Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Frank Look At The Case Of A Sinner!

Friend, how will you fare on the day of Judgement? Will the Creator survey your life to find you righteous before the law? Have you kept the commands of God? Or will your back be against the wall with His ten loaded cannons aimed right at you?

Cannon 1: You shall have no other gods before me
Cannon 2: You shall not make for yourself any idol or any kind of image of anything in the heavens, on the earth or in the sea
Cannon 3: You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his Name
Cannon 4: Remember the Sabbath day and keep it Holy
Cannon 5: Honour your father and mother
Cannon 6: You must not murder
Cannon 7: You must not commit adultery
Cannon 8: You must not steal
Cannon 9: You must not lie
Cannon 10: You must not covert

Does that make you tremble? Then humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up!

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but with sober judgement consider the righteousness and holiness of God, and compare your filthy rags against Him! Judge yourselves against His law - see that you have sinned and repent! Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning, and your joy to gloom. For he who is proud will not escape the wrath of God! For God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Do you tremble? Do you feel sorrow? Do you feel the weight of your sin bearing down upon you? Are you sorry? Are you only sorry because you will be caught, judged and punished? Or, more aptly, are you sorry that you have offended the True and Living God?

Can you say without blame-shifting or self justification, "I have sinned against the Creator of Heaven and Earth and I deserve everything that He has decreed should come about because of my sin". If you will not submit to his judgement and accept your position as a criminal rightly condemned, then you can have no part in his pardon!!

As for myself I have transgressed every law of God and deserve eternal punishment for my wickedness. He has written His law on my heart, and I have knowingly and willingly broke it countless times, my conscience has convicted me of my guilt under the law, and I deserve to be cut off from his presence for all eternity. Knowing this, how could I plead not guilty - for I have sinned against my Maker! I have no righteousness! I am a filthy rag! My only hope and trust is in His pardon!

Should He pardon me because He is good? Never! Because He is good He must condemn me to die! Because He is just, He must see that that I receive the punishment due me for my transgressions. Would a judge in the civil court let off a murderer because he is a good person? No! Because the judge is a good person he will see the murderer receives his sentence.

Should He pardon me because I deserve it? Never! If I wasn't guilty I would not be standing before the judge. Have you ever heard of an innocent man sent to prison for keeping the law?

Would I be freed if I were to argue a case comparing myself against another, who in my own eyes, appeared to be of much filthier disposition, and guilty of much greater iniquity? Never! Have you ever seen a judge let a thief walk free from the punishment of the law because he showed himself to be better in his own eyes than a murderer?

Should He pardon me because I do not believe in Hell? Never! It would be ludicrous to anyone to think a judge of our courts would let a condemned man go unpunished for his crime simply because he didn't believe in prison. Should that be his plea, the judge would surely reply, "You may not believe in prison now, but you shortly will!"

What if I had committed myself to doing good to outweigh the bad, will that hold some sway in the mind of the King? Never! Could I stand in the mere supreme court of my country, before a judge of flesh and blood, and expect to be let free from the consequences of hideous and cruel acts against humanity - because in my fear of punishment I did charitable acts to recompense? No! I must face the punishment for my crime!

How about if I plead with many tears and confess my guilt before the bench on the day of judgement, would the judge be moved with compassion to let me walk free then? Never! It is too late to plead for a pardon in the courtroom! Justice must take its course, or the judge would be held in contempt!

All frail arguments formulated in the mind of man will not stand in the courtroom of the one who is able to both save and destroy! How foolish our arguments will appear against the very source of all wisdom and righteousness.

What is a sinner to do? It seems that there is no hope for all mankind for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God! Will all perish in the lake of fire? How then can any be saved?

Well, with man, it is impossible! But with God all things are possible!

So then, can God simply forgive me and overlook my transgressions and let me walk free? No! God cannot turn a blind eye to your sins! He cannot, will not, cause a miscarriage of justice! A good and righteous God must do right, as the scriptures say, "Will not the Lord of all the earth do right?" If God were to allow your sins to go unpunished on the day of Judgement, he would be more corrupt, more wicked, more vile than the sinner standing before Him!

He must do right! He will do right! He will see that justice is done! God will see to it that every sin is punished wherever it is found. All will be exposed, nothing will remain hidden! God will by no means ignore the rebellion of the wicked. None shall escape! So how then can any be saved?

Well, with man, it is impossible! But with God all things are possible!

In order that God might be both just and the justifier of the wicked, in order to both punish transgression of the law, yet show compassion and mercy on the sinner and free him from the sentence of the law, God had to take the penalty of the law upon himself. He had to stand in our place. He had to take our sentence. He had to be punished for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities.

In order to accomplish this, God stepped down to earth and clothed himself in flesh, in the person of Jesus Christ. Born of a virgin woman, conceived by the Holy Spirit (not in sin as all humanity), Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life fulfilling all the requirements of the law. When the appointed time came, in humble submission and willing obedience, Jesus laid down his life and was crucified by the hands of wicked men. The Just one given for the unjust! In doing so, Jesus redeemed for himself a people. He paid in His life's blood the penalty of the law, and purchased for himself a body of filthy sinners – washing them free from the guilt of their sin and the condemnation of their transgressions.

To all who believe in Him, to all who have faith in his atoning work on the cross, to all who lay hold of Him by faith, to all who overcome – he has granted eternal life! He has freed them from the curse of the law, He has freed them from the penalty of sin, He has freed them from death!

How do we know this? Because he was raised to life three days after his crucifiction and is now seated at the right hand of the Father - showing himself to be the King of kings and the Lord of lords!