What is your largest financial debt today? A home mortgage? An auto loan? Student loans?
Now compare your financial debt to your spiritual debt. The fact of the matter is that your sin debt before God is enormous.
Jesus taught His disciples to pray: “Forgive us our debts” (Matthew 6:12). Since sin involves breaking God’s Law, you incur an additional legal debt on God’s books every time you engage in a sinful thought, word or deed.
How many sins have you committed in just the past 24 hours, let alone your entire life?
Whether you realize it or not, you have racked up a tremendous amount of spiritual debt over the years. And every one of those debts must be paid one way or the other.
Many people assume their good works offset their sins. And yet nothing could be further from the truth. “If righteousness could be gained through the Law, Christ died for nothing” (Galatians 2:21).
Do you seriously think the Father would have sent His only Son to suffer the agony of the cross if we could afford to pay our sin debt ourselves? The cross was the only way for our debt to be paid and for us to avoid receiving a sentence of eternal punishment in Hell.
In order to be accepted by God and forgiven of your sins, you essentially need to file for spiritual bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not file in time.
Are you in the majority, or the minority?
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus paid it all on the cross, but if you refuse to file for spiritual bankruptcy and refuse the payment Christ made for your sins, you will be sentenced on Judgment Day to pay the huge debt you owe God.
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have received God’s amazing grace. “When you were dead in your sins ... God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).
If you are a non-Christian, your sins before God are piling up. All of your noble efforts cannot wash away even one of your sins. And just like the national debt, your sin debt before God is getting larger every single day.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).
I hope you are beginning to see that your sin debt is by far the largest debt you possess. You owe God far more than you could ever repay.
Will you file for spiritual bankruptcy in time, or will you wait until it is too late?
“It is appointed for man to die once, and after that the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
When you stand before the Judge one day, you will either have a clean slate, or thousands of unpaid sins for which you will be held accountable.
What I am about to share with you is critically important, and so please take it to heart.
You will not be allowed to file for spiritual bankruptcy on Judgment Day. It will be too late! Your window of opportunity is right now. You are not even guaranteed tomorrow.
God is not going to judge you based on what others think of you, or even based upon what you think of yourself. He is going to judge you based on His perfect standard.
And the only way to become holy in God’s sight is for your sins to be washed away by the blood of Jesus. Those who file for spiritual bankruptcy here on Earth and trust Jesus as their Savior will live with God forever in Heaven.
Come to Christ today and admit you are a sinner who cannot save yourself. Declare spiritual bankruptcy. Admit to God that you have broken His commandments time and time again, and that you are unable to pay your spiritual debt to Him. Turn from your sins as you turn to the Lord.
Trust in Christ and depend upon His sacrificial death as the payment for your sins. Rely upon Jesus' shed blood rather than your noble efforts. Embrace the one-time payment Jesus made for your sins on the cross. Paradise is available to you today. Believe it and receive it, as you come to God today in humility and faith.
The clock is ticking. Your appointment in God’s courtroom is on the docket. If you enter that courtroom with unpaid sins, it will not go well for you.
One day you will understand why nothing in your life is nearly as important as this issue. I just hope you file for spiritual bankruptcy with God while there is still time. Either way, you will certainly remember this opportunity you were given right here and right now.
Those of us who know Jesus are called to “snatch others from the fire and save them” (Jude 23). “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
The only way your spiritual ledger can be reconciled in time for you to make it into Heaven is for you to be reconciled to God. And this requires faith in Jesus, who died for your sins and then rose from the dead on the third day.
Every breath you take brings you closer to your appointment in God’s courtroom. I strongly urge you to be reconciled to God before you go to sleep tonight.
“Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15).
You have two options: You can joyfully embrace Jesus today as your wonderful Savior, or dreadfully face Christ on Judgment Day as your righteous Judge. So, which will it be?
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.