By Ernest O'Neill


Ernest O'Neill

It's important, too, to see that the only reason we're all alive here today, is because God extends to all of us certain benefits of his Son's death -- certain gracious and merciful restraints that prevent us from entering into the total consequences of our own actions. Now if you say to me, "Could you give me an instance?" Easy.
All of us here will answer this question the same way; really I am sure of it. All of us at least who are over 10 or 11 anyway. Have you ever been in a situation in a car or in a disaster of some kind where you thought, "What on earth saved me from death? What saved me from death?"

You know, I don't think there's one of us here who has lived at all, who will not say, "Yeah, yeah, I remember a situation in a car where I just don't know what saved me. I came round the corner and I don't know why, I should have been dead." I doubt if there's one of us with a sickness that has not had an experience of physical sickness that has made us feel, why should we be alive? What prevented us from dying?

Do you see that our selfishness and our lack of love for other people have repeatedly produced in us a carelessness and a recklessness that should have killed us, except that God has built into the laws of the universe, certain mercy fail-safes, the benefits of Jesus' death that hold back the total unrestrained outworking of His judgment upon us? That's why loved ones. No, it's not chance -- that's stupid, you know. You have felt it yourself, haven't you?

You've said, "Oh that's just luck", and yet it's so outlandish that you can't believe it's luck. It's not luck. It's your Father graciously holding back, giving you respite so that you have another opportunity to deal with him about what he has done to you in his Son Jesus. That's the only reason we're all still alive, loved ones.

We all should be dead long ago if we got what we deserved for our actions. So, you see it is with every worry and anxiety that produces the headache and the ulcer. Why does the ulcer go on in some lives to bring death and in yours, you're still alive? Why have you been able to tackle the headaches with the aspirins and the other things and you're still alive? Yet the worry and the anxiety are absolute proof that you don't rest in faith and trust in your Father's care.

Do you see the explanation is that God lovingly holds back the full outworking and consequences of your own attitude to him so that it does not destroy you? So that you have a respite, so that we have a present respite from total judgment and have another chance, as the Jewish children did, to actually submit our wills to the deliverance from selfishness that God wrought in Jesus.

Complete Talk: Our Present Respite