It is very common, in our cushy American church, to live a cushy Christian life with nary a thought about the lost and dying world beyond 'Oh those poor souls.' Even more rare are the occasions when we take the time to stop and think about what we have been saved from, to ponder over the horrors that we have been pulled out of, to examine what our life could have been. And I'm talking about way more than 'going to hell.'
Think about it for a minute. Think of the worst person you know about from any time in history. A murderer. A rapist. Serial killer. Torturer. Someone who simultaneously makes your blood boil and strikes ungodly fear into your heart. Now realize the fact that you could have been them. Yes, YOU. You, but for the grace of God could have been that murderer. You, but for the grace of God could have been that rapist. You, but for the grace of God could have become the worst person you know. But you aren't.
Sometimes I think the realization of what I could have been strikes more fear into my heart than hell itself. God could have left me to rot. He could have left me sink into the deepest pit this world has ever known and die a living death until I died and went to hell. But He didn't. That realization right there leaves me quaking with awe and trembling in wonder. It leaves me humbled and upon my knees, unashamed tears washing my face. In some ways, it leaves me with more gratitude for the work of my Savior than even the thought of hell.
What Christ has done in my life is literally everything to me. It forms the reason for every hope, dream, desire, and wish. His death is literally the reason I live and move and have my being. He did not save me because I was good or raised in the right home. I could have been something terrible. He saved me from that fate - just as He saves many out of that fate. But whether saved from it or out of it, one thing we all have in common: we, that is you, me, your friend, the holiest person you know to the worst sinner saved you can think of, we literally nailed Christ to the cross. And He LET us do it all because He wanted to save the world.
Oh brothers and sisters, from so great a death we have been saved! From such great misery! He has given us all and it is all to Him we owe! Dwell upon His might and love, dwell upon what you might have been but for the grace of God. Bow in holy terror of what He has done, and LIVE for Him! Live for Him with all and everything you are. Because He did not die for you to live a life that says you do not care about what He has done.