By Drew Zuverink
"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgement and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God."
Jesus can only pay for the sins that we give him.
Let me explain what I do and don't mean by that statement.
What I do mean:
Jesus came to earth in order to save human beings. Well that's great news, someone says, but what does he need to save us from?
All of us need to be saved from the consequences of our sin. We need to be saved from sin's consequences in this life and we need to be saved from the eternal consequences of sin in the next life as well. Every single sin that we have ever committed, or will commit in the future, must be punished, anything less would be a breach of justice. So in order for us to be forgiven of all of our sins, Jesus must die for all of our sins. Meaning, if anyone clings to a certain sin instead of leaving it at the foot of the cross, then Jesus cannot pay for it. Why can't he pay for it? Because they're still holding onto it!
Jesus willingly offers to pay for our sins but we must willingly hand them over to him. He never wrestles our sin away from us by force. He will not take our sins away from us if we don't want him to.
Knowing this, why don't all 8 billion people on earth part ways with their sin? It's quite simple really - because most people love their sin. Until a person sees sin for what it is (the thing that is destroying their life) and God for who he is (the person that can give them life) they will never leave their sin and become a Christian. Most people in the world are still deceived by sin so they don't understand why they would want to leave it. This is terribly sad, but it's true.
Some people try to pull a quick one on Jesus by parting ways with some of their sins but not all. They think to themselves, "I don't really like this sin very much anyways so I'll give this one to Jesus, he can have it." But then they hold onto the other sins that they love. But remember, whoever is holding onto the sin when it comes time for God's judgement is the person who will suffer the consequences.
What I do not mean:
We are all still sinners. Even those of us who have repented of our sin and given our lives to Christ. Every single day we sin against God in ways that we don't even realize. Sadly, it will also always be this way. We will never be sinless in this life. I do not mean to suggest that unless we remember to repent of every single sin that we ever commit, Jesus cannot save us. There is a world of difference between a heart that holds on to sin, loves sin, harbors sin, cherishes sin, and pursues sin - versus a heart that releases sin, hates sin, attacks sin, is tormented by ongoing sin, and continually repents of sin.
The prayer of the damned is, "God save me from the eternal punishments of sin but don't take my sin away from me for I quite enjoy it." Such prayers will not be answered. But the prayer of the redeemed is, "God take all of my sins. Take the sins that I've committed and will commit in the future. Take the sins that I know of and the sins that I've done unknowingly. Take the big ones and the little ones, the ones that people know about and the ones that I've done in secret. Save me from all of them! Take them all away."
May God continue his work of rescuing people from the destructive powers of sin, and may we join him in this work by exposing sin for what it is, so that our loved ones will flee to Jesus. Because Jesus can only pay for the sins that we give him.