Q. Looking at different articles on the internet, they say that we have to see ourselves as hell deserving before we can get saved. What is your view on this? I’m not denying that sin leads to death or anything, just wondering whether something like this would be an obstacle for salvation?
A. For the most part, people who don’t think they have cancer are not motivated to take the cure. Once they discover they have it, then the cure becomes important. But the ones I’ve talked with say they didn’t fully comprehend their condition until they came out of the treatment and realized how close they were to dying.
I think it’s the same with our salvation. People who don’t understand sin and its consequences aren’t motivated to be saved. They have to become aware of their sinfulness, even if it’s only in some abstract sense, before they can admit their need for a Savior. But they don’t begin to fully comprehend the nature of their predicament until after they’re saved and the Holy Spirit has revealed the truth to them. That’s when the hard reality of what Hell is and how close they were to going there usually hits them.
Paul wrote that the man without the Spirit cannot comprehend the things that come from the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:14) and we don’t get the Holy Spirit until after we’re saved.