After much soul searching and a constant, inexplicable pull to get his affairs in order, a certain man in a certain town settled upon the idea that he needed fire insurance. Try as he might to shrug off the idea, try as he might to bury it somewhere deep and dark and afar off, every day, without fail, these thoughts kept returning, and getting progressively more stringent and all consuming.
Seeing as he had no other alternative, the man began searching out companies offering insurance, comparison shopping, and seeing which offered the most benefits for the least amount of money.
Although he had run across a reputable company, one with a track record and centuries of experience, he’d also run into a newly formed outfit that offered the same coverage for a tenth of the cost.
Wondering how this could be possible, allowing for the possibility that it seemed too good to be true, the man made an appointment with a representative of the discount insurance company. Their offices were impressive to say the least. All glass and steel and modern design, with a giant chandelier in the lobby, and a complimentary espresso bar replete with its own personal barista. It seemed odd that the name of the company itself was nowhere to be found, and that the opulence of their offices seemed contrary to the frugal image they were trying to project, but the man had made an appointment, he was here to talk to somebody, and once they met he asked the obvious question:
‘How is it you can offer the same insurance as your competitor at a tenth of the cost?’
With a broad smile and impeccable inflection the representative began to explain how the other guys had gotten it wrong all these many centuries, how they were working off an antiquated formulae that inhibited the client with excessive clauses, and how they had simplified and mainstreamed the entire process to make it more suitable for the modern individual.
‘I mean, let’s face it’ the representative said, ‘what are the chances you’ll ever have a fire? With the new detection systems and smoke detectors and whatnot, the chance that you will experience a real fire for which you will have to file a claim are almost nonexistent.’
Although the man still had questions, and he still had his doubts, the cost savings was just too good to pass up, and he signed a contract that very same day.
Years went by, and with the convenience of automatic pay, the man had almost forgotten about the insurance policy. The representative had been right. It was quick, easy, pain free, and once you did it, once you signed the contract and started making your payments, you could just put it out of your mind altogether. Sure, insurance was something good to have ‘just in case,’ but it wasn’t really anything that changed one’s life in any significant sort of way.
Then, one day, due to what would later be determined as faulty wiring, the man’s house burned to the ground, and all that remained was lots of ash and a few roof shingles.
Seeing all he had worked toward burn to the ground was not easy for the man, but remembering he had once gotten an insurance policy for just such a contingency, he did not fret or despair.
The man drove to the offices of his insurer, and nothing seemed amiss until he walked through the giant doors and realized it was no longer what it had been. From the outside it all looked the same, but where once there had been offices, the man now saw a tattoo parlor, a cupcake store, and a juice bar. To his surprise, the espresso bar was still there, as was the barista.
As he walked about dazed and confused the man spotted a familiar face, that of his insurer, behind the counter of the juice bar.
‘What happened here?’ the man asked in a state of disbelief.
‘Went bust,’ the salesman answered not willing to meet the other’s gaze.
‘We’ve been out of business for three years now. Turns out we couldn’t honor our promises to our clients after all. Guess that’s how it goes.’
‘But you’re still charging me every month.’
‘It’s the client’s responsibility to cancel their payment schedule. You don’t expect anyone to turn down free money nowadays do you?’
So what’s the point of this hypothetical, entirely made up story, the details of which I’ve probably gotten horribly wrong because I’ve never had to file a claim with an insurance company?
The point is this:
Many a soul today are looking for ‘insurance’ hoping they’ll never have to file a claim, and believing they’ll likely never have to file one. They are looking for someone to tell them they’re saved just because they raised a hand or said a prayer, even though it seems off even to them.
Men choose to deaden their instincts when it comes to foundationless promises slick, grinning men make to them, because they are unwilling to sacrifice or do away with those things they instinctually know are against the will and Word of God.
All we are is a bunch of clap happy infants who have come to believe the height of spirituality is pretending to toke the Holy Spirit while lip-synching a Hillsong album, hoping against hope that hell really isn’t real, that Jesus was just joshing about that whole eternal judgment stuff, and that He’ll have to make due with us or run the risk of having an empty heaven.
We have cheapened salvation, grace, and the sacrifice of Christ to such an extent that if someone isn’t offering us a game console to come to church, we’d rather just go to the park and feed the ducks.
We have taken the words of Jesus and by-and-large done away with them, and those few which still remain in our lexicon have been perverted and twisted to the point of being unrecognizable. Grace is no longer freedom from sin, it is freedom to sin. Everything meant to bring us closer to God, such as prayer, fasting, reading the Word, are labeled works now, and we all know we’re not saved by works, so if we do any of these things we’re just legalistic Pharisees.
What of repentance? Don’t even get me started about that antiquated, moralistic, knuckle dragging expression of brokenness and humility before God.
We don’t do that anymore!
It’s all about freedom, baby, it’s about being able to do what the flesh wants when the flesh wants and still be fully insured against hell because we pay our tithe. It comes out of our check every month like clockwork, even though we haven’t seen the inside of a sanctuary in years.
We keep telling ourselves we’re happy. We keep telling ourselves this is what freedom is all about. We keep telling ourselves the forerunners of the faith got it wrong somehow, that their experiences with God, the power they saw, the gifts they possessed, and the impact they made was just an anomaly, no more connected to the righteousness they lived than a fig is to a sparkplug.
We manufacture feelings of ecstasy, rolling our eyes back into our heads, and shaking like someone in the throes of an epileptic seizure thinking this is what it means to be filled with the Spirit, not realizing the first sign of being filled is being cut to the heart and stirred to repentance and righteousness unto God.
We are a people astray, far from God, far from His grace, far from the knowledge of Him, and with each passing day I can’t help but wonder when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.