Thursday, October 17, 2013


Mercedes Benz is currently running a quite clever commercial featuring ol' Scratch offering a young man a devilish deal. Sitting in a stylish coffee shop, the kid observes a billboard being posted across the street featuring the newest Mercedes. He lusts to own it. Suddenly Beelzebub appears; "Make a deal with me kid, and you can have the car and everything that goes with it." Visions of fame, fortune and manly coolness dance through the young man's head. "What do you say, kid?" the devil prompts. By then the billboard has been completed, revealing the amazingly reasonable sticker price of under 30,000 Smackeroos. "Thanks," the kid replies, "but I think I got this." Ha! The evil one is vanquished and dispatched to the nether world in an angry puff of oily, black smoke.

Ha, ha. Clever, right? I love this commercial. It is witty and plays on turning the old, established, cultural deal-with-the-devil mystique on its ear.

It does something else. Our wealthy, ever-at-ease culture no longer sees any need for God, salvation or heaven. This commercial reveals the flip side. Neither do we need the ole seducer and his tricks to give us an illicit leg up these days. We got this.

Au contraire, we do not. We are fallen creatures. Even the atheists agree that the world ought to be better. That it is not, is the consequence of sin. Not the devil's sin, or Hitler's sin, or Bin Laden's sin; yours, mine. We are not what we ought to be. That is why the world is not what it ought to be.

God offers a changed heart and eternal life to all who call upon the name of Jesus the Messiah in faith. Surrender your will to him and he promises to make you a new creature. Reject that, as so many loud voices demand today, and the alternative is eternity in Hell. Don't like that? Tough toenails. I don't like death or taxes, either. Disbelieving in Hell is about as effective as disbelieving in death and taxes.

God's Love and Wrath are two sides of the same coin; the fire that warms also burns. it depends on where you stand in relation to it. Hell serves a good and practical purpose. It is not just God's torture chamber for people he doesn't like. C.S. Lewis called Hell God's tourniquet on evil. Evil cannot be allowed free reign forever. It cannot be permitted to go on polluting God's creation. It must be judged. It will be contained. But neither will God force anyone to obey. Hell is the place for the people who insist "my will be done." Hell is God's answer, "Very well, thy will be done."

"God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9
The choice is yours. What are you going to do about it?

Belief and repentance is the only answer.


Don the Baptist said...

Don't know what happened, but the comments have been raptured or something.

Tim Riter said...

Don, I too love the wit of the commercial--my students analyzed it just after it appeared during the Superbowl. Maybe we can handle the Mercedes, but not the spiritual issues. Well said, my friend.

Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

Absolutely right on, brother. Absolutely.

Precarious Yates said...

Nicely put! I'd like to propose, though, that God's wrath and mercy are on opposite sides of the same coin, to borrow that image, and that coin is love.

I have to go look up that commercial now, since I don't have a TV.