In a discussion with a friend about the state of the world, he said how lucky we were to have Jesus in our lives. I agree totally, also realising how difficult it can be to express that sentiment without using problematic terms like “luck”.
It could be avoided by replacing it with “blessed”, but I’ve also come to see that word overused and misapplied, to the extent that it dilutes understanding of what GENUINE blessings are.
Previously I’ve commented on the way that in affluent societies, so many of the things we designate as “blessings” may very well be thorns and weeds that choke the fruitfulness of God’s word out of our lives (see Mark 4) Our idea of blessing may differ significantly from God’s.
The idea of “luck” suggests chance or even worse, chance combined with “predestination” – as if we were fortunate to have our names pulled out of God’s salvation lottery hat, a very simplistic view that far too many people (like Calvinists) believe (though they probably wouldn’t like the way I described that belief).
It seems clear that there ARE so many seemingly “lucky”, random aspects to salvation and our response to it, including:
1) The religious culture of where we are born and raised.
2) Our parents’ attitudes to that religious culture.
3) The non-parental influences we face as we grow up
4) Personal experience and how we respond to it.
5) The availability of the gospel.
6) Our “mood” if and when we hear the gospel.
7) The quality of teaching and encouragement we receive after responding to the gospel.
It seems like some people can be more advantaged than others, to the extent that it doesn’t seem fair for those who don’t have the advantage of free access to the gospel.
In the past I’ve come across people who ask about the fate of those in other countries where Christianity is suppressed or absent in some other way; where conditions like those mentioned above are rarely favourable. That scenario is raised in a way that questions the validity of the gospel, because surely there’s no justice in someone’s eternal fate being dependant on their response to a message they never hear.
Some time ago I came to the conclusion that the key is a person’s desire for truth and that God WILL get the gospel to ANYONE who has a genuine desire for truth wherever they are, no matter what obstacles there seems to be.
And maybe there’s another perspective to consider. Should we recognise the “disadvantage” of having too much access to the gospel where the gospel seems to be freely available to all?
In that latter scenario it can be too easy for compromised messages and diluted gospels that aren’t really THE gospel to be adopted.
But again I see it is all dependent on a person’s genuine desire for the truth. It is that desire, and the integrity of an individual’s search for truth that makes the difference and ultimately protects him/her from the risk of false religions of all kinds, including secular/political alternatives such as nationalism.