“If your God was so great, I would see no reason why He would need to force people to submit to Him in worship.”
We are free to be unthankful for our eyesight, hearing, food, sunlight, and all the pleasures He has lavished onto us. But if we die in our sins, we will get justice. That’s why we need a Savior. When He opens our eyes through the new birth, worship comes as easily as songs do to an early morning songbird.
“Are you saying that Christians are better than non-Christians?”
The Christian is no better than a non-Christian, but he is infinitely better off. It is like two men on a plane, one of whom is wearing a parachute while the other is not. Neither is better than the other, but the man with the parachute is certainly better off than the man who is not wearing a parachute. The difference will be seen when they jump from the plane at 20,000 feet. Jesus warned that if we “jump” into death without Him, we would perish. The Law of an infinitely holy and just Creator is even harsher than gravity. Scripture states that sinners are God’s enemy (Romans 5:10) and that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31).
The purpose of the moral Law (the Ten Commandments) is to stop the sinner’s mouth of justification. The Law tells him what sin is (see 1 John 3:4) and stops him proclaiming his own goodness. Its intent is to drive him to the cross. John Wesley said, “The first use of [the Law], without question, is to convince the world of sin. By this is the sinner discovered to himself. All his fig-leaves are torn away, and he sees that he is ‘wretched and poor and miserable, blind and naked.’ The Law flashes conviction on every side. He feels himself a mere sinner. He has nothing to pay. His ‘mouth is stopped’ and he stands ‘guilty before God.’”
D. L. Moody said, “Ask Paul why [the Law] was given. Here is his answer, ‘That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God’ (Romans 3:19). The Law stops every man’s mouth. I can always tell a man who is near the kingdom of God; his mouth is stopped. This, then, is why God gives us the Law—to show us ourselves in our true colors.”
Sadly, many of today’s Jews profess godliness but don’t embrace the Scriptures as we presume they do. Therefore, it is often difficult to reason with them about Jesus being the Messiah. This is why it is imperative to ask a Jew if he has kept the Law of Moses—to “shut” him up under the Law (Galatians 3:23) and strip him of his self-righteousness. The Law will show him his need of a Savior and become a “schoolmaster” to bring him to Christ (Galatians 3:24), as happened to Paul, Nicodemus, and Nathaniel. It was the Law that brought 3,000 Jews to the foot of the cross on the Day of Pentecost. Without it they would not have known that they had sinned (Romans 7:7), and therefore would not have seen their need of the Savior.
God has given light to every man. The word “con-science” means “with knowledge.” The conscience is the headline warning of sin; the Scriptures give the fine print. No man can say he doesn’t know that it’s wrong to murder or commit adultery. That knowledge is written in bold print on his heart. However, in the Scriptures we see the true nature of sin: that God requires truth even in the inward parts (Psalm 51:6). The fine print reveals that lust is adultery of the heart, hatred is murder of the heart, etc.
“Or do you despise the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” Romans 2:4
This verse is sandwiched between statements of God’s judgment and wrath. If Paul was saying that we should speak only of God’s goodness to sinners, he wasn’t practicing what he preached. Isaac Watts said, “I never knew but one person in the whole course of my ministry who acknowledged that the first motions of religion in his own heart arose from a sense of the goodness of God, ‘What shall I render to the Lord, who has dealt so bountifully with me?’ But I think all besides who have come within my notice have rather been first awakened to fly from the wrath to come by the passion of fear."
When I look at a building, how do I know that there was a builder? I can’t see him, hear him, touch, taste, or smell him. Of course, the building is proof that there was a builder. In fact, I couldn’t want better evidence that there was a builder than to have the building in front of me. I don’t need “faith” to know that there was a builder. All I need is eyes that can see and a brain that works.
Likewise, when I look at a painting, how can I know that there was a painter? Again, the painting is proof positive that there was a painter. I don’t need “faith” to believe in a painter because I can see the clear evidence. The same principle applies with the existence of God. When I look at creation, how can I know that the Creator exists? I can’t see Him, hear Him, touch Him, taste Him, or smell Him. How can I know that He exists? Why, creation shows me His existence. I couldn’t want better proof that God exists than to have the creation in front of me. I don’t need faith to believe in a Creator; all I need is eyes that can see and a brain that works:
“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
If, however, I want the builder to do something for me, then I need to have faith in him. The same applies to God: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for He that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).