I’ll never trust an email from a Nigerian. Its true. Its not that there are not honest Nigerians in the world. Rather, its just that all spam seems to involve Nigerians for some reason. You have seen them right? Nigerian Prince wants to claim his throne back and needs your 1000 dollars to do so. But no worries, you will be paid millions for helping him. Or perhaps the Nigerian Ambassador to the UN has resettlement funds that are available to you if you can give your bank information for the wire transfer. Honestly, I don’t know that the spammer’s infatuation is with Nigeria, but it would be great if they mixed it up and stopped discrediting Nigerians everywhere.
Catch the Spam
Nigerian spam is not the only spam out there. It comes in all sorts of forms from from winning the Irish lottery to free medicinal products. However, in either case, to most, the offer just seems too good to be true. Almost comically so. In fact, I often like to go and look at my spam folder just read some for fun. Your Spam folder uses some sort of screening process to automatically catch some of these spam emails so that you don’t have to read them at all. What a shame, they are taking away half the fun in email.
I honestly don’t know exactly what criteria it uses to recognize it is spam, but all spam typically has some trends that help identify it as such. First of all, it is often sent in mass to many different email addresses at the same time. In addition, it usually contains some offer that seems to good to be true. Then, on top of that, it usually has some moderate cost or action associated with it that pales in comparison to the reward you will receive. The spam folders seem pretty good about catching most.
But sometimes, just sometimes, the spam folder will catch an email that you actually wished to receive. Caught in its algorithms, this email that you were either waiting on would have loved to see gets stuck somewhere between a Nigerian Prince and free Viagra. Even this blog has spam catcher on the comments section. I just looked today and found a wonderful comment someone left on my article, They Walk Among Us, A Case For Foster Care and Adoption. In it, she mentioned the cost of private adoption and perhaps those monetary figures caught the comment and redirected it to the spam folder. However, it was a worthy comment and one beneficial to read.
Let’s jump to the gospel as I am sure many are wondering where in the world I am going with this article. I mean, it’s not often that the gospel and free Viagra are mentioned in the same blog post. However, the gospel is to put it quickly, the good news laid out in the Bible. That is that mankind is in a fallen state at emnity with God due to sin. There is nothing we can do to rid this sin ourselves.
However, God in his love, sent Jesus who was sinless to be sin on our behalf, die on the cross and take on our sin for us. Thus, through faith in Jesus, we now have Jesus righteousness as our own. It goes even further to say that not only do we have his righteousness, but we are joint heirs with Christ. All this from just believing and repenting. Moreover, this offer is extended to all. Holy too good to be true Batman.
Now anyone without any imaginative discernment, let me calm you down. No, I am not comparing the gospel to online spam. I am a believer in Jesus Christ myself and believe the gospel is the most beautiful story in all of humanity. So stick with me as I finish this article out.
As I mentioned earlier, most spam typically comes with a cost. A cost minimal in comparison to the reward to be received. While the gift of salvation is indeed a free gift offered to all, Jesus actually specifically asks us to count the cost. Jesus speaks not of earthly riches and rewards, but of taking up one’s cross and following him. He mentions that as many hated him, so too will his followers be hated. Jesus specifically outlines the premise that to follow after Christ is to die to self.
So in walks faith. The bible goes on to say that without faith it is impossible to please God because you must first believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. So to step out on the idea that God does indeed exist, has indeed saved me through Christ, offers me eternity with him, but calls me to die to my natural self in this world takes faith. And man that is hard sometimes. But if true, the costs, are indeed minimal and pale in comparison to being known and abiding with him forever. It takes faith.
So one to my original question. Would the gospel make it past your spam filter. The bible speaks often about those who see and hear but do not understand. Could it be that this existence altering offering is sitting right before you and through cultural norms or love of self, you fail to consider the claims of the gospel. Could it be that you believe the prize is accurate but the cost just too high? Or could it be that you consider it just one of many claims made and you see no reason to buy in to this one.
Honestly, I couldn’t say for you. Its my job to spread the word and God does the convincing. Quite often there are genuine gems of comments and emails that get caught in my spam folder. If I let the computer decide what is normal for me, there is no telling what all I would miss. So consider the things that might be holding you back from considering the sincerity or credibility of the gospel. Have you dismissed it outright as spam, or have you examined it for yourself. You see the bible has some more verses about seeking and finding. I think if you seek God you will indeed find him. He is good like that.