Last year, Dunning was car shopping. His car was needing more and more work done as the miles were adding up. He was looking for a truck and asked me to help. So I started looking in the auction yards. There is a website you can go to and search for vehicles at various sites around the country. My aim was to find a truck at auction that was in good condition, minus a dent here and there. Trucks get dented anyway. Might as well find a way to make that work for you. I found a couple of candidates for him to check out. The one that looked the best was in Oklahoma City. With family there, he had help getting it picked up. The pictures showed a truck with few dents, good paint, and an interior that looked pristine. It was marked “runs and drives” so everything looked good. Dunning bought the truck and my sister picked it up for him, drove it to a local mechanic we knew to find out what it might need. We waited a few anxious days and then called the mechanic and I will never forget his first words. “Sorry to say, but you bought a big paper weight.” That didn’t quite register so we asked for more details. After all, the truck did run. He sent multiple pages of things wrong with the truck. It had looked so good! Turns out it was thoroughly corrupt.
One of the hardest teachings in the Bible is summed up in this passage—that no one will ever earn their way to salvation. Paul writes that, in the end, judgment is coming to everyone. It’s a harsh reality and raises all kinds of objections to the thoughtful person. What about the decent people in the world? As we look around it is not hard to see that some people are far worse than others. Is it just to condemn them along with the obvious corrupt? And if so, what does this say about God’s justice? Is it fair? As it turns out, those people who seem so good are like that truck: thoroughly corrupt.