Please allow me to present a thought-provoking metaphor and then to ask you a few pertinent questions.
Let us suppose that one day you discovered that you were born with a noxious medical condition. You realized it was so serious that you needed to seek immediate professional attention. Desperate for a cure, you instinctively headed for the nearest hospital.
Once there, you soon discovered that this particular hospital didn´t practice or believe in any kind of radical surgical intervention. Their policy didn´t even require the most basic examination. Even though this serious and terminal malady was clearly outlined in all the medical journals, they presumed it couldn´t possibly be a life-threatening condition because it was such a common, age old problem. But if found wrong, they were certain you really didn´t want to hear the truth anyway so they watered down your grave situation and completely downplayed your illness. They simply didn´t want to scare you. The entire medical staff feared that if they adhered to some black and white diagnosis that you might panic and then go elsewhere for a second prognosis. They especially avoided any mention of ´blood´ in case you were squeamish and omitted words like ´sickness´ and ´disease´ so as not to upset you. Their main objective was to calm your nerves and lessen your fears by just encouraging you to relax and think positive.
They also presented you with a list of reasons, compiled mostly by veterinarians, of why they assumed this disease might not even be lethal. They showed you x-rays of the other patients at this institution who were clearly in a much worse condition than you, but were plodding along, nonetheless. Some enthusiastically shared stories about their aches and pains and previous operations. They even showed you their scars.
You loved this hospital! It made you feel soooo good. You loved the atmosphere! You loved the nonjudgmental attitude of the nurses and doctors. You loved the fact that no one told you that you had to stop smoking or lose weight or eat right. Nobody insisted you take medication. The only stipulation was that you had to come back often and listen to a few boring lectures about some historic Chief of Staff. These lectures would be highly beneficial because they would entitle you to become a part of the medical team which in turn would permit you to wear a stethoscope and allow you to start taking everyone´s else´s blood pressure. This little bit of knowledge and instruction would also allow you to practice medicine on the other patients and write your views and findings on their medical charts. Then after you spent some time around the operating room they insisted you perform a biopsy or two since you were now considered such an expert.
You now wondered why you had been so concerned about your original predicament. There was really nothing to worry about because this entire experience convinced you that you weren´t really sick in the first place.
Unfortunately for you, everyone was ignoring the first rule of medicine, which is, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death". (Proverbs 14:12 KJV) Therefore, you needlessly perished from a disease whose cure was available since the beginning of time.
Why would you go to such a hospital? Why would you risk your life at a place like this? Or send your loved ones there? Isn´t it obvious they are going to let you die? Ridiculous analogy ? Not if you interject the word ´church´ and use it as a parallel. The application is the same. There are spiritual institutions cropping up everywhere that purport to promise you eternal life but keep you in spiritual darkness.
"What spiritual darkness?" you might ask. The answer is very simple. Sin has caused you to be born with a very serious terminal spiritual condition. Therefore your soul is in desperate need of redemption. There is ONLY one remedy. There is ONLY one cure. It is found at the place that preaches Jesus. He´s the one and only ´Great Physician´ performing deep, penetrating surgery at the ´Hospital for Sinners´. It is His blood alone that can wash away your sins. Only He can make you well. He´ll NOT LET you burn in hell.