His Only Crime
From the Free Presbyterian Tract Society
A distinguished-looking man stood before the jury, pleading
his case, saying, "Your Honor, up to this time I have lived
a clean life. My record as a respected citizen, a good
husband and father, and a regular churchgoer has already
been established by many witnesses of excellent character.
This, your Honor, is my first and only crime."
The judge, in his instructions to the jury said, "It is true
that up to this time the defendant has been a good,
religious, respectable citizen, but all this must not sway
you, for the crime which he has committed is a very serious
one. You must bear in mind that it takes only one crime to
make a criminal, and that this one crime wipes out any good
of the past. You may retire."
After a long deliberation, the jury filed back into the
courtroom and took their seats. The judge asked them, "What
is your verdict?"
Trembling, the defendant got to his feet to receive the
sentence. What would it be?
The foreman arose and said, "Your Honor, we find the
defendant guilty of murder in the first degree!'
The day of his execution was set, and the condemned man was
put into the death cell. The days spent there seemed like
eternity to him, but at last the fatal day arrived. The last
meal was served and the last visitor had departed. Then,
just before the death march began, the warden received a
stay of execution notice for this man, and later a pardon
from the President of the United States.
This pardon, coming from the highest authority in the
country, enabled the guilty man to walk out of prison, free
from the claims of the law, as though he had never committed
a terrible crime.
Just as the judge instructed the jury that one crime wipes
out all past merits, so God, the Judge of judges, the
highest authority in heaven and the earth, has ruled that
one sin wipes out any claim or merit based on past
religious, moral, social, or ethical goodness. Just as one
crime makes a criminal, so one sin makes a sinner; just as
one crime must be paid for or pardoned, so also one sin must
be paid for or pardoned.
The criminal in his death cell knew he was condemned to die
but did not know until the last minute that he had been
given a pardon. But there are millions roaming this world
today who are unaware or indifferent to the truth that they
are already under God's sentence of death. The scriptures
tell us that, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die," "For
the wages of sin is death . . . ."
For about twenty centuries, God has offered a pardon to
those who are sinners , but these so-called respectable
sinners compare themselves with others and thus have a
different opinion of themselves than God. For one sin levels
down all mankind, regardless of race, religion, or culture,
to sinners condemned to die. "For all have sinned and
come short of the glory of God." "If we say that we have no
sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth of God is not in
us. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him (God) a
liar, and his word is not in us." This word from the
Bible does away once for all with the false conception of
doing the best you can or comparing yourself favorably with
Would you like to have people see your past sins or sin
thrown onto a screen? According to God's plan it takes only
one sin to condemn us to eternal separation from God in
hell. What a terrible condition would be ours if Romans
6:23, quoted above, stopped at the word, death. But
it does not stop there. The rest of the verse goes on, ".
. . but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus
Christ, our Lord."
Mental assent to God's plan of salvation is of no value
unless you do something about it. God's gift or pardon to a
sinner is conditioned on the sinner's acceptance of Jesus
Christ as his Redeemer from sin and hell. "But as many as
received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born,
not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will
of man, but of God."
The vital difference between those who are redeemed and
those who are lost is that when a born-again redeemed one
stands before the judgment throne and all the past
associates or the devil brings up past sins, the redeemed
sinner can say, "Yes, all your accusations are true; but I
have received, while living, a pardon from the King of
But those who stand before the judgment throne of God, never
having accepted God's pardon and, for one reason or another,
never having received Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord from
sin and hell, will hear this from the lips of the Lord of
Glory, ". . . I never knew you: depart from me, ye that
work iniquity." God makes it very clear that, "It is
appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment:
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." No
influence, religious, political, or otherwise, can set aside
the verdict of God that one sin will send a soul to hell.
God has placed the Cross squarely across your path to hell.
It will be no fault on God's part if you go to hell, but it
will be the result of your deliberate choice or neglect.
"How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?"
If you have any questions
about what you have read, please
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