Sometimes I come across folks who like to kick against the idea that they are a sinner or that they have done something wrong in the eyes of God. By speaking about their own good deeds (giving to charity, volunteering at a homeless shelter, etc.) and contrasting themselves to the “really” bad people like murderers, rapists, Hitler or Ted Bundy, they profess their own innocence and claim that heaven is something they deserve. Essentially, they argue that they are better than most.
However, Scripture says otherwise (Romans 3:10-18). I believe, if we are the least bit honest with ourselves, after a little reflection, we will agree. I truly believe that, with the exception of the grade-A sociopath, all people know they’re sinners whose records are not only less than stellar, but are, indeed, condemnable.
To aide in this self-reflection, Paul Washer offers an illustration I believe none can escape:
Imagine if we possessed a device that was able to transform every thought that has ever entered our minds into a visual image and then place all those images on a film for everyone to see, Imagine that all of our family, friends, and peers were going to see this film. Wouldn’t we do everything in our power to keep them from seeing the film? If they did see the film, wouldn’t we find it difficult, if not impossible, to look them in the eyes ever again? If, however, against all reason, we maintained a bold face and claimed that we would be ashamed of nothing, would it not be evidence that we are either lying, delusional, or already seared in our conscience? The truth is that the best of us have thought things so vile that we would not share them with our closest friends! All this demonstrates that there is something in us that is simply not right. We have a propensity for evil and are inclined toward the very things that our consciences oppose and censure. (Taken from The Gospel’s Power and Message, p. 125)
In light of this we must remember three great things. First, God knows everything we have done, thought, said, or desired. Nothing is hidden from His eyes. God knows our film even better than we.
Second, we will have to give account for our life before Him and will be judged accordingly. Hebrews 4:13 says it well, “No creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” No sins are hidden from God and we will have to give an answer for every scene in our film. No sin will be overlooked or lessened before God. There is no excuse or rationalization we can offer that will cleanse our record.
Third, the gospel of Jesus offers forgiveness for every sin in thought, word, deed, and desire. In Jesus Christ, God offers to forgive all our sins and rewrite our film with the perfect righteous life of His Son. How? “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). That means Jesus has taken the punishment for our sins and has given us the reward for His perfect obedience. He gets our sin and damnation so we may receive His perfect obedience and blessing. God has sent His Son Jesus Christ to live perfectly in our place and die for our sins that we may have the film of our sinful life destroyed and rewritten with His perfection.