Sermon 838. Sins of Omission (No. 838)
Delivered on Lord's-Day Morning, October 25, 1868, by C. H. SPURGEON, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.
"Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I willbring upon them all the words of this covenant which I commanded them to do; but they did them not." Jeremiah 11:8.
JEREMIAH was commissioned of God to bring a solemn accusation against rebellious Israel and he commences by solemnly mentioningtheir sins of omission. Observe that neglect of the Divine command is the charge brought in the text. In the next verses,the Prophet goes on to mention their sins of commission, but he very properly gives the first place to their shortcomingsin positive service. He reminds them of what they had not done which they ought to have done and how constantly and persistentlythey had refused to render active obedience to the righteous will of the Most High.
Brothers and Sisters, it is well for us to have our sins brought to our remembrance. This morning we may spend a little timemost profitably by looking into the glass of Holy Scripture to discover the spots upon our countenances. Perhaps some of yoursins have never been forgiven because you have never sought to have them pardoned-you may have never been sufficiently consciousof the danger in which they placed you-may you be, by the Holy Spirit, this morning convicted of sin and led to Jesus!
While I shall be trying to speak of your great omissions, perhaps conscience may be at work, and the Holy Spirit may workthrough conscience so that you may be led to repentance, and to faith, and through faith to salvation. "It is a consummationdevoutly to be wished." Others here who have been pardoned-who rejoice everyday in the perfect forgiveness which they havefound at the foot of Christ's Cross-will, nevertheless, be benefited by being reminded of their sins, for thus they will behumbled. Thus they will be led to prize more the great atoning sacrifice. Thus they will be driven again to renew the simplicityof their faith as they look to Him on whom Jehovah made to meet the iniquities of all His people.
God grant that also, for His name's sake, I shall, this morning, take rather the spirit of the text than the words of it.The subject will be sins of omission.
I. First, I would call your attention to THE GREAT COMMONNESS OF THESE. Their commonness in the wide world. Their frequencyin our own circle of society. And to each man, to each woman, I would say to their abundance in your own heart. Here it isobserved at the outset that in a certain sense all offenses against the Law of God come under the head of sins of omission,for in every sin of commission there is an omission-an omission, at least, of that godly fear which would have prevented disobedience.
Our Lord has told us that the whole law is summarized in these two Commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with allyour heart, and your neighbor as yourself." Since, then, every sin must be a breach of this all-comprehensive Law, every sinmust, from a certain aspect, be a sin of omission. Consider, then, how multitudinous have been your omissions and mine! Havewe loved the Lord our God with all our heart? Perhaps you have omitted to love Him at all. You who have loved Him have omittedto love Him with "all your heart." And if at any time you have loved with "all your heart," yet you have omitted to continuein this.
There have been slowing downs and intermissions-and every omission of obedience becomes a distinct act of disobedience tothe Most High. We have not served Him with "all our mind," any more than with all our heart. That is to say we have not yieldedup our understanding to His infinite wisdom and authority. We have even dared to re-judge His judgments and murmur againstHis Providences. We have not surrendered our wills to His will, but have desired things contrary to His purpose and to HisTruth.
Neither has our strength been entirely devoted to His service. We have not done unto You, Creator and Preserver, at all accordingto the benefits which we have received. Take the first four Commandments, which make up the first table, and what sins ofomission have we all committed there! We have omitted to make God the Chief, the First, the Foremost, the only Lord of ourspirit, and we have too often had other gods before Him. We have omitted to treat His name with the reverence which He demands.And if we have not committed profanity or blasphemy, yet that name has not always been hallowed by us as it should have been.
As for His day, it has not always been sacredly guarded as a day of mental as well as bodily rest. We have done servile workin our minds, if not with our hands, by our many cares and fretfulness and so have failed to honor our God with the joyfulworship which He deserves. Think, dear Friends, especially you who know God, and rejoice in Him, how ill you have treatedthe Father of your spirits! He deserved, since He has bought you with the blood of His dear Son, to be served with an all-consumingearnestness. He rightly claims the cream of our thoughts, the best of our meditations, and that our souls should always bediligent in His service. But alas, we have been sluggards and idlers! We have not spoken well of His name. We have not soundedabroad His Glory. We have not been obedient to His will. We are unprofitable servants. We have not done what it was our dutyto have done towards our God.
