have gone astray,
Each of us has turned
to his own way;
And the Lord has laid
on Him the iniquity
Of us all. — Isaiah 53:6.
Do your sins hound you? Are they often gnawing at your conscience? After enjoying a clean, guiltless outlook for a few moments after awakening, does the responsibility for your wrongdoings then settle over you like smog?
If so, you need cleansing; you need conversion. The song states, “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!”
Walter L. Carson reminds us: “Sin is twisting and distorting out of its proper shape a human personality which God designed to be a thing of beauty and a joy forever.”
You see, God made man to be in harmony with Him, but unconfessed sins break that harmony and bring disruption. Then one is not synchronized with God; rather, he is offbeat and out of step.
In fact, that is why one has the conflict inside which neither time, nor accomplishments, nor committing deeper sins can long bury. Transgressions have a way of cropping up, invisible to the public eye, even while one is trying to hide them!
Along this line, someone wrote: “There smiles no Paradise on Earth so fair, but guilt will raise avenging phantoms there.”
Benjamin Franklin wrote in “Poor Richard’s Almanac”: “Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden, but it is forbidden because it is hurtful. Nor is a duty beneficial because it is commanded, but it is commanded because it is beneficial.”
The burden for breaking God’s laws are just as heavy and overpowering, whether we are young or old. Nor are there several categories in which to put people. We are either right or wrong, saint or sinner, regardless of age.
One of the most famous English poets was George Gordon, known as Lord Byron. Though unusually gifted in verse, he led a debauched life and died an old man at age 36. Nonetheless, hear his soul praying:
“Father of Light! great God of Heaven!
Hear’st Thou the accents of despair?
Can guilt like man’s be e’er forgiven?
Can vice atone for crimes by prayer?”
What can man do about the dilemma of being apart from God?
We cannot cleanse ourselves, that is for sure. One may have tried many times by turning over a new leaf or doing something else to improve oneself, but it has not worked; we’re still in our sins.
In “World Aflame,” Billy Graham tells us how to get rid of sin: “Man got into difficulty when he lifted his will against God’s.
“He gets out of trouble when he bows to the divine superiority, when he repents and says humbly: ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ Man’s extremity then becomes God’s opportunity.”
The Bible says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 2:9).
We are still in the age of grace, and God still offers forgiveness and a new life. Nonetheless, some day the door will close; then it will be too late. The Bible constantly challenges and warns, “Now is the accepted time” (2 Corinthians 6:2).