The truth that we are sinners, abiding under the wrath of God, is an uncomfortable truth. Because of that, we want to suppress it. We intuitively know that we have done wrong toward God and that there will be a day of reckoning, but if we don’t want to face it and we can’t bear the thought of it, then the only option is to suppress it. The Apostle Paul went straight to this point when he wrote,
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.” (Romans 1:18-19 NKJV)
Guilt and shame come bubbling to the surface from the well of our conscience. So, we bottle it up and set it aside in the basement, locking the door, trying to forget about it. You see, there is a witness within us. We know there is a God and that one day we will give an answer to Him.
Even a blind and deaf person knows this. Helen Keller was born in that state physically. Anne Sullivan worked with her as a child and found a bright young girl inside waiting to get out. Helen asked about God. Miss Sullivan took her to Phillips Brooks, the gifted preacher in Boston who in a simple way tenderly shared Christ with her. He made him seem so real that Helen said, “Yes I know him, I just had forgotten his name.” Without a Bible or ability to hear a sermon—she knew there was a God.
No one starts out as an atheist—they have to work at it—by constantly suppressing the truth of the witness in them. Because I will answer to God one day for whether I cared enough about your soul to be honest with you, I cannot allow you to suppress the truth. It is my duty to surface it—like it or not—though I pray you will receive these life-giving words.
Suppose you begin to feel sick and take a trip to the doctor. He breezes through the exam room, taking no time but to smile, and hurriedly say, “You look fine. I think you’ll be OK.” He then hands you a prescription for narcotics, adding, “Take these and they’ll make you feel better.” What kind of doctor is that? In making you feel better, he would be killing you! There are some preachers who do the same—we should call them what we would call such a doctor: “Quack!”
Or, you go to a doctor who does a thorough examination. After the results are in the M.D. gives you the diagnosis: cancer. That would be distressing! He next moves to the prognosis: left untreated it will be terminal! You have gone from distressing news to depressing news. But, he doesn’t stop there; he shares that it can be cured if you take the treatment: delightful! Now, there’s a good physician! Paul was a soul physician, battling the terminal malignancy of sin, offering the cure of the Gospel. He was faithful to that God-appointed mandate. Listen to his words in Acts 20:26-27:
“Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.”
When I come to the end of my life journey, and stand before God, I want to be able to say the same thing! Are you listening? Do not suppress the truth!