The other portion of the Law, our Savior tells us, is contained in these words, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."Which of us has done that? We must plead guilty even before we come to details. Take the command as it stands and there isno man of woman born who shall dare to say that he has been perfect in this. Especially let me remind you of those sins ofomission which daily occur in our various relationships. We have oftentimes omitted to act lovingly towards our neighbor.We have failed to do the kind thing towards the sick and the poor in relieving them-the right thing towards the ignorant inseeking their instruction.
I am afraid that many of us have the blood of our neighbors upon our garments because we have left them in ignorance and havenot told them the Gospel. And if they die in their sins they might well, with their dying breath, upbraid us that, havingthe light, we have not carried it to them. You cannot, I think, look out of your window and say, "I am clear concerning allthose who abide around me. I have, to the utmost of my ability, done for them what I shall wish to have done when I come todie." Brothers and Sisters, have you not fallen into sins of omission against your own children? They have grown up now, someof them-did you, for them in matters towards God, do as you could wish now that you are done?
Or your little ones that are around about you-are you sure that you are always doing everything that God would have you doto train them up in His fear? Are there no omissions in the household? For my own part, I dare not think of my relationshipstowards this Church, towards the world, towards other Churches of Jesus Christ, towards my own household without the blushand the tear! Brethren, our sins of omission are not to be numbered! Their number grows, as we examine ourselves, till theyare more in number than the hairs of our head. And if we had to be justified by our own works, we dare not look up, but mustbow our head as guilty culprits and submit to the sentence of God.
Look at sins of omission in another light. How many there are who have omitted yet to perform the first and all essentialGospel commands! Wherever the Gospel goes, it cries, "Repent and be converted." And yet again, "Repent and he baptized inthe name of the Lord Jesus." And yet again, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved." Now, I will not speakof the neglect of Baptism, though the mass of the Church and the world have renounced Baptism and have adopted a ceremonyof their own invention. But I will speak to you of the neglect of repentance, for many of you in this house have been urged,again and again, to repent and consider your iniquities, but you have refused the sacred counsel.
There was, indeed, room enough for repentance, and cause enough for a change of mind-but, though you have heard the argumentsfor penitence, your heart still remains hard towards God and no true sorrow for sin is found within your spirit. How oftenhave these lips declared to you that faith in Jesus Christ is both your duty and your privilege- that it, alone, can saveyou? Yet that faith you have neither sought nor desired! You know in theory what saving faith means. You could explain toothers what it is to believe in Jesus, and yet you remain hearers of the Word and not doers of it, deceiving your own souls.
Throughout this huge city of ours, dense masses of men know the Gospel, but obey it not. They have heard it, or might hearit if they would, but they have not obeyed the Gospel. As Isaiah says, it has been a hardening to them, and nota gracious means of renewal. O unbelievers, the lack of faith is a sin of omission which will sink you to the lowest Hell!This is the most damning sin of all, and above all others fills the gates of Hell-that men believe not on Jesus Christ, butlove darkness rather than light!
Again, what sins of omission cluster round religious duties! A large proportion of our fellow citizens neglect altogetherthe outward worship of God. God forgive them and send a change in the manners of the people by which the Houses of Prayershall be thronged! Alas, it is not with these we need to deal just now if we would find sins of neglect. Are there not withyou, my Hearers, even with you, sins against the Lord our God? What omissions we are guilty of as to prayer? How some liveas if there were no God, or as if atheistic views had bewitched them! From morning to night multitudes forget the Most High,and call not on His name! And if, perhaps, they do remember to bow the knee in outward supplication, how few really adoretheir Maker?
How lax in devotion are the most of us? How ready to be excused from communion with God? How short we make our prayers andhow little of our hearts do we throw into them? And that Bible, as it lies open before us, how, with silent but solemn eloquence,it accuses us! Can you look at it, my Hearers, without shame? Unread is that book from day to day while the ephemeral newspaper-themere record of the flying hour and its trivialities-is read with eagerness to the neglect of the great things of God's Law!
Truly, we cannot even look around upon the place where we assemble for worship without our omissions accusing us-for whenwe have been here we have not set our thoughts upon God-we have not sung His praises with heart-music! When the time of prayerhas come our thoughts have been gadding here and there after vanity. Brothers and Sisters, whatever part of religious worshipcomes under review we must confess that we have left undone the things which we ought to have done! And so take the wholestretch of human life, from the cradle to gray old age. We failed to honor our parents in our youth. We have been slow inhonoring God throughout our manhood. And at the close of life the same omission in different forms may be charged upon us.
