Do you think Sin began with you? Do you think it will end with you? Do you think that you should have been the exceptional one—that you should have been born into a world that is infected with the Sin virus and that you should never have become sick with it? Does it ever occur to you that you have not sinned or that you are not now capable of sinning? Do you imagine that there are children born into this world that will mature and leave this life without having sinned? Do you think it is inevitable that we humans will sin? I say “inevitable” and not necessary!
Do you sometimes think you could have lived your life without sinning? Whenever it first happened that you sinned, why do you think you did? Do you ever think that Adam and Eve were the only ones to get a clear shot at not sinning? Do you ever think that it’s somehow unfair if God judged us as if we were Adam and Eve if Adam and Eve had a better shot as living sinlessly than we their descendants do?
Do people who have been raised in a loving and wise home and who have plenty of the fine things that make life pleasing—do they have an advantage over the oppressed who live in unchanging squalor, an advantage to live without bitterness or resentment and in cheerfulness; do they have an advantage to live uprightly? If so, does God know that? Does that shape His view in the area of judging people?
Do people who have been privileged to have a deeper understanding about God’s sense of what is righteous and what is evil—do they have an advantage when it comes to fighting against unrighteousness within them? Do people who have been privileged to know that God loves them and seeks to enrich their lives in all the lovely ways that life can be enriched; do they have a moral/spiritual advantage over those who are destitute of such wondrous truth? Does living in a setting filled with encouragement to living nobly and having a network of friends who embody that kind of living give people—does that give them an advantage over those who live where corruption, intimidation and godlessness reign?
When we see a boy or a girl raised in a godly, loving and wise home and richly blessed with the social and economic blessings that make life comfortable—are we (at least) surprised or perhaps shocked if they turn out to be very wicked? Why is that?
When we see a young man or woman raised by corrupt and brutal parents in a ghetto of violence and filth—when we see such a one become a person of moral beauty and uprightness are we happily astonished? Why is that?
Does God see that? Is He astonished? (If Jesus is the self-revelation of God as a human, does His astonishment at the warm faith and trust of the centurion in Luke 7 say anything about God? What does it imply that Jesus was astonished?)
1. Does any of the above make any difference to anything?
2. Does it come down to this: Some of us are “lucky” to be born in the right place to the right people in the right set of circumstances in the right age and others are “unlucky” not to be?
3. Should we conclude that all the “unlucky” will be eternally punished but some more than others? If we conclude that are we not faced with perplexity and does good or bad “luck” determine the destiny of the vast majority of the human family in all ages?
4. Should we simply dismiss all such questions and say, something like, “We don’t need to trouble ourselves with such questions. God will do what’s right at the final judgment.”?
5. If we do that, have we any gospel truth to announce about the “unlucky” majority of the powerless of the ages?