Condemned: Awaiting Execution


by  on January 21, 2017

A certain Prince traveling through France visited the arsenal of Toulon, where convicted criminals were held. The commandant, as a courtesy to the Prince’s rank, said he was welcome to set any of the prisoners free, whom he should choose. The Prince, desiring to make the wisest use of this privilege, spoke to many of them in succession, inquiring why they were condemned to death.

“Falsely accused,” cried one. “Unfair trial and prejudiced witnesses,” grumbled another. “Unjust and unreasonable laws” was the contention of another who had set himself against civil authority. Still another complained that he had been the victim of the corrupt social and economic system. They were all innocents who had been ill treated and oppressed.

At last he came to one who, when asked the same question, answered: “My Lord, I have no reason to complain; I have been a very wicked and rebellious wretch. I account it great mercy that I am still alive.”

The Prince fixed his eyes upon him and said: “You wicked wretch! It is a pity you should be placed among so many honest men; by your own confession you are bad enough to corrupt them all; but you shall not stay with them another day.” Then, turning to the officer, he said, “This is the man, sir, I wish to see released.”

The bitter remorse that filled the hearts of the other men as they saw their companion walk out free while they themselves remained to face their doom can better be imagined than told. Any other one of them might have been set free had they confessed their guilt.

But infinitely greater remorse awaits every reader of these lines who refuses to confess his ruin, guilt, and righteous condemnation, and receive the pardon which God offers only to confessed sinners.

Only sinners who have been pardoned and cleansed will be in heaven. Jesus says: “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

His cross, His blood, His righteousness — My hope, my only plea.
My sins deserve eternal death, But Jesus died for me.

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36.



How Do You Respond to Personal Slander?


“A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning the words of Cush, a Benjaminite. O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me: Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver. O Lord my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; if I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:) Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honor in the dust.” – Psalm 7:1-5

The psalmist finds himself in a position we all commonly share at times. He is being slandered. His words and actions have been misrepresented and his character maligned.

He wisely makes his appeal before God. “In Thee do I put my trust.” How different this is from most of us who, when slandered, go about refuting it in the court of men. If it is false, God will stand by us, and men can do no harm. If it is true, then the comfort and vindication of men is a hollow victory; for the Judge of all the earth knows our guilt; and He will avenge.

The godly man confesses his vulnerability. He does not foolishly trust in his own strength or the strength of his allies. He well knows if he draws not his help from God there will be “none to deliver.” He makes the confession of the redeemed who, apart from the love of Christ, are “accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Then the accused does a most prudent thing. While affirming his innocence, he does not fail to consider the possibility of truth in the allegations against him. If we would be honest, then we have nothing to fear from objective examination. The truth of the matter is, when people accuse us, there is usually some truth in what they say. And while the whole of the slander may be a lie, we must not shirk to acknowledge what is true, and be rebuked and corrected.

Thus, personal slander can be an occasion for soul searching, for personal discipline, and for learning to trust the Lord in the face of popular rejection.

– Conrad Murrell