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Of rats and coffee

by Rosamund Bunney  
6/02/2012 / Salvation

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The voice on the phone was bursting with excitement. My friend Jen was on a work placement, doing cancer research.

"I think I'm onto something," she told me. "It could be the cure for cancer. If I get consistent results with the rat tissue, I'll try it with human tissue." Jen had discovered that ordinary caffeine, as found in coffee, appeared to destroy cancer in rat cells. Sadly, it didn't have the same effect with human cells, and wasn't the cure she had been hoping for.

However, it got me thinking. Only a week before, a friend's husband had said, "What I don't like about these Christians is the way they keep trying to tell everyone what they believe. Why can't they just keep it to themselves?" Jen was uncharacteristically excited when she thought she had found a cancer cure. In Jesus, we have the cure for something worse than cancer, an eternal disease which will separate us from God, from all love and joy, for all eternity. Why wouldn't we share this with the world?

Our greatest need is not for happiness, but for forgiveness. Until we see this, we are like the patient who is unaware that he has cancer. He feels well, he has no worries about his health, he is ignorant of the fatal threat developing silently inside him. Once the cancer is diagnosed, he is more anxious and unhappy than before, but his plight is better than it was, because the disease has been exposed, the cure can begin. The cure may be deeply unpleasant, involving vomiting, weakness and baldness. But it is killing the cancer, and his chances of survival are improving.

As long as we are happy and we believe we are quite good people, we are unaware of the truth. No matter how well we measure up to other people, God's standard is holiness. If He were to allow us into heaven in our unforgiven state, it would be like allowing a piece of paper to come close to a flame His holiness would destroy us. It's because he longs for our salvation, not our destruction, that He provided a remedy.

Imagine a judge so kind and loving that he let off every offender. The judicial system would fall apart and no victim would receive justice. If God just forgave us, this is what He would be like. Our only hope lies in recognising that we cannot save ourselves, and that God has provided salvation for us in Jesus. All we must do is trust Him and what He has done for us, and we are cured not only from the power of sin in our lives here and now, but from its eternal consequences too. It becomes as if we had never sinned, and we are fit to be spared from hell and received into heaven. This is good news indeed. No wonder we want to share it! Find out more here:

I am a full time writer from the UK. I have published 4 books to date as well as numerous magazine articles. Most of my books are educational textbooks on Philosophy of Religion and Christian ethics, although I have published an e-book of worship poetry.

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