Every time I go to church or listen to a preacher offer the plan of salvation, I think “Does everyone get the bigger picture here? Why do we even need a savior from our sins?” Without meaning to, we can assume people know things they don’t. Things not understood by “unchurched” people.
Since I love cars (I’ve owned about 50 of them over the years), I thought maybe a car story could help someone explain the gospel.
Imagine a teenager who disobeys his dad and wrecks the family car. His dad told him not to fiddle with the radio while driving but he did it anyway. Drifted out of his lane and hit the median. There’s going to be a price paid for that kid to come back into relationship with his dad. When it’s paid, the dad will receive his son back into full fellowship. Their relationship will be restored by a price being paid. The price could be simple humility, or confession, or paying for the damage. All involve accepting responsibility. But all tacitly acknowledge the forgiving and restoration is up to Dad. If Dad provides no means for forgiveness . . . for paying the debt, then the relationship ends with the wreck.
Messing with Almighty God is a lot more serious than bending the fender on a Chevy. The price to be paid is a heavy one. . . it’s the death penalty. That’s right. Disobeying God is that serious.
But that’s where Jesus comes in. He voluntarily stepped into history and took our death penalties for us. He died in our place and, as a result, made it possible for our relationship with God to be restored. With that relationship intact, this life fades right into the next one, as our relationship with God enables us to join Him in heaven and live there with Him forever when we pass on. Just as importantly, our ‘here and now’ relationship with God is restored. “Dad” says “You’re my son. I’ve not only forgiven you, I’ve adopted you. You’re mine and I’m yours. You can wreck every car in the world . . . I’ve already forgiven you. You can’t wreck a car I won’t forgive you for wrecking. I love you that much!”And you find yourself NOT wanting to have wrecks out of gratitude for His forgiveness, not out of fear that He won’t forgive you next time.
I lived this story when I was 17. I begged my dad to lend me the family car for my homecoming date. Less than an hour after I pulled out of the driveway, I was calling my dad to come to the accident site. Terrified, I waited for his rage, rant and rebuke. But I got none of that. He gave me grace, sending me on with my date with his forgiveness. On that day, I got a glimpse of my Heavenly Father. My ‘wreck’ hurt him. It caused undeniable damage. But he chose to forgive me, not because I deserved it but because he loved me. Our Heavenly Father extends His forgiveness the same way . . . out of love for His sons and those He wants to adopt into His family.
Question: Will you take the risk and tell someone you know the story about God and cars? Or do you have a story of your own to tell? Share it here
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