The vet tells me my little dog, Carrie, is dying.
You wouldn’t know it from looking at her though. She has a glossy coat, she runs around and barks the same as always, she is eating and pooping and scratching and sleeping and curling up on my lap, same as ever. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain or have any swellings.
However, in the course of an investigation for a symptom that has since cleared up, it was discovered that her liver enzymes are through the roof, and getting worse. Her liver is dying and we don’t know why.
We could ignore the vet, the tests and the numbers, trust what we see with our eyes and just continue as before. However, we know that would be foolhardy and eventually Carrie would start to sicken, experience pain and die.
Alternatively, we can take the vet’s advice and start the prescribed treatment.
God says we are all in a similar situation. Something we cannot see (sin) is killing us slowly from the inside. (In fact, the Bible says we are already DEAD spiritually!) We may still function as usual and seem none the worse for wear but the Great Physician is adamant our disease is terminal, and over time it will affect our quality of life more and more.
We can see sin’s effects more clearly the longer we live – the poor choices we make, the people we hurt and the scars we bear.
In Carrie’s case, we can’t afford the surgery to find out exactly what is causing her problems but we are doing all we are able to save her life – two different antibiotics, liver tonic and special food.
However, God diagnoses in the Bible exactly what has caused humanity’s fatal problem – pride, and the resultant rebellion against Him and His ways. He also gives us a prescription for the sure-fire cure: radical surgery (He will take out our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh)*, a daily dose of humility and a regular regime of walking with Him.
Unlike my dog’s expensive treatment, Jesus has paid the full price for our cure and treatment is free to all who accept His diagnosis and seek help.
The outcome for my poor pooch is still uncertain, but God guarantees eternal life and spiritual health to those who accept His expert advice by faith and undergo the radical surgery of salvation.