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Author Topic: The Wild Ones  (Read 359 times)
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« on: May 01, 2008, 08:54:47 AM »

The Wild Ones

In the 1953 movie The Wild One, Marlon Brando played a leather-wearing, motorcycle-riding delinquent named Johnny Strabler. Johnny's gang terrorizes a small town, causing mayhem and violence.

In the movie, Johnny is asked, “What are you rebelling against?” Shrugging, he replies, “Whadd'ya got?”

The “bad boys” whose stories are recorded in the Bible rebelled against everything and everyone. Their sins include theft, murder, lying, and betrayal. These were men who shook their fists in the face of God.

Esau, a swarthy hunter, traded his birthright for a bowl of porridge. Cain murdered his brother in anger and then fled. Saul persecuted Christians with bloodthirsty vengeance. Samson used the jawbone of a donkey to kill an entire crowd of men. Jonah, when directed by God to go to one city, left the opposite way. Judas sold out our Savior for a bag of coins.

When we read about these men, we might sigh in relief. At least we never did anything that bad. Certainly God is including these examples to make us feel better about ourselves. After all, we're pretty good by comparison, right?

Actually, God includes the example of men like Esau, Cain, Saul, Judas, Jonah in the Bible to show us that He knows exactly who we are and what we are capable of. We all are sinners, saved only by His grace.

In Romans 3:23, Paul writes that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We stand together in the line-up with these men. Without God, we stand condemned.

The good news is that through these examples God also demonstrates the depth of His forgiveness and redemption. The next verse in Romans says we are “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”

There are times when we may feel beyond hope. We may be ashamed and feel that the sin that besets us is unforgivable.

In 1 Timothy, Paul declares this truth: “[the] law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching” (1:9, 10).

We, like Paul, belong in that list.

The good news is that God has shown each of us rebels His divine mercy and unconditional love. Paul continues, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost [of all] . . . so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life” (vv. 15-17).

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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