I love the song entitled “Grace Greater Than Our Sin.” It was written by Julia Johnston in 1910. No sin is too large that God cannot lift it. No amount of sin is too great that Jesus cannot redeem it. Then why did Hosea write, “I wanted to heal Israel, but its sins were far too great?” (Hosea 7:1) A couple of verses later we get more light on their condition. “They are all adulterers, always aflame with lust. They are like an oven that is kept hot even while the baker is still kneading the dough.” (7:4) When it comes to the forgiveness of sins, the problem is never on God’s side of the equation. He stands ready and can forgive. It is man who must stop the sin train so he can get off. Sin is like a disease which progresses beyond the point of the possibility of repentance. It is dangerous to say that you will quit one day. Putting off God’s treatment allows one to become so addicted to sin that it becomes impossible to repent.
In Hebrews 6 the writer addresses those who should be eating meat but are still drinking milk. If a child stays on a poor diet for too long, they will never learn to eat healthy meals. Patterns are set. It becomes increasingly more difficult for people to make necessary changes. Someone said that a rut is merely a grave with both ends knocked out. The Hebrew writer says it may become “impossible to restore to repentance” those who once knew better but have gotten stuck in a rut of sin. They may know just enough about the “grace greater than all our sin” to believe that they do not need to repent of theirs to be spared. Paul speaks of those who have “shut their minds and hardened their hearts against Him (God)” (Ephesians 4:18) Paul goes on to say, “They don’t care any more about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways.” (Ephesians 4:19) Even regarding people practicing idolatry, as were the Israelites, Paul told the Athenians “God overlooked people’s former ignorance about these things but now He commands everyone everywhere to turn away from idols and turn to Him.” (Acts 17:30)
Like yeast, sin permeates a person’s life. It seizes the intellect and the emotions. It contaminates and metasomatizes. Unchecked sin kills. This is why we need sensitive hearts, easily touched by guilt and responsibility. Sin comes in two forms, omission, and commission. We can just as easily become diseased by omitting prophylactic practices as we can by committing disease-causing practices. Righteousness protects one from sin’s infection. If you brush and floss regularly you may keep your teeth longer. Can you get new teeth? Sure, but if you have lived with no teeth for 30 years you probably won’t. One of two things happen the longer we live in sin. We might begin to believe that sin is normal and not be alarmed. Or we might believe that we cannot change. Either conclusion will keep you trapped.
During the days of Noah, God concluded that the sins of the world were so great that the only solution was to irradicate the infected, to save those who found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and to start over. Only God knows when someone is a lost cause, and God does not give up easily. He does chest compressions for a long time before he calls the time of death. At some point He will tell everyone to stand back, check the pulse, listen to the machine, and ask for any more suggestions. “Time of death….” Paul says that the widow who lives for pleasure is “dead while she lives.” (1 Timothy 5:6) Too many people are alive on the outside but dead on the inside.
If there are any signs of spiritual life left in you, do not delay. Repent and get yourself into God’s ER for some life saving procedures.