The man is on death row; it’s the morning of his execution. He cannot believe that the US Supreme Court never got back to him. He knew if he could just defend himself in front of the highest court in the land, he could prove his innocence.
He is given his last meal, refuses the last rites from the prison chaplain, and then is marched to the executioner’s chambers. He shakes his head in disbelief as he is strapped to the table to receive the lethal injection. Suddenly the phone inside the chamber rings and all look to the warden. The prisoner thinks his case is going to be finally heard.
The warden takes the call and looks to the prisoner and smiles. As the warden hangs up, the prisoner asks, “Is my case going to be heard before the Supreme Court?”
The warden shakes his head no and smiles. “It’s better than that, the Governor just called and has pardoned your sentence. You’re not only not going to be executed, you’re free to go.”
The prisoner is visibly upset and violently shakes his head no. “I am innocent and need no pardon, Warden. I must be declared innocent! If not that, then I refuse the pardon!”
So who was this foolish man? No one; I made the story up. But it is every man or woman who refuse to accept the sacrificial act of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Read well His words to Nicodemus:
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18)
Because he has not believed…have you? If not do you know why you have not? It’s simple really. It’s pride, which caused the original sin and is at the root of every sin. What causes pride? It is the willful disobedience to God’s Word in that one believes he or she knows better than God. The Jamieson, Fausset, Brown commentary explains it so:
“Rejecting the one way of deliverance from that condemnation which God gave His Son to remove, they thus willfully remain condemned.”
Is that any different than the prisoner refusing the governor’s pardon because he was not proved innocent? What is more important, to live or to have your way? By the way, as is the case with the spiritually condemned, this prisoner was guilty, but refused to admit his guilt.
Is that you; do you refuse to admit your guilt? Do you believe your works can make you righteous before a Holy God? Look at God’s judgment upon your works:
“But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)
Bro Dave, this all seems a little far-fetched or at least hard to believe. It is definitely unexplainable.
Not really, there’s a perfectly good explanation for this type of behavior, of those who willfully remain condemned.
We’ll look at that tomorrow…
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Copyright © 2010 David Jeffers