To have been raised in an “Evangelical” setting is a blessing. No denying this. And yet, this very blessing can be a great hindrance to some.
I read the following quote from Dr. M. Lloyd-Jones, in a recent bulletin in our church. I found it both very thought provoking and in fact frightening.
Our ambition should be to have a heart which never knows bitterness, envy, jealousy, hate or spite, but is ever full of love. That is the standard: and I think at this point we often fail. We have only a negative conception of holiness, and therefore we feel self-satisfied. If we examined our hearts, it should promote holiness. But we do not like examining our hearts. Far too often those of us who rejoice in the name of “Evangelical” are perfectly happy because we are orthodox and because we are unlike those liberals or modernists and various other sections of the Church, which are obviously wrong. So we sit down complacent and satisfied, feeling that we have arrived, and that we have only to maintain our position. But that means that we do not know our own hearts, and our Lord calls for a pure heart. You can commit sin in your heart, He says, without anybody knowing it; and you may still look perfectly respectable, and nobody would guess what is going on in your imagination. But God sees it, and in the sight of God it is awful, foul, ugly, filthy. Sin in the heart!
While this quote shows us how our “Evangelical” background helps disguise sin during our walk in the path of sanctification, it can even hinder many from actually coming to the cross to be saved. Listen to Matt Chandler describe this problem during the Q & A session in the Desiring God 2009 Conference for Pastors. Do not let his humour take your focus off the gravity of the problem.