People don’t wonder about the depravity of humanity enough. How corrupted we really are apart from Christ. How dead in our sins we are, and how incapable we are to respond to God’s call on our own. Because we don’t think of this aspect of our being, we are prone to error. Some of us don’t even believe that unregenerate people are depraved at all. We therefore evangelize by appealing to the flesh, instead of proclaiming the Gospel, and praying for God to make people alive with Christ.
Consider Isaiah 59:2-8:
but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness. No one enters suit justly; no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity. They hatch adders’ eggs; they weave the spider’s web; he who eats their eggs dies, and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched. Their webs will not serve as clothing; men will not cover themselves with what they make. Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways. The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace.
When we read this portion of text, we see a common theme. That common theme is that we are no good in and of ourselves. We are naturally separated from God, and we are unjust in and of ourselves. We are guilty humanity with no hope apart from God, and we constantly try to save ourselves but cannot. We will always lead one another into a dead end.
This verse rightly depicts our condition in this fallen world. THANK YOU ADAM! It’s safe to say that these circumstances are radical, and to remedy these calamitous conditions we need an even more radical remedy. Enter the evangelist. Over the past fifty years of Christendom the role of the evangelist has been downplayed, and misrepresented. An evangelist is supposed to herald the good news of Christ to the unbelievers, but unfortunately many of today’s self proclaimed evangelists are more like self help gurus than actual evangelists. The reason for this is because of the teaching in a lot of our churches.
I’ve been granted the privileged to attend bible institute, in an Arminian setting. The experience has been great thus far, but one of the ideas I heard my first semester was that in evangelizing we should try not to bring up sin. The logic behind this way of thinking is that the unregenerate person knows they’re a sinner, feels bad enough for their sin as it is, so we shouldn’t make them feel condemned. The only problem is that this way of thinking is very anti-biblical.
The idea that an unregenerate person knows they’re sinful, assumes the idea that they have some sort of good in and of themselves. This notion is contrary to scripture, and these verses in Isaiah are perfect examples. The depravity of the whole person is a teaching that is rudimentary to evangelism. When we understand the condition of a person, we’re able to give them the correct remedy, in this case Jesus.
The bible says we are dead in our trespasses(Ephesians 2:1), and only God can make us alive. The same way Lazarus was dead, so are we spiritually dead, and only the enabling from God can get us to walk towards Jesus. How is it that this enabling happens? Does it happen by choice, or by chance? Nay, my friends. God is the enabler, as Jesus rightly proclaimed “No one can come to me unless the Father draws him”(John 6:44). How does the Father draw people to Jesus? By the preaching of the Gospel (Romans 10:17). No other way can a person come to saving knowledge of Christ.
So it isn’t about telling people how great your church is that will take care of man’s depravity problem. It has nothing to do with naming your sermon after a trendy television show. The only way to combat the radical depravity of humanity is with the Gospel. Letting people know that they are sinners and hopeless sinners at that, but Jesus the God-man came to bare the sins of people, so that upon trusting in His perfect finished work they would be saved from the coming wrath of God which is just for those who will not believe in Christ. There is no good news without the bad news! Be blessed family