Do you really think you did wrong?

Adrian Rodgers used the following illustration in his message on Isaiah 6.I believe it is a beautiful illustration of really getting right with God. We have to be humble enough to tell the truth.

Some today will never be cleansed, because they’ll never make such 
a confession. So many people spend so much time justifying 

I read a long time ago, when I was a school boy, about a king who 
visited a slave galley where the men were chained to the oars, 
pulling at the oars. And they were sentenced there for crimes 
against the state.

The king walked through the slave galley 
looking at these men chained there, and he asked one, “Why are you 

“Oh,” he said, “Sire, I’m here because I was framed. 
Someone lied against me and said that I blasphemed the king; but 
I’m innocent. I never did that, Sire.”

And the king said, “Oh, 
that’s terrible that you should be so sinned against.”

He asked 
another one, “Why are you here?”

“Well,” he said, “I’ve been 
arrested for the crime of stealing, but I stole nothing. I was in 
a crowd when something was stolen, but I’m innocent.”

He asked 
another why he was there. And on and on, every man had an excuse, 
until he met one man chained there in the lower part of the 

And he said, “And, you, why are you here?” “Oh,” he 
said, “Sire, I’m here because I have sinned. I have committed 
grievous crimes. I’ve sinned against you, my king. I’ve sinned 
against the state. I’ve sinned against my family. I’m here 
getting the just reward for what I deserve.”

And when the king 
heard that, he said, “You rogue, you scoundrel, you knave. What 
are you doing here among so many honest men? Guards! Take him, 
release him, get him out of here.”

There’s one thing God will not accept for sin, and that’s an 
alibi. But when we say, “Woe is me, for I am undone. Mine eyes 
have seen the king,” when we understand God’s holiness, we understand 
our hellishness, God takes a live coal from the altar, symbolizing 
the grace of God. This was a sacrificial flame.

Photo by Benjamin Ranger on Unsplash

About the author

Austin Gardner is pastor of Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. Previously he was church planting missionary in Peru for 20 years.
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