Guilt and Responsibility For Sin
In this day no one is left without a cause to champion. Everyone has a matter in need of attention and justice. The world offers plenty of exploitation, deprivation, unhappiness and brutality to go around. But who is responsible for the groanings of the planet? Is it politicians, corporate executives, scientists? Is it a nation, a race, a society?
Here is an interesting adaptation of a parable from the gospel of Matthew:
And then the servants counseled together saying, “It would be much better to pull out those weeds right now rather than wait, but we must obey the master even when he is wrong. In the mean time, let us look about for the enemy who would do this evil thing to our master, who is kind to everyone and doesn’t deserve this treatment.” So they quietly inquired and made search in all the region round about, but they could find no one. But one of the servants came privily to the chief steward at night saying, “Sir, forgive me, but I can no longer bear to conceal my secret. I know the enemy who sowed the tares. I saw him do it.” At this the chief steward was astonished and full of anger. But before punishing him, he demanded of the servant why he had not come forward sooner.
“I dared not,” cried the servant. “I scarcely dared to come and tell you this even now. I was awake the night the weeds were sown. I saw the man who did it; he walked past me, seemingly awake and yet asleep, and he did not appear to recognize me. But I recognized him.” “And who was he, indeed?” asked the chief steward in great excitement. “Tell me, so that he can be punished.” The servant hung his head. Finally, in a low voice he replied. “It was the master himself.” And the two agreed to say nothing of this to any man. Original author of adaptation unknown. Quoted in Whatever Became of Sin, Hawthorn, pp. 11,12.
It is the Church, those who profess the name of Christ, who must hold forth light or the world will surely perish on the rocks of sin. They will be crushed by the tide of their own folly and neglect if the light of the gospel does not penetrate their clouded minds. The sinner must realize and confess that it is he himself who is fully to blame. Dr. Menninger declares, “If the concept of personal responsibility and answerability for ourselves and for others were to return to common acceptance, hope would return to the world with it!” Ibid. , p. 188.
There are those who declare their belief in God and faith in His doctrines and standards, yet live as though He doesn’t exist! Those living under great light who refuse to conform their lives to the truth are only sowing their own destruction. If you do not mean to live a holy life, then God’s house is the last place you should be!
America’s greatest revivalist, Charles G. Finney, once uttered these piercing words:
Men really intend to secure both this world and salvation. They never suppose it wise to lose their own soul. Nor do they think to gain anything by running the risk of losing it. Indeed, they do not mean to run any great risks—only a little, the least they can conveniently make it, and yet gain a large measure of earthly good. But in attempting to get the world, they lose their own souls. God told them they would, but they did not believe him. Rushing on the fearful venture and assuming to be wiser than God, they grasped the world to get it first, thinking to get heaven afterwards; thus they tempted the spirit … lost their day of salvation and … lost the world besides. Charles G. Finney, The Guilt of Sin, Kregel, p. 77.
I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts. Isaiah 65:2
They did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve Him or consider Him worth knowing … Romans 1:28 (AMP)