In the past few years, there has been a lot of talk in the media about entitlements and entitlement programs. It seems as if they are perceived as a 'right' something owed to the people.
I have also read in many places and seen with my own eyes how today's generation also acts as if they are entitled to something. I'm not sure where this came from (maybe the culture of "everybody gets a trophy" ???), but it is quite disconcerting. I can't relate to those who feel they are owed something or are going to "get what they deserve" and it makes me feel like an old codger at 36.
All this entitlement business got me to thinking: exactly what are we (you, me, and the other 6+ billion people on the Earth) entitled to? What do we deserve?
I thought on it for quite a while and only came up with one answer. Hellfire and damnation. That's it. Nothing else. Allow me to expand on this for a bit.
We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). In Ecclesiastes it says, "For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin(7:20)."
So what's the big deal, you say? Well, I'll tell you why this is important: God hates sin. Proverbs has many verses that expand on this (6:16-19 and 15:9 are just a couple), but in Deuteronomy it is laid out fairly simply, "...all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the LORD your God."
Not only does He hate sin, but He punishes sin as well. The Old Testament prophets warned those of their time about the punishment to come because of sin (Jeremiah 16:18, Isaiah 13:11, Amos 3:2, Ezekiel 18:4, 20). God's punishment of sin is also in the New Testament. Paul sums it up very well in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death"
So we deserve death. But by the grace of God we have a way for salvation - Jesus Christ. Paul didn't leave Romans 6:23 like I left it - he added the most wonderful words: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." See, we deserve death. That's what we are entitled to. But God gave us a gift; free to us but bought by the blood of His son Jesus. Paul describes our Savior in Galatians 1:4, " who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father". Jesus told us the same thing in John's gospel, in arguably on of the most widely known passage in the New Testament John 3:14-17. Jesus's purpose on thus earth was to die to take away our sins (1 John 3:5), that we may have eternal life.
Well, I went and did it, didn't I?
I wasn't planning on preaching to you but it just sort of happened. This has been on my heart for a while and I thought I should share. I think a big part of this "entitlement" mentality cones from a loss of humility. It's pretty humbling though to think that ALL we truly deserve is death. It makes it hard to be entitled if we look upon ourselves in that light.
Keep your powder dry.