Too Far Gone
I have met many people in my life who felt as though the sins they had committed were too many to be forgiven, too dirty to be cleansed. Many of these people were attenders of a local church; with no hesitation they would have been lumped into the title, “Christian.” But when it boiled down to it, they were guilt-ridden and ashamed, not forgiven and redeemed. They went to church, they heard the gospel, they maybe even read their Bible from time to time, but they did not yet understand the grace of God.
The Prophet Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations, one of the shorter books in the Old Testament. In it he captures the horrific realities of a rebellious people whom God had given over to their sin. These people had done it all, every kind of wickedness, every kind of evil, every vile practice. God had sent Jeremiah to plead with them but they refused to listen. They continually demanded that God would leave them alone and let them go their own way, and eventually he did. The result is articulated with spine-tingling clarity in several of the verses of the book. These were dark days, terrible times in history, days when humanity seemed too far gone to be redeemed.
But then, there it is, right in the middle of the story, in the center of the depravity, as the backlash is in full swing, Jeremiah finds hope:
“But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”
When the streets are filled with blood, families separated, some taken as prisoners, thousands starving to death, young babies unable to nurse… when sinful humanity had run in the complete opposite direction of God, Jeremiah calls to mind these precious truths. Even these people were not too far gone for grace, not too rebellious to be forgiven, not too dirty to be cleansed, not too adulterous to be redeemed. Notice the three absolutes that Jeremiah mentions: 1. God’s love NEVER ceases. 2. God’s mercy NEVER ends. 3. Our opportunity to receive them is new EVERY morning. If we take these things to heart it is no wonder at all why the Prophet’s next words are, "Great is God’s faithfulness!”
When we look to our own faithlessness we will always conclude that we are too far gone. When we look to our own unrighteousness we will always reason that we have no hope. When we look at ourselves, our own performance, our failures, our sins, our weaknesses, our bad decisions, our lack of love for others, our lack of devotion to God, our carelessness for his glory, our unrelenting desire to make life all about ourselves… when we look at these things we will remain trapped in them and defined by them. If we measure the saving love of God by our own shortcomings then we will never know the power of the gospel, nor the freedom of God's free grace.
It is HIS steadfast love that never ceases, HIS mercies that never end, HIS faithfulness that we must look to and cling to, as we entirely forsake our own. Jesus Christ is the Savior of sinners, the Savior of failures, the Savior of people who are unworthy and undeserving. He represents them with HIS record, and by HIS cross he cancels all the debts of their own. Jesus only saves those who have gone too far, and no one, absolutely no one, is outside of his ability and willingness to save.
Take your sin to the cross of Christ.
The mercies of God never end, they are new every morning.