A Word With Doc - September 2018

The writer of Hebrews states in 2:9, "That Jesus by the grace of God should taste death for every man." Looking at different translations we find where the emphasis is being placed. New Century Version reads, "By God's grace He died for everyone." The Message Bible reads, "By God's grace, He fully experienced death in every person's place." The Common English Bible reads, "He suffered death so that He could taste death for everyone through God's grace."

 

In consequence of the fall of Adam, the whole human race became sinful in their nature, and in their sin, became exposed to endless condemnation. To redeem them, Jesus took on Him the nature of man, and suffered the penalty due to their sins.
This death that Jesus suffered is for every man, "For all." The words in this verse affirm more clearly that the atonement made by the Lord Jesus was unlimited in its nature and design. The Scripture states that "He tasted death for them." It is evident that this refers to the atonement and that simply means that anyone that chooses to give their life to Christ can be forgiven and brought into the family of God. No stipulations!!! It doesn't make any difference where you were born, what kind of an education you have received, how much you possess, or how low in sin you have gone. Christ died for you and wants to rescue you from eternal death.

You might say, "How can this be?" We are pardoned, but all our sins have been punished. All our sins were laid upon Jesus. He executed judgment upon all our sins, for every one of us. For all of us Jesus tasted death. There is not merely the forgiveness of sin, but there is the actual putting away of all our sins. How beautiful the writer of this verse of Scripture explains to us that this great and marvelous mystery of the death of Jesus as our substitute, bearing our sins, bearing our curse, enduring the penalty of our sins, is preparing a place for us called Heaven.

I wish every Christian that thinks and feels like the days of revival are over could just witness what the Lord is doing on a daily basis here at New Destiny. Men that are so occupied with their drug and alcohol use that they have given up on life and just become an island of misery. No one wants to get involved with them because they have lied so many times and conned people out of so much, that they have a reputation of just using people. They are looked at differently and pushed aside as if God isn't even interested in them. But I have good news for them, "Jesus died for them." All the drug addicts and alcoholics in the world can be forgiven, pardoned, redeemed, and prepared for Heaven.

A client by the name of Bill was here over sixteen years ago. My first impression of him was, here is a man that cares about nothing but himself and really isn't interested in getting help. He had a smart mouth, cussed a lot, and a smirk of disgust. All the other clients tried their best to stay away from him because he had such a nasty attitude and his influence was only for evil. He did his best to leave treatment but he was court ordered and had to remain unless he did something that would cause him to be released. Believe me, he tried! My patience was wearing thin with him because I knew what he was up to and would have liked nothing better than for me to have sent him back to the courts. I was determined to break his will and make him see how important treatment was. He just continually got worse. The day and time had come that I knew if something wasn't achieved on his behalf, he was soon to be placed back in jail, so I asked the staff to make him a special project of prayer to see what God could do with him. I found as we were all praying, he was getting meaner and meaner. The last straw was when he started to cuss out one of the staff. I had enough of his meanness and belligerent ways. I had to call him into my office and read him the riot act because he had crossed the line and was going back to jail. I never raised my voice or looked mean, but became very firm in stating what has been going on and why he was going to have to leave. As I was prepared to let him go, he asked me if he could have one more chance. I told him that we had given him many chances, so why should I extend our misery of putting up with him for another day. He began to explain to me that for the last several weeks he hadn't been able to sleep and was having difficulty eating anything. He let me know that he was just as miserable as he was making me and my staff. He also told me that when he goes to church, which is every night, he feels miserable. Then I started to think. We have been praying especially for him and God is working on his miserable life to wake him up. As we talked I made it very clear that I was going to give him one more chance but if he even looked guilty, I would discharge him. We had prayer and he left my office with his head down and shoulders drooped.

This all took place on a Tuesday afternoon. By Sunday you could see that he was softening with his whole approach to treatment. I was preaching in the Sunday a.m. service about Jesus being our substitute for sin and it was a beautiful sight to watch. As I preached he began to cry and showed signs of deep conviction. I gave a call for those interested in salvation to come forward and we would pray at the altar. Bill was the first one to step out and what a time I had watching and listening to him confess his sins before the Lord. He was ready to let the Christ of Calvary make him a new man. He made his confession and repented by faith, accepting the Lord Jesus as his personal Savior.

Bill lived out his Christian life the rest of his time here at the Center. He became such a joy and tried to get new clients that were just like him to see that the only lasting change comes through Christ. He became a missionary right here in a place that he never wanted to be. What a difference the Gospel makes in a life.

Bill went back home after his nine months of treatment and was such a joy not only to us, but to his family and community. He was showing what Christ did for him and that he was a changed man. We stayed in touch and he would share how God was helping him to live without alcohol. I was so happy for him. One morning as I came into work I was told that Bill was hit by a drunk driver the night before and was killed. My heart broke, but one thing that caused me to rejoice was, "Christ died for his sins."

Never forget, “Jesus died that you might live.”