You are drowned. Dead at the bottom of the pool.
Stop me if you've heard this one:
You are drowning in a sea of your own sin and Jesus is reaching out His hand to save you if you would only reach back to the hand reaching for you.
That may sound right. But is it?
A common Biblical image used to describe our position prior to having our eyes and ears opened by the Holy Spirit is not someone in danger of dying, but someone who's already dead.
Ezekiel had to preach the Gospel to dead bones.
Lazarus was dead in a tomb.
Paul wrote to the churches of Ephesus and Colossae that we were dead. Walking Dead at best.
Dead people don't reach out. They usually do a lot of lying around. and stinking. and decaying (i.e. like these people). But even those are not "active" verbs. They are things being done to you.
The Bible is clear. We were dead. In, through, and by His iniative we (who repent and believe the Good News) are reborn.
You had as little to do with your rebirth as you did with your first birth. It was something that happened to you. You did not participate in it. You were a recipient of another's will. The first time it was the will of man. Your rebirth is only by the will of God.
9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
I do not presume to know how dead people receive something, but the Bible is clear in this regard: we are dead and only the will of God can resurrect us to new life. Smarter people than me have debated vigorously on the mechanics of how this works and the machinery that makes it happen.
Is God completely in control? Are we free? Are we less free than we think? On what basis is one punished if it was not in their control? Does that make God unjust? Does the jar have any right to complain to the Potter?
God is just and God is love.
Hell is real and people are going there... and they deserve it.
Jesus is real and people will be saved into Him... and they do not deserve it.
And for all of this glory unto the only God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!