God deserves of us that we should serve Him. That we should, to the utmost of our abilities, contribute to the revenue ofHis Glory. But our talents have been wrapped in a napkin. Our service has been given to self-we have lived to please ourselves,or to win our fellow creatures' applause-while our blessed God has had only the dregs of our thoughts, the remnants of ourtime, the refuse of our actions. The roll of our omissions is very long, and if it were read by a tender conscience it wouldseem black with multiplied lamentations. Who among us, apart from the Atonement, can endure the thought that God records allour failures of duty as well as our actual transgressions? Who, I say, could dare to look up if it were not for those streamingwounds of that blessed Son of God who has blotted out our iniquities and washed away our scarlet stains?
Our omissions frown upon us and thunder at us! They lie upon the horizon of memory like masses of storm clouds accumulatingfor a horrible tempest! None of us dares turn our eyes in that direction until first we have seen the Lord's appointed Propitiationand found our rest in Him.
II. Brethren, I call you to a second thought-what is THE CAUSE OF THIS EXCESSIVE MULTIPLICITY OFSINS OF OMISSION?
Of course, my Brethren, the great cause lies in our evil hearts. That we do not bring forth fruit unto God is because ourdepraved nature is barren towards Him. Man is, by nature, dead in sin-and how can the dead in sin perform actions which expressspiritual life? Can we expect to gather grapes or figs from withered trees? "You must be born-again," and until this inwardchange-this thorough regeneration of our nature has been accomplished-we remain barren and unprofitable and unaccepted ofGod. Lack of the new nature is the great root of the matter in the ungodly. And the absence of a new heart and a right spiritmean men will never obey the Lord's commands till the Holy Spirit takes away the heart of stone and gives them a heart offlesh. May the Lord do that for you, O you unsaved ones, and His shall be the praise!
I suspect that the unnoticed superabundance of sins of omission may result, also, from the fact that the conscience of manis not well alive to sins of omission. If any of you had committed theft, he would most likely feel much ashamed. If anotherhad fallen into an act of unchastity, it would probably stick in his conscience for awhile, unless, indeed, habit had renderedhim callous to it. But while conscience will chastise most men for direct acts of wrong, it is not in every casesufficiently alive to rebuke us for so much as one in 10 of our omissions. And, indeed, even our memory willfully refusesto file the record of duties left undone.
Yet, Beloved, there is as much sin in not loving God as in lusting after evil! There is as much rebellion in not obeying Godas in breaking His commands. Measure for measure-put into the scales together-it may even happen that a sin of omission mayturn out to be more sinful than one of commission! A sin of omission argues a state of mind sinful and corrupt, while a sinof commission may only be occasioned by the violence of a temptation, while, after all, the soul is at heart, right with God.Those sins of ours which we have never confessed or noticed, which have slipped away with the hours, and have gone as a dreamare recorded in the book of God. And in the day when unforgiven sinners with awakened consciences shall be made to hear thatbook read out before an assembled universe, woe unto them, woe unto them, that they refused to be obedient to the Lord!
No doubt, sins of omission are also multiplied through indolence. Some men have not enough force of character in them to bedownright wicked-they are mere chips in the porridge with nothing of manhood in them. They are so idle that they are not evengood enough to be diligent servants of Satan. There are some who would, if they could, I think, lie in bed and rot of slothfulness,to whom it would be their most supreme bliss to have nothing to do forever, and nothing to think of except maybe a littleeating and drinking by way of variety. Because this indolence abounds, many men sleep on and awake not to righteousness andto the service of God.
For them to repent is troublesome. To believe in Jesus Christ requires the exercise of thought. To be a Christian is too laborious.To watch their conduct and conversation is too much to require of them. If Heaven could be reached in a sound sleep, and sleepingcars could be run all the way to the Celestial City they would be among the best of pilgrims! But they cannot rub their eyeseven to see Jesus, or leave their couch to win Heaven itself! How these simpletons will wake up one day when they find thattheir life of trifling has brought them within the fast closed gates of Hell! God is not to be trifled with! He does not makeimmortal beings that they may sport like butterflies from flower to flower. He does not create souls and give them lives tospend in child's play, fashionable frivolities, and killing of time!
Yet in the face of eternity, life, death, Heaven and Hell, multitudes upon multitudes are ruined simply because they neglectthe great salvation and are absolutely too idle to concern themselves about eternal matters. They doze into damnation! Theysleep into eternal fire! But what a waking! O my fellow Men, run not the risk, run not the risk! Ignorance, too, is a moreexcusable and, perhaps, less fruitful cause of sins of omission, but still a prominent one. Some men neglect to serve Godbecause they do not know His Word, His mind or His Gospel. But with many the ignorance is willful.
