Back when I was a kid there was a murder case in my hometown. A local heart surgeon killed his wife’s lover. My memory may be fogged after all these years, but as I remember it, the doctor simply drove to the man’s house, knocked on the door, was invited in and within a few minutes, pulled out a gun and shot the fellow. He laid the gun down on the table and called the police, told them what he had done and waited for them to arrive.
During the trial (the doctor claimed he was temporarily insane) the defense brought up one character witness after another. Many patients who had gone under this man’s knife took the stand; all of them describing how they would not be alive if it had not been for the good doctor; it seemed like an endless parade of people that this man had saved walking through the courtroom.
When it was all said and done, the jury’s decision was, “Guilty.” The fact was simply this, regardless of how many lives this surgeon saved, he was guilty of one cold blooded murder.
Let’s bring this story over to the spiritual side. Many people believe that once judgment day arrives as long as the good outweighs the bad, all will be okay. It is as if God will put all our good works on one side of a scale and all our sins on the other. If the scale tips in favor of the good God will give us a good tongue lashing for the bad stuff, wipe our tears away, and then welcome us with open arms into the glories of heaven. If you believe this, please reconsider our doctor. He saved hundreds, possibly thousands of lives through the years; he was guilty of taking one and the verdict is still, “Guilty.”
The problem with the ‘good outweighing the bad” belief is that it does nothing to eliminate the guilt. The “Hey, I was good all the rest of the time!” defense did not work with our doctor’s jury and it won’t work with God either.
The Bible tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22). The Bible also tells us that it is Jesus Christ, who shed His blood as the one sacrifice God will accept for our sins (Hebrews 10:12; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 3:18; Isaiah 53:4-10). The only way to eliminate the guilt is through the blood of God’s Son.
The word propitiation is a word we don’t use much anymore. It means to appease, to make good. Example: A couple has an argument in the morning and the man leaves for work. The man wanting to make amends buys flowers on the way home. The intentions of the flowers are to calm the situation, make his wife happy and to bring the relationship back to happiness. The flowers are the propitiation the man is offering to his wife.
The blood of Christ is the only thing that will appease God, the only thing that will wash the guilt away.
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” – Romans 3:24-25.
“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” – 1 John 2:2.
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10.
Speaking of the love of God, consider this. Every good parent would never allow anyone to intentionally hurt their children; yet, after the most vivid description of Christ’s death given in the Old Testament we are told, “it please the LORD to bruise him” (Isaiah 53:10).
After witnessing His Son’s death on the cross, the Father was pleased. The appeasement had been made, the blood was shed that would take the sins and the guilt away. All God asks is that we have faith in what His Son did on the cross that day; that we fully believe that without His blood we are still guilty, but with it we are freed from the guilt and the eternal penalty of sin (John 3:16-18).
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Ind., and is considered by many as an expert on Biblical prophecy. He and his wife, Julie, have four grown children and 11 grandchildren. All Scripture references are from the KJV. Blog: www.preacherjohnson.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.