Poster Archive : SEPTEMBER 2010

Message: It can be forgiven

Bible verse: "If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ" (1 John 2:1)

On July 27, 1996, Ivan Milat was finally convicted of seven 'backpacker' murders committed in the Belanglo State Forest South of Sydney in NSW, Australia. To this day, despite damning evidence, he says he is innocent. He's been called Australia's worst 'serial killer'.

Like every country, Cambodia also has its killers. After the Vietnam war ended in 1975, Cambodia was ruled by the Khmer Rouge whose terrible leader, Pol Pot made war on his own people. Estimates vary, but at the very least 1 million Cambodians were killed for no reason other than being educated or perhaps wearing glasses or just being in the wrong place.

One of Pol Pot's senior henchmen was a man called 'Duch' or 'Kang Kek Iew'. You may have heard of him. His story made headlines around the world. After becoming friends with a Cambodian Christian pastor in 1996 he gave his life to Jesus Christ. He told that man: "I don't know if my brothers and sisters can forgive the sins I've committed against the people".

A few years later, after giving an interview to a Western journalist, Duch turned himself in. On 31 March, 2009, Duch stood in the dock and accepted responsibility for torturing and executing thousands of people. He expressed "heartfelt sorrow" for his crimes.

So who's the better person? Ivan Milat who murdered few compared to Duch? Or Duch because he's sorry for what he did? The problem with this question and those answers are the assumptions. We just assume that some people are worse than others. We assume the better ones are good inside and the bad ones are bad to the core. And we desperately hope that we're at the good end of that lineup when we eventually meet God.

But the Bible's opinion is that we're all bad. For example, Jesus declares that our anger makes us all murderers at heart. Jesus makes it clear that God is only interested in those people who, like Duch, are ashamed and appalled at their sin.

Is that you? Are you quietly dying inside? Is there something you've said, thought or done that's ripping your insides out? Are you struggling to be around people because you feel you don't deserve their company and they probably know you're a fraud anyway?

No matter what your sin is, It can be forgiven. How? By taking it to the cross where Jesus has paid for it with his blood.

Prayer: Dear God. I'm sorry for sinning against you in my thoughts, words and actions. Thank you for sending Jesus Christ to be my advocate with you. Amen.

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