In every land the subject is supposed to know the law-and though our magistrates very rightly are often lenient to prisonerswho commit the first offense against a new law, yet such leniency lasts only for a case or two. And if, after the law hasbeen made for years, a prisoner pleaded that he did not know a law, he would be told that he ought to have known it. Especiallyis this the case with us who have the Law here in the Bible, and who have it moreover written upon our consciences, so thatwhen we sin we sin not as the heathen do, but sin against light and knowledge.
If a man sins through ignorance, he is so far excusable as the ignorance is excusable, but no further. And, in this country,an ignorance of Christ, an ignorance of Gospel duties, an ignorance of the Law of God is without excuse, since in almost everystreet Jesus Christ is preached, and the Word of God is within every man's reach! If he is but willing and desirous to knowthe mind of God, he may soon discover it. Yet, I doubt not, ignorance in many, many cases-willing, witting ignorance-doescause many sins of omission.
Sins of omission, again, are very plentiful because men excuse themselves so readily about them by the pretense of a moreconvenient season. "I have not repented," says one, "but then I mean to do so. I have not believed, but I shall do so beforelong. It is true I neglected prayer today, but then I intend, by-and-by, to give myself to supplication." So that men imaginethat God is to be served by them at their own times and seasons! God is to wait until it pleases them to do His bidding! Andwhen they have a more convenient season, then will they hearken to His Word and to His Spirit! Ah, but, Sirs, the excuse ofsome future improvement is pitiful-it holds no water-for we are always bound to serve God at once, and the postponement ofservice is the perpetuation of rebellion.
Many neglectors of God's will excuse themselves by the prevalence of the like conduct. To omit to love and serve the Lordis the custom of the majority. Wherever custom endorses a good thing, then it becomes unfashionable as well assinful to break through the rule-and there are thousands of people who would sooner be wicked than be unfashionable! But whena right thing is not commonly observed in society, men straightaway begin to think that it is not necessary, and so they leaveit undone. As if a prisoner brought before the bench should say, "It is true I am a thief, but then all the people in thecourt where I live are thieves, too! Therefore I ought not to be punished. It is true, Sir, that I could not keep my handsfrom picking and stealing, but then none of my family ever could. They were brought up to it, and you would not have a manforsake the customs of his father and mother-my father and mother were professional thieves- therefore I cannot be blamedfor following their example."
But enlightened conscience warns us that custom is no excuse for sin. To your own Master each one of you will stand or fall!And, Sirs, however graceless may be the parish in which you live, you have not to account for the parish, but for yourselves!And however covetous may be the times in which your lot is cast, you are not accountable for the times, but for yourselves!I charge you, in the name of God, let not custom ever be an excuse to your soul for sin, for custom will be no plea at thebar of God, nor will the multitude of those who are lost be any alleviation to your pain when you, too, are cast away withthem into outer darkness!
Need I multiply reasons for the commonness of sins of omission? They grow on every plot of wasteland in our hearts, and theirseeds are carried everywhere-as the down of the thistle-and as many as the seed of the poppy.
III. I come now, in the third place, to say a few words by way of setting forth THE SINFULNESS OF SINS OF OMISSION. I wishI had the power to speak upon this subject as I would, for I long to see broken hearts among us convinced of their innumerableshortcomings. Broken hearts are God's sacrifices. There are some among us who complain that they cannot believe in Jesus becausethey do not feel their need. I only wish they might be made to feel their need while, this morning, they are reminded of whatthey have left undone.
Now I pray the Holy Spirit to make you feel the guilt of omissions as they are seen in the following light. Consider, fora moment, what would be the consequences if God were to omit, for one minute, to supply you with breath-if the Lord shouldomit, for a second, to supply you with life! Suppose the infinite God should omit His long-suffering mercy for an hour! SupposeHe should refuse for an hour to restrain the axe of judgment-where were you then? Suppose that the great Preserver of allshould make but one day's intermission of goodness in His dealings with the universe? The sun would not shine. The air wouldfail to fill the lungs. Life would forget to be! The world would cease to exist, and the whole universe would subside intothe nothingness from which it sprang! One moment's forgetfulness on God's part would be annihilation to all His creatures!
