On Sunday, February 18, 2001, NASCAR lost one of its greatest drivers. Dale Earnhardt Sr., also known as “The Intimidator,” was in third place on the last lap of the Daytona 500 when his car was tapped from behind and sent head-on into the wall at 180 mph. In a matter of moments, it was evident something was terribly wrong. Dale Earnhardt died in the crash. On the following Monday an autopsy report revealed he had died of blunt force trauma to the head. Some have suggested that if Earnhardt had been wearing the HANS (Head and Neck Safety Device) he would have survived the crash. Although this device was available, Earnhardt, like many other drivers that day, neglected to use it. His neglect of this safety device may have cost him his life. The Bible tells us that every individual is on a collision course with God’s judgment. God, too, has provided a safety device–one designed to keep people from suffering eternal death and separation from God. But like Dale Earnhardt and the other drivers in the race that day, each of us must decide whether to accept or neglect this offer. (source: Perfect Illustrations; Citation: Michael Owenby; Carrollton, Georgia)
“Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” <Isa.59:1-2 (NIV)>: “the arm” signifies God’s power which is readily available to all that call upon Him <see Isa.30:19>; “your iniquities” speaks of unforgiven sin which is the reason for God’s silence <Isa.59:12>, alienating us from God. Our Sin and iniquity affect our hands and fingers, lips, and tongues; it produces injustice, lies, evil deeds and evil thoughts. <Isa.59:3-8; cf Rom.3:10-18>.
“So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like men without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead.” <Isa.59:9-10 (NIV)>
GOD’S SOLUTION FOR SIN
“He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due. From the west, men will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along.” <59:16-19 (NIV)>
God saw the predicament of His people “no one to intervene”; so His own “arm”, His Son Jesus Christ, brought about salvation. <see Isa.52:10; 53:12; Jer.30:13; Ezek.22:30>; and His righteous salvation is for those individuals that accept His solution <see Rom.3:21-24; Heb.7:25>.
“He put on the garments of vengeance…. According to what they have done so will he repay” <Isa.59:17 (NIV)> but there is wrath and retribution for those that reject God’s solution in the gift of His Son as the sacrifice for mankind’s sin <see Isa.63:1-4>. God has made a way of escape for the sinner, and there will be a day of judgment by God for sin.
GOD’S PROVISION FOR SALVATION
“The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD.” <Isa.59:20 (NIV)> At His first coming He was rejected by Israel; at His second coming He will be welcomed by Israel. <see Jn.1:10-11; Acts 1:9-11; Job 19:25; Rom.11:26-27; Rev.1:7-8>.
GOD’S METHOD FOR SALVATION
“As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,” says the LORD.” <Isa.59:21 (NIV)>
“this is my covenant”: God’s Son is the covenant <Isa.42:6> and the covenant will be established in believing Israel and all believing Gentiles <Jer.31:31>: and “my spirit” will be the guiding light <see Ezek.36:27; Jn.16:13-14>; and Israel will be finally and truly God’s people <Isa.51:16; cf Rom.11:25-27>.
GOD’S FINAL OFFER FOR SALVATION
From God’s point of view there was “no one to intervene” <Isa.59:16>; and mankind’s point of view there was “no one to arbitrate” (mediate) <Job 9:32-34>. So, God made provision for our salvation. We must be born again by the work of the Holy Spirit <Jn.3:6-7>; by God’s method <Jn.3:14-15> and provision <Jn.3:16-18>; for God’s judgement will be executed <Jn.3:19-20>.
Our sin must be confessed to God, and God only; and God must forgive our sin. We must accept Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our sins; this is the only way of Salvation. “Born again” means being born of the Spirit of God into God’s family of believers. Unless you accept God’s offer of Salvation you will forever be under God’s rod of judgment and His terror will frighten you forever. You will have no one to arbitrate or intervene between yourself and God.
THE DECISION IS YOURS ALONE!