Is it possiblefor a man to be sick for many years and not want to get well? I suppose that if he wasn’t in pain, if he got used to the sympathy of others, and if he liked not having to work for a living, that person might get quite comfortable being sick. In the Bible, sin is likened to diseases such as leprosy and paralysis. Sin causes us to be blind, lame and sick. Some of us are like the sick man of John 5 – “In that condition a long time.” The Lord can cure us of the disease of sin, and can make us fit for heaven, but He will not do that unless that is our desire. When I preach the Good News of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and people come to me for help, I often ask them three questions.
The first question is, “Do you need to be saved?” Some people don’t even know they’ve been afflicted with the disease of sin, and they can’t honestly answer in the affirmative. They think they are better than others. They say they’ve tried to do the best they can, and, compared to others, they’re pretty good. Because they don’t see their need to be saved, there’s nothing I can do to help them.
If those I’m helping say they need to be saved, the second question I ask is, “Do you want to be saved?” Some people simply don’t want to be saved. They think that God is unfair or that He’ll require them to live the kind of life they don’t want to live. Obviously, I can’t help them. When people say they want to be saved I ask the third question: “Do you want to be saved now?” I’ve had people tell me that they want to be saved, but just not right now. Some want to continue living without being accountable to God. They think there will be a more “convenient time” (Acts 24:25) to get this matter of salvation settled. Unfortunately, Satan makes sure there is never a convenient time to be saved from the eternal punishment that has been prepared for those who reject God’s offer of salvation.
But if a person answers, “Yes” to all three questions, I know that I can use the Bible, God’s Word, to bring them the assurance that Christ died for their sins. They’ve said “Yes” to the Savior’s question, “Do you want to be made well?”
We tend to think that people who say “No” are having a hard time understanding the gospel, when in actuality most of them are arguing with God about their need to be saved now. Once they agree with God that they need to be saved, once they decide that they want to be saved, and that they want to be saved now, it’s not hard for them to accept the fact that salvation is obtained by depending on what Christ has done for them, not by what they have done for Him. The truth that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” is still “worthy of all acceptance” today (1 Tim. 1:15).
I remember when I came to the conclusion that I needed to be saved, wanted to be saved, and wanted to be saved right now. It wasn’t long before I realized that I didn’t need to wait for anything else to happen, because Christ had already died for me. I rested on that truth, and it still gives me peace with God today.
Are you ready to say “Yes” to the question, “Do you want to be made well?” Maybe the question should be rephrased this way: “Do you want to know for sure that you have been cleansed from your sins and that you are going to heaven?” We can tell you how you can have a relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ.
By Bruce Collins
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org