From Eternity Past


The Difference Between Genuine and Forced Confessions

For one man's sin the displeasure of God will rest upon His church till the transgression is searched out and put away. The influence most to be feared by the church is not that of open opposers, infidels, and blasphemers, but of inconsistent ones that keep back the blessing of the God of Israel and bring weakness upon His people. With humiliation and searching of heart, let each seek to discover the hidden sins that shut out God's presence. EP 353.2

Achan had seen the armies of Israel return from Ai defeated and disheartened, yet he did not come forward and confess his sin. He had seen Joshua and the elders bowed to the earth in grief too great for words. But he still kept silence. He had listened to the proclamation that a great crime had been committed, and had even heard its character definitely stated. But his lips were sealed. His soul thrilled with terror as he saw his tribe pointed out, then his family and his household! But still he uttered no confession, until the finger of God was placed upon him. Then, when his sin could no longer be concealed, he admitted the truth. EP 353.3

There is a vast difference between admitting facts after they have been proved, and confessing sins known only to ourselves and to God. Achan's confession only served to show that his punishment was just. There was no genuine repentance, no contrition, no change of purpose, no abhorrence of evil. EP 354.1

So confessions will be made by the guilty when they stand before the bar of God, after every case has been decided for life or death. An acknowledgment of sin will be forced from the soul by an awful sense of condemnation and a fearful looking for of judgment. But such confessions cannot save the sinner. EP 354.2

When the records of heaven shall be opened, the Judge will not declare to man his guilt, but will cast one penetrating, convicting glance, and every deed, every transaction of life, will be vividly impressed upon the memory of the wrongdoer. The sins hidden from men will then be proclaimed to the whole world. EP 354.3