Our Guilty Secrets
Over the last few months there have been some shocking revelations concerning a number of prominent public figures. Among them are an entertainer who had passed away and a politician and a cleric who are still with us. The conduct of these three involved paedophilia, perverting the course of justice and homosexuality respectively.
These people knew that what they were doing or had done was wrong and they hoped that they would not be found out – but they were. The truth is that if we have guilty secrets then one day we will be found out. And we all have guilty secrets of some sort. There are thoughts, words and deeds which we would prefer others not to know about.
When Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit they may have thought that they were alone – that there was no-one else around to see what they were doing. How mistaken they were! And how quickly they were made to realise their mistake! God soon called out to Adam saying, “Where art thou?” (Gen.3:9). The Lord knew exactly where our first parents were of course and precisely what they had done but He wanted them to know that He knew. He punished them for their sin.
We speak of God as ‘omniscient’. By that we mean that He knows everything: the past, the present and the future; what is seen and what is unseen. The Psalmist brought out this truth when he confessed: “ O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.” (Psa.139:1,2) There is nothing – absolutely nothing – that is hidden from the gaze of God.
There are those whose consciences are so numbed by repeated sin that they hardly bother to hide their immorality any more. Others try to cover their evil deeds but they will not succeed: whether in time or in eternity every one will be exposed. “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after” (1Tim.5:24). Let Moses’ words to Israel be a warning to us: “behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Num.32:23).
There are people who live out their lives here in the fear that something they have tried to hide will become known to others. They cannot imagine how they would ever cope with the shame. But disgrace before men is nothing compared to the “shame and everlasting contempt” which awaits sinners at the judgment day (Dan.12:2).
What are we to do with our guilty secrets and indeed our sins in general? We must take them all to God now, seeking His forgiveness. The Bible gives us every encouragement to do so. It sets before us a precious Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who took the place of sinners and bore their guilt. By His cross Jesus has made an atonement or ‘covering’ for sin, hiding it from God’s view; when we trust in Him and His saving work God pardons all our sins and accepts us as righteous in His sight.
So there is good news for us, whatever our guilty secrets. Please remember that. However shameful your past or your present may be there is salvation in Christ. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Prov.28:13).