Are we all sinners because of the sin of Adam? Does the stain of sin pass from one generation to another? Does every man, woman, and child on this earth stand condemned by God unless they hear and believe in Jesus Christ? To most people this sounds utterly unreasonable and unjust; and indeed it is. To anyone who believes that God loves His creation, and especially loves humanity, it is inconceivable that He should condemn people through no fault of their own. The very idea than an innocent child deserves eternal punishment is monstrous.

Yet it is utterly reasonable that we are made good through the goodness of Christ. Although the sin of one person cannot condemn humanity, the radiant love of one man can transform humanity—and is doing so. God waits for our hearts to open to His grace; He waits for an opportunity to reveal to each of us His truth. Then when we are ready, He ensures that we hear about Christ and about his Gospel; and we find ourselves faced with a choice, which will affect the entire course of life and death—whether to embrace the words of Jesus Christ or to reject them.

If we deliberately reject the Gospel, even when we fully understand it, then we condemn ourselves; if we embrace it, we shall ourselves be embraced by God in heaven.

St. John Chrysostom

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