Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sin Cancer

I had a follow-up visit with my Dermatologist yesterday. I went last month to have him look at a spot on my back that my wife said looked kinda funny. When I showed it to my doctor he immediately said that he needed to take it off. Five minutes and $300 later I had the spot removed, I had my shirt back on and I was headed out the door. Before I left he placed the spot he removed in a jar and said he was sending it off to be looked at by a lab to see if it was cancerous or not. He told me he wanted to see me again in 30 days for a follow-up. Well, yesterday was the follow-up. I was called back into the room by the nurse and she immediately told me to remove my shirt because the doctor was going to have to remove more of the spot from last month. The doctor walked in a minute or two later with my chart and said the spot he removed last time was cancerous but it was a Basal Cell Carcinoma, in his words - "the best kind of cancer to have". He told me to lay down on the table so he could removed a larger area. He stuck me several times with a numbing medication before he began cutting. The whole procedure again took about 5 minutes and again cost me about $300. He said he thought he got it all this time but wanted to see me again in two weeks for a follow-up visit. He also mentioned that he wanted to see me again in three months and in six months and that I would need to schedule a yearly appointment so he could look me over thoroughly for other spots that may be cancers.

As I thought about this yesterday I could not help but think about willing I was to let him do any thing he needed to get rid of that cancer. He could have told me he needed me to anything and I would have! All he had to say was cancer and I was a willing patient. I thought about how willing I would be to hear from a fellow Christian that he found some sin in my life and we needed to get rid of it. I wondered if I would be willing to do just about anything he asked of me or would I tell him to take care of the sin in his own life first. Why do we respond to physical cancer completely different than we do spiritual cancer. 

Christ told us how to deal with sin as it relates to a fellow Believer:

Matthew 18: 15-17 - 15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

We need to deal with sin head on. We don't need to go talk to the pastor first, we don't need to talk to our spouse, we don't need to talk to anyone other than the person who has sinned. My physician did not talk to the receptionist about my cancer, he did not talk to his neighbors about my cancer. He dealt with me one on one. Now if this Basal Cell Carcinoma turns into something more than that he may consult with another physician. Just like the verse above, if the one we are confronting does not listen we can begin to get others involved.

Lately I have been thinking about the terms Good News or The Gospel. I have always tied these terms to what the lost need, what those outside the faith need. But lately I have come to realize that the Good News, aka The Gospel is simply what it says it is, Good News, Good News for both the lost and the saved. The Good News for the lost is that Jesus Christ died on the cross and paid a sin debt that we could never pay. He took the wrath of God's hatred of sin upon himself so we would not have to. But what I have come to realize just in the last few weeks is that the Good News is also for those of us who are followers of Christ. This Gospel is that there is forgiveness of sin after conversion. This Good News is the news that if we blow it, if we give in to temptation and say something we should not have said, if we do something we should not have done, there is forgiveness. We will blow it after conversion. Becoming a Christian does not guarantee a sin free life, usually the opposite happens. Satan steps in and tempts us like never before. However, the Good News is found in I John:

I John 1: 8, 9 -  8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 

I John 2: 1,2 - 1My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

The Good News is for everyone! Those outside the faith and those who are Born-again Believers. Do not take the Good News for granted, rather apply it to your life on a daily basis. Use the Good News to attack the spiritual cancer that can destroy us on the inside. The spiritual cancer that can send the lost to hell and can make life an absolute nightmare for a Believer trying to live with un-confessed sin. Don't wait any longer apply to Good News to your life today.

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts! I'm not sure how willing I am to have others examine all of my skin to search for cancer, but I know I need to be more that way. Not gullible, buying into any legalistic statement I hear, but certainly more open to being wrong.