At my daughter’s recommendation, I’ve read a wonderful book called Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It is a relatively modern day fictional rendition (set in the 1850s) of the book of Hosea in which God calls the prophet to marry a prostitute.
In the 1800s, prostitution was the unforgivable sin in the eyes of polite society and the hypocritical church. Times have changed and each new generation of the self-righteous finds a new way to look down on the sinners beneath them. I bet you can think of some sins considered unpardonable now.
Is there a sin that is too hard for Jesus to forgive? Is there a place of wickedness too deep for God to lift a sinner free? Does the church of Jesus Christ have real hope to offer or not? If not, let’s stop pretending and if so, let’s start offering it.
This is not a matter of winking at sin or compromising the gospel. Jesus didn’t need to tell the woman caught in adultery that she was a sinner; she was quite aware of it. Most people know their own sin deep down. Now — what to do about it?
Jesus changed the perspective when he said to the woman condemned by her accusers: “Let anyone among you who is without sin, be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) So let us examine ourselves first, before we judge. What will we find? Our own sin if we are honest. That puts us in the same boat.
And that is a much better place to be when we echo the final words of Jesus; “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”(John 8:11)