Newton’s law of gravity states: “Every point mass attracts every single other point mass by a force pointing along the line intersecting both points. The force is proportional to the product of the two masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them:
where F is the force between the masses, G is the gravitational constant, m1 is the first mass, m2 is the second mass and r is the distance between the centers of the masses.”
As the story goes, Newton got thinking about this attraction between objects after observing an apple fall from an apple tree. “Why do things fall?” he pondered.
Things fall all over the planet. I know from first hand experienced that my coffee cup falls if I bump it off my desk… I know my cell phone falls if it slips from my back pocket when I sit down… I know that the maple leaves fall from the maple trees along the trails every, er.. Fall, and I know painfully well that my body falls too when I slip on ice!
I have never dropped my coffee mug over the middle of the Atlantic, but I can tell you with certitude that if ever I do, it will fall!
In his message this past Sunday Elder Don Longworth stressed our personal accountability before God in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He cited Peter’s bold and accusative words, pointing out his emphasis on the personal pronoun.
“Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross….. let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” (Acts 2:22-23, 36)
They had seen the evidence of Christ’s divinity. He had walked among them during three years of amazing ministry. They knew His claims and message. It was given to them to determine a response, and theirs was the decision to brutally crucify Him.
You too have seen evidence of this man’s divinity. He has walked with you through all your life, though possibly you have ignored Him. But you know His claims and message, what He is asking of you even now. And yours is the decision what to do with Him.
“But I was not there,” you say. “I did not cry out ‘Crucify… Crucify!’”
Still, just like my coffee cup, there is a principle at work in you… a law, if you will. Paul calls it “the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). You may not have been there with the mob before Pilate shouting “Crucify,” but you don’t need to have been. You are guilty by nature… fallen nature.
The crowd before Peter cried something quite different:
“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…’” (v.37,38).
Repentance is the only way to conquer our inherent downward pull. As Paul summarized, “…through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:2).
To hear Don Longworth’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Media’ for the July 21 message.