Suppose you are checking your bank account online and by some malfunction of the computer program you gain access not to your account, but to the account of a multi-billionaire. Because of a glitch in the system you can transfer five million dollars into your own account, and because it is an insignificant amount to a billionaire it would never be missed, and you can get away with it. He has enough money and won’t miss a million here or there. Would you do it?
If you did do it, it would soon become apparent that your financial situation had changed. You would probably quit your job, get a new house, and buy a new car. Your new leisurely lifestyle would prompt someone to ask, where did you get all that money? Would you then lie about how you acquired this small fortune?
About a year after all of this happens, you get a phone call from someone who will not identify himself saying he knows how you got your money. This person goes on to say he will not report this to the authorities if you will pay him a million dollars. As you think about paying, you wonder if this will guarantee his silence. He is an extortionist, can he be trusted? You decide you can’t trust him, so you determine to kill him.
Many people who consider themselves “good” admitted that if they could get away with it they would steal, lie, and commit murder. This would involve breaking the sixth, eighth, ninth, and tenth Commandments of the Decalogue. The tenth Commandment is not to covet which means being willing to kill, steal and lie to get what belongs to someone else.
I watched the thirty minute video Genius on youtube.com by street evangelist Ray Comfort. The video talks about the life of John Lennon and the Beatles. But intermingled in this narrative are street interviews with people where Ray asks questions similar to the ones asked in the scenario above. All claimed to be “Christian” or a “good” person, but Ray asks them if they are willing to steal what belongs to another, or to kill for money, how can that be considered “good?”
The video did a great job of revealing that when it comes to the real person, people who claim to be “good” are willing to do some very “bad” things. Ray is simply trying to point out that people are really not as good as they think they are. He is hoping to convey the biblical truth that while the term sinner is something we think applies to someone else, in reality it applies to all of us.
This is the point the apostle Paul is making in his letter to the Romans when he writes “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23. We all have done things or are willing to do things that cause us to fall short of how God wants us to live, that is, a life of obedience that would bring glory to Him.
This means we are guilty before God. It doesn’t mean we feel guilty. You may get a ticket for speeding. Even though you may not “feel” guilty or feel bad about speeding, you are still guilty in the eyes of the court and will pay the appropriate fine. That is the way sin is. We may not feel guilty because we have grown comfortable in the thought everyone is doing it. But this does not exonerate our judicial guilty before God, our feelings have nothing to do with our guilt.
Failing to recognize our sin and judicial guilt can have damnable consequences. If our guilt continues unaddressed we are in jeopardy of facing that heavenly tribunal unprepared for the consequences of our actions. But if we confess our sins, repent, and turn to faith in Christ, we can stand before that judgment seat, and though guilty, we will have an advocate in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ who will plead our case.
Who is the real you? Do you think you are a good person? Do you think you are good enough to go into eternity without Christ? I have to be honest. We have all sinned and need a Savior. The truth is the real you won’t make it into heaven, only the redeemed you will.