“…You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—
In these ways we continue;
And we need to be saved.
But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;…” Isaiah 64:5-6
“Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”” Luke 5:29-32
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:23-26
I stood on the sidewalk with an elderly man whom I had often seen and about whom I had been greatly concerned he might not have repented and believed in and committed his life to the Lord Jesus Christ and received God’s forgiveness and everlasting life. Now there I stood with the amazing opportunity to talk to him about Jesus and how Jesus died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead. But there was a problem. A very big problem. He had argument after argument lined up and when it came to sin, his position was hard and fast and unshakable.
“I have never sinned,” he essentially said. “I am not a sinner,” he said in his own words. He literally stood there saying he had never done anything wrong in his life. I told him this is impossible. We are all sinners who fall short of God’s glory.
But his arguments came so quickly and so vehemently there was little I could say and be heard. I expressed my great concern for him, and he told me not to worry.
I told him I didn’t want him to end up in hell.
He pretty much laughed. “I’ll take my chances,” he said. I expressed there would be no going back. He didn’t care. He was going to take his chances. He who declared himself not to be a sinner.
I talked to him about various sins. Surely he could identify. When it came to lying, he identified. But there was a problem. He said he had lied and that lying was okay because lots of people lie. Even politicians. So he figured other people’s sins made his sins okay. Made them not sin.
I asked if I could give him my personal story & Gospel tract. He politely declined. He had already made up his mind.
We said goodbye.
I and the man who said he wasn’t a sinner parted ways. And, unless he humbles himself and confesses he is a sinner and turns to the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, truly committing his life to Christ and living henceforth for God according to God’s ways, the man who said he never sinned is going to spend forever in torment apart from God in hell and the lake of fire. He didn’t want to even listen. After all, he figured he’d take his chances. If he was wrong, he figured, he’d figure out if hell was really real and if that’s where sinners who don’t repent and commit their lives to Christ really spend forever.
In the eyes of God almighty who is perfectly holy and just, all powerful and all knowing, Creator and redeemer, glorious, sovereign and faithful, all human “righteousness” is nothing more than “filthy rags” (considered to be menstrual cloths). Our “righteousness” will bring us nothing more nor less than eternity in hell and the lake of fire because we ALL fall short of God’s glory. Those of us who trust in ourselves and what we consider to be our “good” pridefully and foolishly will cost ourselves a forever relationship with God and will one day find ourselves in hell where there won’t be any second chances. No turning back.
Those who will spend forever with God, now on earth and for eternity in heaven, are those of us who know we’re sinners, who confess we’re sinners, who turn from a lifestyle of sin to Christ as Lord, believing He died on the cross for us and was raised from the dead, taking our punishment of death, hell, and the lake of fire, on Himself, and was raised from the dead, genuinely dedicating our lives to God and His ways forevermore.
The man who emphatically declared he wasn’t a sinner wouldn’t even listen. Are you listening?
Where will you spend forever?