Stone cold dead

District of Columbia (DC) FIRE and Emergency Services (EMS) personnel along with US Military and Civilian volunteers work the first medical triage area set up outside following the 9/11 terrorists attack at the Pentagon Building in Washington, DC. This photo is in the public domain. Click image to enlarge.

The accident scene was a mess. Bodies lay strewn across the cold tarred highway. The smell of rubber, smoke and fear filled Shaun’s nostrils. Most men would have bulked. Shaun however was a paramedic and his instinct and training kicked right in.

Quickly assessing the situation he called it in, “We’ve got two patients with minor injuries, a few cuts and bruises and a laceration to an upper thigh. They can be treated here no problem. Then there’s a patient, a minor, dazed… maybe even concussed… definitely shocked… this one needs to be taken in. Send an ambulance from the General Hospital. Lastly there’s a patient with heavy bleeding from a deep wound in the abdominal area. I need a chopper and you need to make it quick. Oh, and send the big black van as well. There’re 2 stiffs for the morgue.”

That’s triage. It is a process of prioritizing patients based on the severity of their condition. This rations patient treatment efficiently when resources are insufficient for all to be treated immediately.

In it’s simplest form victims are prioritized into 4 categories namely,

  • Those with minor injuries, who need help less urgently
  • The injured whose transport can be delayed
  • The injured who can be helped by immediate transportation
  • The deceased

The last one, deceased, means dead which translates into “Don’t bother”, “It’s the end of the road”, “Call a morgue” “The fight is over.”

Listen to what Paul says of the state of believers before coming to salvation,

1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Want to hear the verse in context? Ephesians 2
What is this about?

Some spiritual triage: unbelievers are stone cold dead. Not “a bit sick”, not “banged up but they’ll be fine”, but “dead” as in “pushing up daisies”. Nothing they do in and of themselves will ever make them acceptable before God. It’s the ravages of sin, trespasses, transgression you see. By nature and by choice they’re corrupted. Totally Depraved.

Not good news if you’re still a child of wrath.

So, what about the good news? Need a bit more information, “Total Depravity – is it Biblical?”. This was loosely adopted from a sermon illustration Chris Woolley gave while preaching through Romans 1 – 3.


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