I have been reading The Soul’s Preparation for Christ by Thomas Hooker over the last few months. Which has really turned out to be a treatise on conviction of sin and what makes truly godly sorrow different from worldly sorrow.  Hooker asserts that most Christians in his day (and in ours as well) do not really sorrow for their sins.

“Now if all be true that I have said, there are but few sorrowers for sin, therefore few saved; here we see the ground and reason why many fly off from godliness and Christianity: this is the cause; their souls were only troubled with a little hellish sorrow, but theirs hearts were never kindly grieved for their sins. If a man’s arm be broken and disjointed a little, it may grow together again; but if it be quite broken off, it cannot grow together; so the terror o the law affrighted his conscience, and a powerful minister unjointed his soul, and the judgments of God were rending of him; but he was never cut off altogether; and therefore he returns as vile, and as base, if not worse than before, and he grows firmly to his corruptions.” (Hooker, 150)

What a great picture of the state of so many today! They have a knowledge of their sin and in one way or another are seeking a doctor to heal it. Alas, many even flee to Christ that He might mend their wound. I say, ‘Alas,’ because I fear that many are seeking to have the wrong wound mended. They are merely seeking to have all their bones set aright, so that they may continue in their previous course of life. They are not those who have realized that what they really need is an amputation.

Let me present to illustrations of what I have in mind. The first is taken from the TV show 24. In the process of keeping a dangerous chemical bomb from getting out in the open it became necessary for one of the agents, Chase, to cuff it to his wrist. The problem was that once the device was attached there was no way to remove it. This left him and his partner with really only two choices: either they leave Chase to die when the device denonated or they severe Chase’s hand from his arm in order to remove it. Now they obviously chose the latter, it was a much better option to lose his hand than to lose his life. So to we must come to see that the only way to be saved is to allow God to sever us from the sin that is cuffed to our souls.

The second example is this. Suppose a man who was driving his car. As he was passing through an intersection he collides with another car, which he did not see. Unfortunately, this man was not wearing his seat belt and so his injures were rather severe. Now with the help of his doctors and time the man healed. Because of the accident he recognized his need to wear a seat belt, so he resolved to wear one from then on. However, the very next time he decided to go for a drive, he ended up in another accident. Fortunately for him the injuries were not as severe, but still required medical attention. You see what he and the doctors had missed was his original injuries were not ultimate the result of not having on a seat belt, but the fact that he was almost blind.

Unfortunately, many people find themselves in a similar position spiritually. They do something that cause them to realize the danger of sin and so they decide they need a safety net, so they start going to church or doing other “religious” things. Yet it is only a matter of time and they find themselves right back where they started, because they have never dealt with the real problem, which is the sin that is still dwelling in them.

So for those of you that do not see the depths of vileness of your own hearts, I would encourage you to look closer to ask God to show you the true nature of your own heart. For those of you that have already seen much of the filthiness that lies within you, seek the help of the Great Physician in removing it from your life. You see it is not eternal punishment that keeps God at odds with us, it is the sin that resides in us. If we should like to see more of Him, then we must put to death the sin that remains. More of God requires less of sin. Just look at heaven there we will know God most fully and there will be NO sin in His presence.