’ll warn you now.  I’m not trying to make a doctrinal or political statement at all.  I’m simply reflecting on personal experience, my heart and Scripture.  And even using the term “my heart” causes me to hesitate a bit. Three things that I am quick to point out with my new clients is 1-everything that is said in the counseling room stays in the counseling room, 2-you can’t tell me anything that will surprise me because I honestly believe I have heard it all and 3- I will never stand in judgment of anyone. And the reason for that is because the Scripture says that my heart is “deceitful and desperately wicked”.  It also says that I should be busy getting the log out of my own eye before I attempt to remove the “speck” from someone else.  And I’m busy working on the log. I must admit that this situation though took me to a point of despair and fighting the urge to make myself feel better by concentrating on how desperately wicked this mother must be. 


Do you realize just how desperate WE are? When I think of my eternity and all that is required for me to enter heaven, I can get despondent.  The requirements for us to stand before God are complete and utter holiness, complete and utter sinlessness. My heart becomes depressed and low when I realize that I don’t have a chance in and of myself.  There is absolutely nothing that you nor I can do to span the chasm that stands between holy God and me.  One of my favorite worship songs,  ”Living Hope”, written by Phil Wickham, says it perfectly.  “How great the chasm that lay between us, how high the mountain I could not climb, In desperation, I turned to......”


When you realize your hopelessness, your depravity, your outright inability to give God the holiness and perfection that He requires, what do you turn to? A bottle.....a pill.....your wallet.....your position.....your spouse.....your church attendance record.....your good deed list? There is nothing – absolutely nothing – that can allow you to stand before a holy God but.....


...the blood of His Son, Jesus.  The sinless, perfect, holy Son of God.  Thank God!  He made a way! It’s a gift from Him.  You can’t earn it, you don’t deserve it, you can’t work for it, you can’t buy it. Romans 6:23 says “For the WAGES (what we’ve earned) of SIN (we are all sinners) is DEATH (separation from God – Hell and thank God it doesn’t stop here) BUT (there is a way) the GIFT (not earned or deserved because of who you are but because He loves us) of God (He’s the One who loves you) is ETERNAL LIFE (unlike death this is being with God – HEAVEN -FOREVER)!  Jesus died in our place to pay the penalty of our sin.  He is the perfection that God requires and so there is a GREAT EXCHANGE!  His life for mine.


I preached the funeral of those two little boys.  As difficult as it was, I had two goals – the comfort of God for a hurting and desperate family and to preach the GOSPEL.  My prayer is that both of those things were accomplished. 


Romans 1:16. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.


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