The Sinner's Flight from Reality
L. R. Shelton, Sr.
Listen to Isaiah 1:4-6, "Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are
corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores:
they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment."
The trouble with our religious situation today is that our preachers see and acknowledge one side of the Gospel, but
reject the other. They see that Christ died for sinners; they see that salvation is by grace; they see that there is
no redemption apart from shedding of blood; they see that you must believe on Christ to be saved, but the thing they
don't see (and will not admit) is man's totally-depraved condition, because they have never been awakened by the Holy
Spirit. They have religion without life; profession without possession, and church membership without Christ. They
grope in the dark, but never find the door that leads to the light, That door is repentance, and repentance is the
missing note in present-day preaching. Some of them will talk about repentance and try to give a description of
repentance, which they have read out of books but they have never experienced repentance.
Now, if we would preach to that end and see men and women really born again into the kingdom of God, that would bring
us out of the mudhole that we are in. That's the remedy for our present-day situation, but how few know it and
understand it. No sinner ever wants to be awakened to face his bankrupt spiritual condition. You preachers in the
pulpit, you don't want to face it, because it will hurt your pride, your reputation. Well, you've got to lose your
reputation. You've got to come to the place where you are willing to lose your character and everything for Christ.
"He that forsaketh not all that he hath cannot be My disciple." The Apostle Paul said that he lost all things
to win Christ.
Then there are the WISE and PRUDENT who see no beauty in Christ, because they are wise in their own conceit, The Word
of God says, "Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" (Isa. 5:21).
To these the mysteries of God are hid, A sinner facing reality comes to know nothing; he sees himself as nothing. He
sees his need of a Substitute, and that all he will ever have or ever know is tied up in Christ, To the born-again
believer everything that he knows, or ever will know, is found in Christ. To know himself is to be driven to despair
unless he knows Christ. Let me tell you something, sinner - if God should open your heart right now, wherever you are,
and let you see yourself as you are without hope, without Christ, it would drive you literally to despair, and you would
become a raving maniac. That's what Hell is. That's what Hell will be throughout eternity - awakened sinners with no
hope! Then they face reality with no hope. But deep down in your heart, as God opens it and shows you the awful
spiritual, bankrupt condition you are in, there is at the bottom a hope that you will get to Christ - there is a hope
that Christ died for such a sinner as you. Conviction and repentance are sweetened with the cross of Christ.