The Startling Demand
"Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins infinite?" Job 22:5
The effects of sin are dreadful! Sin hardens the heart of man — and provokes the wrath of God. It is rebellion against His authority, pouring contempt on His Word, and insulting Him to His face. Every sin is great — yet there are degrees in sin, as well as numbers of sins. Therefore the inquiry, "Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins infinite?"
Careless sinner — you slight God's book; you despise His solemn warnings; you disbelieve His plain and solemn threatenings; you make light of His invitations; you presume on His mercy; and you perhaps question, yes, provoke His justice. "Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins infinite?"
Formal professor — you are resting in a name, or in the performance of a few duties; but you neglect the exhortation, "Examine yourself whether you be in the faith;" you practice deception upon yourself, by crying, "Peace, peace — when there is no peace." You deceive the simple by your fair words and unfelt statements; you conclude you are safe, without any good grounds; you act as though you disbelieved Jehovah's omniscience, omnipresence, and veracity; you court destruction; "Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins infinite?"
Light-minded, licentious professor — you are insulting God's holiness; you are trifling with the Savior's blood; you abuse free and sovereign grace; you despise the idea of a judgment to come; you trifle with eternity, and are two-fold more a child of Hell than before you made any profession of Christianity. "Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins infinite?"
Worldly-minded, covetous professor — look at your conduct. God has promised a supply of temporal things. He has commanded you to hold the things of time with a loose hand; because, "the time is short." He bids you to be liberal to His cause and His poor; He directs you to lay up for yourself treasures in Heaven; He exhorts you to set your affections on things above — not on things on the earth; He assures you that you cannot "serve God and mammon;" He informs you that covetousness is idolatry; and yet you, "rise early, and late take rest," you grind the poor, withhold from the church, and are far more anxious to increase wealth, than spirituality; to be rich, than to be useful; "Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins infinite?"
Backslider — look at your case; you were once full of light, fired with love, clothed with zeal, and entirely devoted to the cause and glory of God. But now you are dark, lifeless, gloomy, inactive, and feel but little concern for sinners or the glory of God. You are sinning against knowledge — love — profession — conscience — the law and the gospel. "Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins infinite?"
Dear friends, examine yourselves; look at the nature and number of your transgressions: see how they are aggravated by the privileges you possess; they point to Heaven like mountains, they spread before you like a river. But do not despond, yield not to despair: there is a remedy for great wickedness, for infinite iniquities, "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin." You are welcome to this remedy, you are welcome to it this moment. Once more you are apprised of it, directed to it, and encouraged to apply for it. Do not slight it, dare not despise it; it will but aggravate your sin and increase your guilt!