Suppose that Jesus had left an omission in the plan of salvation? If only one part of our salvation had been left unfinished,then all must be forever accursed! Then must you put your hands upon your loins, this morning, and go up and down throughthis hopeless world in desperate sorrow, saying one to the other, "There is no hope! Salvation is unfinished, and consequentlyunavailable! The Savior omitted one necessary item and none of us can, therefore, be saved!" If you will digest these twothoughts, you may, perhaps, taste the blessedness which lies in neglect of necessary things. Omissions cannot be trivial,if we only reflect what an influence they would have upon an ordinary commonwealth if they were perpetrated there as theyare in God's commonwealth.
Think a minute-if one person has a right to omit his duty, another has, and all have-then the watchman would omit to guardthe house; the policeman would omit to arrest the thief; the judge would omit to sentence the offender; the sheriff wouldomit to punish the culprit; the government would omit to carry out its laws. Then every occupation would cease and the worlddie of stagnation. The merchant would omit to attend to his calling. The farmer would omit to plow his land! Where would thecommonwealth be? The kingdom would be out of joint. The machine would break down, for no cog of the wheels would act uponits fellow. How would societies of men exist at all?
And surely, if this is not to be tolerated in a society of men, much less in that great commonwealth of which God is the King-inwhich angels and glorified spirits are the peers, and all creatures citizens! How can the Lord tolerate that here there shouldbe an omission, and there an omission, in defiance of His authority? As the Judge of all the earth, He must bring down Hisstrong right hand upon these omissions and crush out forever the spirit that would thus revolt against His will. Think fora minute of how you would judge omissions towards yourselves. You have said to yourself, "So long as I do not drink or swear,or curse, or lie, or steal, it is a small matter that I neglect to be devout towardsGod."
Now listen. There is your servant-he has never stolen your goods, he has never set your house on fire, he has never held apistol to your ear-and yet you have discharged him. Why? "Why," you say, "because the fellow neglects everything about thehouse! I do not find that any command which I give him is carried out. He must be master or I must-and if he will not do whatI tell him, of what service is he? Let him go his way." That is how you judge your servant, is it? And is God to let you neglectHis service and yet to suffer you to go unpunished? Take a soldier in the army. To commit an act of mutiny it is not necessaryfor the soldier to fix his bayonet and kill his colonel. When he is ordered out on guard, he can just stop at home. Or whenthe battle rages, he may, if he chooses, just ground his arms, and say, "No, I am not going out to fight." Who could toleratesuch mutiny-how could it be allowed?
The omission is as vicious as the commission. Your child, the other day, smarted beneath the rod, and why? He had not liedor pilfered. There was no direct vicious act-but you had told him to go on an errand and he had refused to go. And when youtold him again and again, (and remember, God has commanded you a great many more times than you ever told your child), therehe stood in stolid obstinacy and would not move. And, then, very rightly he was made to feel that such things could not bepermitted in your household.
Now, if in our house we cannot tolerate this from a child, much more shall the great Father not endure these obstinate omissionsfrom us! Ah, "But," you say, "I have not omitted towards God to go to Church or to meeting regularly. I have not omitted theform of singing and prayer, and so on. All I have omitted is the spiritual matter, I have not loved Him." And suppose, dearFriends, suppose you have a wife, and the only thing that she has omitted is that she has omitted to love you-what do youthink of that? Well, the house and domestic arrangements may show great cleanliness and order, but she is no wife to you ifshe has no love for you! The omission of love you feel to be a fatal one! And so that absence of love to God is such a dreadfulabsence, too! It is such a taking away of everything that I only wish you could feel, you who have not loved Him, how guiltyyou are!
It may also help us, if we will consider for a moment, what God things of omissions. Saul was ordered to kill the Amalekites,and not to let one escape. He saved Agag and the best of the cattle, and for that, though he had positively done nothing butsimply stayed his hand and refused to do so, the Lord said, "I have put you away from being King over Israel." Ahab was commandedto kill and slay Benhadad on account of innumerable cruelties. Benhadad was taken captive, but Ahab treated him with greatleniency-and the result was, "Because you have let this man go, therefore your life shall be for his life." Non-obedienceruined Ahab.
Our Lord Jesus Christ was the gentlest of all Men, and yet there was one miracle which He performed which had a degree ofvengeance in it-and what was that? He stood by a fig tree and saw leaves but no fruit, and He said, "Henceforth there shallbe no fruit on you forever," as if to show that fruitless things provoked His anger-not so much brambles which bear theirthorns-but fig trees which ought to bear figs and do not. Remember, too, the parable which we read this morning in your hearing.The man with the one talent was condemned, if you remember, and his condemnation was for this-not that he had squandered hislord's money, but that he had not increased it. So that, in God's opinion, the not doing of good is sufficient to condemnmen even if they have not committed positive evil.
