A distinguished Methodist minister in Australia once preached on sin. One of his church officers went afterward to the pastor’s study. The man said, “Dr. Howard, we don’t want you to talk so plainly as you do about sin, because if our boys and girls hear you talking so much about sin, they will more easily become sinners. Call it a mistake if you will, but do not speak so plainly about sin.”
The minister went to a utility closet and pulled out a small bottle of strychnine clearly marked “Rat Poison.” He said, “I see what you want me to do. You wanted me to change the label. Suppose I take off this label of poison and put on some milder label, such as ‘Essence of Peppermint.’ Don’t you see what might happen? The milder you make the label, the more dangerous you make the poison.”
1 John 1:8-9 in the NIV says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Do you lightheartedly excuse your sin or have you been purified from all unrighteousness?
(Illustrations for Biblical Preaching, Green, Page 340)