Are you an obvious or undercover sinner?

Most people don’t think they need their sins forgiven

Most people think that they are not as bad as Adolf Hitler, they’re not a serial murderer, they’re not corrupt like the Gupta’s and they’re generally nice people, so they really don’t need their sins forgiven.  They don’t understand why Christians keep going on and on about the forgiveness of sin.

Let me share an illustration that I heard recently.*

Imagine a Homeowner owned a wine-estate with a luxury mansion

One day, the Homeowner decides to travel the world offers his mansion rent free until he returns to two guys in the church he attends, Ray and Philip.

All the Homeowner asks is that they look after my estate, maintain the grounds and, most crucially, stay in regular contact, updating him about the state of affairs.

He gets on the plane for his round-the-world trip

It comes to light that Ray is a party animal.  He has open parties every night, runs 80’s discos till five in the morning, there are beer stains on the carpets and cigarette burns on the curtains.  He never cleans up and the house is in an utter mess.  This carries on for months on end.

Philip, however, is compulsively neat.  He makes his bed like a corporal in the army, his part of the mansion is spotless, he cuts the grass with a small scissors and polishes the brass every week with his toothbrush.  His wing of the mansion is cleaner than it’s ever been.

The problem is that neither Ray, nor Philip, keep in contact with the Homeowner.  Neither email him.  Neither update him.   Both ignore the Homeowner’s instructions.

When the Homeowner gets back from holiday, will he be pleased with either one of them?


When he returns he will cast them both out his house and presence because they ignored him.

These are the two types of people in the world.

The first type of person is an obvious sinner, like Ray, blatantly doing wrong.  It’s obvious.

It’s the Adolf Hitlers, drug addicts and criminals of the world.  They know they’ve messed up.

The second type of person is an undercover sinner, like Philip.

On the outside, they seem to be very moral, good and nice.  You would think of them as outstanding members of society.  They donate money to animal welfare.  But on the inside, they also rebel against the Homeowner – sometimes without even knowing it.  They think they’re OK with God.

Both, however, deserve the Homeowner’s judgement.

I’m not sure what kind of sinner you are, but you and I are definitely one of the two.  We are definitely under God’s judgement.

More than anything else we need God’s forgiveness.

How do we obtain God’s forgiveness?

Not by trying to be tidier or more religious.

Not by donating money to animal welfare, or polishing more brass, or by doing more good deeds.

Only on the basis of the death of Jesus.

Sin deserves the Homeowner’s judgement.

Jesus bore that judgement on the cross, so we don’t have to.


*I heard the illustration from Richard Coekin.


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