When the Holy Spirit convicts men of sin, what is the special sin which He reveals? The sin of adultery? The sin of robbery?No, of an omission-"Of sin, because they believe not on Me." Omitting to believe in Jesus is the master sin of which the HolySpirit convicts the world. Remember that solemn question of Paul when he asks, "How shall we escape if we-what? If we swear?If we frequent the tavern? No-"if we neglect so great a salvation?" The life-long neglect of salvation involves us in dangerfrom which there is no escape.
V. Much more might be said, but time fails me and therefore let me remind you very solemnly of what will be THE RESULT ANDPUNISHMENT OF SINS OF OMISSION. Sins of omission will condemn us. Take the parable with which we closed our reading this morning-theKing said to those on His left hand, "I was hungry and you gave Me no meat. I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink." He didnot say to them, "You were frequenters of evil houses. You were common drunkards. You were dishonest. You were fraudulentbankrupts. You were neglectors of the Sabbath. You were common profane swearers." No, but He said, "I was hungry, and yougave Me no meat."
It was the absence of virtue, rather than the presence of vice, which condemned them. "Without holiness, no man shall seethe Lord." "But, Lord, the man has no vice about him. He has not plunged himself into the kennel of open iniquity." "Ah, butthat suffices not! If there is not the positive fruits of the Spirit producing in him holiness of life, heshall not see the Lord." O Sirs, let none of us deceive ourselves! God will not accept our profession of religion becauseit simply keeps us chaste and decorous, and makes us civil to our neighbors! We must have worked in us, by the Holy Spirit,a righteousness better than that of the Scribes and Pharisees or we shall by no means enter into the kingdom of Heaven!
There must be worked in us as a work of Divine Grace-a deep abhorrence of sin, an earnest clinging to purity, a resolute pursuitof everything that is peaceful, and lovely, and of good repute-or else let us prate as we may, we shall have no inheritancein the kingdom of God! I preach not salvation by works in any sense or degree, or shape, or form, but salvation by Grace alone!Yet still I hear in my ears the echo of the Baptist's words, "Now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: thereforeevery tree which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."
Not only the tree that brings forth bad fruit is burned, but the tree which is barren and unprofitable is hewn down and castinto the fire! If we bring not forth the fruits of true saving faith, we may be sure that such faith is not in our possession!Sins of omission not only bring condemnation, but if persevered in they effectually shut against us the possibilities of pardon.I mean that sins of omission against the Gospel deprive us of Gospel privileges. "He that believes not"-is there pardon forhim? "He that believes not"-is there rescue for him? No! He "is condemned already, because he has not believed on the Sonof God."
He that repents not-will Divine Grace reach him? Will the mercy of God blot out sins that are unrepented of? No, not so! Aslong as we cling to sin, sin will cling to us as the leprosy did to the house of Gehazi. God forgives all sins through JesusChrist and He is willing to forgive the vilest of us if we come to Him trusting alone in Jesus. But if we have no faith inJesus Christ it is not possible for us to receive from the Lord the forgiveness of sins which He promises only to those whobelieve in Jesus! In the marriage feast of which we read in the Gospels, there were many who would not come and they perishedbecause they would not come. They are not charged with having actually committed anything wrong-but they perished for notcoming.
There was one who came to the feast but he had not on a wedding garment. I do not read that he had put on rags, or had decoratedhimself with anything offensive to the master of the house-but he had failed to put on the wedding garment-that was the deadlysin. And what was the sentence? "Bind him hand and foot, and deliver him to the tormentors." So I could not charge some ofyou, today, with anything outwardly contrary to morality, but, O Sirs, if you have not-mark this-if you have not put on therighteousness of Jesus Christ by a living faith in Him, the tormentors must have you at the last!
O that this Truth of God might sink into your ears and into your hearts! There is pardon for all omission to be found in theflowing wounds of Jesus! There is life in a LOOK at Him! Over the heads of these multiplied shortcomings, God's mercy willcome to Believers. But, oh, remain not in your unbelief! May the Holy Spirit, by His own mighty power give you Grace now torepent and to believe-and yours shall be the salvation-and God's the glory, world without end! Amen.