In 2010 auto manufacturers recalled a staggering 20 million cars in the US for various defects! Surprised? The thought of such a large number of defective cars on the road is startling.
And so is the cost of repairing that many vehicles! A recall generally costs the car manufacturer a large amount of money. For example, one worldwide recall involving 8.5 million cars was estimated to have cost 2 billion dollars—$1.1 billion for the repairs and $900 million in lost future sales!
Obviously, a recall indicates that there’s something serious involved. Owners of the recalled car models are alerted to the defect. They are instructed to contact their dealer and make an appointment for their car to be repaired and brought back up to safety standards. The car owners pay nothing for the required replacement parts or for the labor to install them.
Thankfully a recall means that whatever is wrong can be made right. The car owners simply need to respond to the recall instructions and the problem will soon be fixed. As the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety instructed the owners of recalled cars, “It’s a free repair. Get it done. It may save your life.”
It’s disturbing to think of a major recall involving millions of cars. But even more disturbing is the apathy of many car owners. Despite the possible risk to their own lives and the fact that the repairs to their cars would be free, 30% of those 20 million owners in 2010 never responded to the recall. That’s six million people!
Another “recall notice” that affects all of us
More amazing is that a much higher percentage of people ignore God’s “recall notice” sent to the entire human race in the Bible. Unlike a defect found in automobiles, the moral defect of the human race is not the Maker’s fault. After creation “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Then “sin came into the world through one man”—Adam—who chose to disobey God’s only restriction. Death was the promised consequence, “and so death spread to all [mankind] because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). The problem of sin to the human race is so damaging that just replacing “a part” would accomplish nothing. Something else would have to take place.
The “recall” of mankind would have been eternally disastrous without God’s intervention. There was nothing we could do that would enable us to undo the damage to our soul caused by sin. But God “so loved the world that he gave his only Son [to come to earth to die on a cross], that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him….Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:16-17,36).
Jesus “himself bore our sins in his body on the tree….that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 2:24, 3:18). As a result, we can be “ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
God’s offer is this: If you truly believe that his Son, Jesus Christ, died in your place, taking the punishment you deserve for your sins, then God promises to forgive your sins and give you eternal life.
He also promises to give you a new nature enabling you to understand the Bible and live to please God. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The proof that God can renew our “recalled lives” is Christ’s resurrection on the third day after dying on a cross. The God who “raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11).
The offer is made to all people: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18). The Bible has warned us that sin’s judgment—eternal separation from God in Hell—lies ahead. Only those who stop trying to please God on their own merit and instead trust in Christ’s death will be saved from that judgment.
The other option is to ignore or reject God’s “recall notice.” The Bible warns, “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).
Please don’t put off God’s “recall notice.” Where you spend eternity is at stake! The free and permanent remedy God offers for your spiritual “defect” is the only one that can save your life.