Calvin’s comment in regard to the main tendency of the human heart is not only a reality but an evangelistic need. The sinner is in as much need to hear about sin as he is about Christ. The call of the gospel is to turn away from idolatry to the living Christ. Dr. Steve Childers comments on this gospel invitation when he states that the “gospel is directly linked to the first two commandments.” By that he means that our sin is worshipping other gods and making to ourselves graven images in the form of personal passions. One may find pleasure in adultery, but what is really taking place is that adultery has become a temporary idol or at times a permanent one. All sin is an issue of the heart and it is the heart that needs to be turned. As Luther has stated in his 95 theses, “Repentance is part of the daily life of a Christian (paraphrase of theses one).” In repentance we find restoration and turn once again our gaze upon the true God and Savior of our lives.
A particular insight I have acquired in my studies of evangelism, is that in a sense, sins are inherently polytheistic. That is, when we sin we all serve and worship many gods. We serve the god of lust, the god of pride, the god of reputation, ad infinitum. This reality would make even the largest syncretistic religion in the world (Hinduism) envious of such an accumulation of gods. The beauty of the gospel is that God is seeking to bring His people to once again put their trust in the monotheistic faith of Abraham. However, turning from idols and gods has become an ineffable homily in modern evangelicalism; rather we are told that these are vices or habits. Don’t you think the gods are pleased to hear that? If we do not treat these matters as what they really are then I see sin’s domineering power becoming another source of doubt and endless despair in the lives of Christians. Christ is the only solution to the billions of alternatives. He alone can deliver us from sin’s dominion. Our Lord is as supremely interested in the rescuing of our sins today as He was when He delivered us from the penalty of sin.