Someone Worth Dying For?

Posted on March 21, 2013

(Note: I published this earlier today on my blog at www.smalltimepastor.com. However, I wanted to send it out via “Pastor’s Ponderings” as well, because I believe it is one of the most important issues that needs to be addressed in the contemporary church.)

“Many pulpits across the land consistently preach the Christian and not the Christ.” – Todd Wilken

Alright, gang, I’ll tell you up front that some of you (maybe a lot of you) aren’t going to like this post. You may well perceive it as “going negative,” and feel that I’m nitpicking. But I want to tell you, just the opposite is true! What I’m about to say is very POSITIVE (as you’ll see if you’ll just hold on until the end), and I believe is a MAJOR issue that needs to be addressed. So I ask you to stick with me . . .
My wife had the Christian music station playing in our kitchen, and as I came in and made myself a cup of coffee, I found myself being soothed by a lovely song—until I really listened to the lyrics, and I literally shuddered! The song was “Someone Worth Dying For,” performed by a group called Mikeschair. Here are the lyrics that really bothered me:

You are more than flesh and bone
Can’t you see, you’re something beautiful?
Yes, you gotta believe, you gotta believe
He wants you to see, He wants you to see
That you’re not just some wandering soul
That can’t be seen and can’t be known
Yeah, you gotta believe, you gotta believe that you are
Someone worth dying for

Now, I’m aware that this is a very popular song, and I’m probably going to take some flak for criticizing it, but I have to say, those are some of the most unbiblical lyrics I’ve ever come across in a “Christian” song! This song is a microcosm of the church in America today; it is egocentric rather than Christocentric. That is to say, it is all about US instead of all about HIM! It is a “feel good gospel” that tells people they are “worth saving.” My dear ones, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH! That is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is a lie of the devil!

The Word of God tells us that the human heart is incurably deceitful and horribly wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). The Bible tells us that we are all sinners and there is no one who does good or seeks after God, not even one person (Romans 3:10-12). It says that even though God was good to us and showed us His wonderful eternal power and divine nature in the creation around us, but we suppressed the truth and ignored it and turned to sin and depravity (Romans 1:18-21). It goes on to explain that mankind is spiritually dead, carrying out our sinful inclinations, and children of God’s WRATH (Ephesians 2:1-3). THAT is a biblically accurate picture of who we are. Does that sound like we are people “worth dying for”? No, it doesn’t, because we aren’t!

The problem is that even as Christians who have been saved by God’s grace, we don’t like to be confronted with our moral, ethical, and spiritual bankruptcy. We don’t like to think about how bad we really are. We like to focus on God’s love, to the exclusion of his holiness, justice, righteousness, and wrath. But here’s the thing: How we feel about God and the truth of His Word is really beside the point. God is who He is, whether we like to think of Him that way or not. His Word is true and says what it says, whether we like certain parts of it or not. And God’s Word says that we are horribly, incurably sinful and wicked people, deserving only of wrath and everlasting judgment. Period. There is not one verse of Scripture that teaches that people are “worth dying for.” No, not one.

Beyond the poor theology behind this song and the mentality behind it, there is another major problem with it. IT MINIMIZES THE LOVE, GRACE, AND MERCY OF GOD! You see, Christ died for us IN SPITE of the fact that we were NOT worth dying for! That’s what makes it so amazing! Listen to what the Holy Spirit teaches through the Apostle Paul:

For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person–though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Him. (Romans 5:6-11, HCSB)

Did you catch that? A GOOD person might possibly be “worth dying for.” But God is so loving, so gracious, and so merciful, that Jesus died for us while we were still horribly, incurably sinful enemies of God! We were NOT WORTHY of this grace—THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT GRACE!

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! (Ephesians 2:1-5, HCSB, emphasis mine)

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. In conclusion, I believe that the modern church needs to make a 180-degree turn in its perspective. Our relationship with God is all about HIM, not all about us! I would submit that the church universal and the individual members thereof would have a much greater commitment to Christ and a much greater impact for Him in the world around us if we came to truly understand how great God’s grace is and how UNWORTHY of it we are! As that becomes clearer and clearer to us, we will come to a point where our gratitude, love, and faith will grow exponentially, and we will hold firm and fight the good fight even unto death, because JESUS CHRIST is someone worth dying (and living) for!

In HIM>
Scott

PS: Here is a song with a much more Biblically accurate perspective . . .

“HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR US”

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts no power no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

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