We are all born debtors. The instant we emerge from the birth canal, we owe someone for 9 months of room and board.
Since the national debt is just shy of 22 trillion, that newborn baby’s portion of the national debt is $66, 532. If the newborn were an instant taxpayer, his or her portion of the national debt would be $178, 962. Staggering.
In one way or another, we go through life as debtors.
The average American household credit card debt is $16,4000.
The average household mortgage indebtedness is $196,000.
The average student loan debt is $37,397.00.
The median price of a single family home is $200,000.00. Contrary to popular adage, buying a house is not the most expensive investment you will make. The cost to raise a single child from birth through college averages $1.1 million. Having a baby is like buying 6 houses. Except, unlike the houses, children don’t increase in value, you can’t sell them, and after 16 years they may say they hate you.
Suppose God were to begin to send you bills for the upkeep of your body? The average person uses 550 liters of pure oxygen a day in breathing. That much oxygen would cost roughly $73,000 per year.
At age 25, you would owe God $1,825,000.00.
At age 50, you would owe God $3,650,000.00.
At age 75, you would owe God $5,475,000.00.
Paul says in Romans 1:14 there is a sense in which we as Christians are spiritual debtors. We owe, of course, an eternal debt of love and service to Jesus because of the infinite price of His precious blood shed for our salvation.
We are also debtors to the unsaved world — every unreached people group and every person within those people groups.
We are responsible to God for doing everything we can, in every way we can, to preach the gospel to everybody we can, as rapidly as we can, as effectively as we can. Whether they are “Greeks” (the cultured elite), or “barbarians” (the uncultured jabbering their gibberish language which to the Greeks sounded like “bar,” “bar,” “bar,” “bar,” . . . hence, “barbarians”), they are in desperate need of the gospel.
Paul’s compelling sense of indebtedness meant he was never free to feel his work was done. Neither can you or I. How can we live complacently in 2019 in light of the world’s need for the gospel?
Paul says in Romans 1:15, “so, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome.” Paul had never been to Rome. But he felt a duty and obligation to get the gospel to the imperial capital. From there it could spread into every nook and cranny of the empire.
What is your part in missions? Are you passionate about getting the gospel to the peoples of the world?
Paul was not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes . . . and powerful it is!
The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross has put an assessment of love on every soul. Our debt cannot be paid with pennies drawn from the bank when the dollars are left untouched. It cannot be paid from the interest that forever leaves the principal intact for our own personal use. We have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. What price is that worth?
Christ has shed his blood for the sins of the whole world . . . every single person in it. God’s love extends to every sinner. God desires that every sinner be saved. His mission is our mission. His heart is our heart. At least it should be. Every unsaved soul on planet earth holds a first mortgage of gospel obligation on us. Pay all you can in installments of prayer, evangelism, service, giving, and love.
That’s our 2019 New Year debt.
And it flows out of Christmas: “Thanks be unto God for his indescribable gift!”