Saturday, June 17, 2006

Escape from the Curse of AIDS

This week, I happened to be in the company of someone who is dying of AIDS. The ravages of AIDS is well known in our world yet it never loses it’s devastating effects when you are up close to one who is in the grips of the disease and who is also very young. The gentleman is in his 20s or early 30s and is homosexual, so presumably he has contracted the disease during this activity.

As has been typical with homosexuals whom I have known, this young man whom I had only met on one previous occasion, comes across as a genuinely nice guy and one who certainly does not appear to deserve his current plight. But then again that is simply a very human response on my part. By virtue of our rejection of God based on our universal human behavior, we all deserve nothing short of death. Simply put: God made us and we have rejected Him. There are sure to be those who would take vehement exception to this statement, pointing earnestly to the virtues of their honest lives and absence of any “real bad behavior”. But the Bible is clear: We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6 NIV parenthesis mine) This scripture suggest that at birth there is a way to turn…and for all of us we have turned to “our own way” and as the verse implies, away from God. That is why Jesus chose to be the sacrifice for all of us – who have turned to our own way: But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed...this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus...yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand…God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood…For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:5; Romans 3:22-24; Isaiah 53:10; Romans 3:25; Isaiah 53:12 – all truncated - NIV)

What is my dying friend’s sin to perhaps have brought the curse of AIDS upon himself? The same general sin that I myself have committed throughout the course of my own life – that being going our own way and rejecting the will of God for our lives. But I accepted Jesus’ reprieve. I have thanked him for suffering on my behalf. I pray that soon, my dying friend will do the same. And that so too will those who happen to read this post, and who have yet to accept Jesus’ offer of the pain that He endured on their behalf.

1 comment:

Rev. Lisa said...

I agree with you that at times we have a very human reaction when something tragic is happening to someone we know. You begin to focus on the "good" in that person and we draw the conclusion that he or she does not deserve this terrible plight. When the truth is none of us (our deeds, thoughts, words or attitude) is good enough to save us. Our "works are but filthy rags" the Bible says. The Bible says, "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" but for the redemption of our sins that comes solely through CHRIST. We must, with all humility and realization that we are sinners, repent (acknowledge our sin and ask for forgiveness), of our sins and ask Christ to take over our heart and lives (the lives that were not ours to begin with because we did not create or birth ourselves). It doesn't matter what the sin is (lieing, fornication, adultery, cheating on taxes, sexual immorality, pride, etc.), we must repent and seek the cleansing and forgiveness that comes from GOD through His provision of CHRIST. I pray for your friends heart and life. May the Lord in his mercy draw him close to Him.

A God who sends people to Hell?