We've Got Things Backwards!
by Ken Gardner

Maybe not us, but certainly some people have things backwards. Some people don't seem to understand what Jesus said in Matthew 10:28: "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Some people today seem to be more afraid of the police than they are of God, more frightened by jail than by hell. If you ask them if they have violated God's law, they don't hesitate to admit they have sinned. They volunteer over and over, "I have sinned." But if you ask them if they've violated the laws of the land, they're quick to say, "NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT! Our President (when he was forced to) admitted he "sinned," but do you think he's going to admit he committed perjury? Not a chance! A "clergyman" in Florida is on trial for embezzling money for himself and his mistress, if you can believe it! He bought a $700,000 waterfront house for the two of them, plus two Mercedes and a Rolls-Royce, in addition to expensive jewelry, including a 20-carat diamond! Did he sin? Sure he sinned. He admits it. According to the newspaper, he "has admitted serious errors in judgment and apologized for unspecified transgressions." Note, unspecified transgressions--now isn't that some confession! What he said was, "I have sinned. And I have displayed human weaknesses and frailties." So? Can anyone of us say we haven't "displayed human weakness and frailties"? He's admitting that he's just like the rest of us--he has "human weaknesses and frailties"! Notice that he "sinned," but--did he commit any crime? Not on your life! "He has denied being unfaithful or misusing church funds," the newspaper says.

So people confess their sins but not their crimes. Why? Whom are they afraid of? I know we should do what's right because it's right, but the fact of the matter is, we should also be afraid of going to hell! It is wrong to think that God is not going to punish us for our sins! That's what wicked people think! Wicked people "belch out with their mouth . . . for who, say they, doth hear?" (Psalm 59:7). "They say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it" (Psalm 94:7). According to Isaiah, evil people think that nothing is going to happen to them. They foolishly think they have made a covenant with death, and reached an agreement with hell. Punishment "shall not come unto us." They're certain they can hide behind lies and falsehoods (Isaiah 28:15). Eliphaz reminded Job that sinful people argue that God doesn't know what is doing on, He can't see through the clouds (Job 22:13). "In his heart" a wicked man says, "I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity" (Psalm 10:6). "In his heart" he says, "God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it" (Psalm 10:11). He treats God with contempt (he "contemns" God), and, "in his heart," he says that God "will not require it" (Psalm 10:13).

Sad to say, many do not realize that "every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Romans 14:12). So let us not only kindly remind them of that fact, but also straightforwardly warn them of the consequences of failing to confess and repent of our sins.