This same reality, which can bring such encouragement to the believer, can also be a terror to the non-believer. Just as God is acquainted with the heart of a believer, He is also equally as familiar with the non-believer’s heart. He is aware of every sinful lust, dishonoring desire, and selfish motive harboring within the deep shadowy recesses of the non-believer’s heart. No matter how much the non-believer tries to convince himself of his own righteousness, before God he is left exposed to the blazing light of God’s holy gaze upon his soul … and his conscience bears witness against him.
Now, this is not to say that the believer does not also retain such sins within his own heart (thanks to the abiding presence of the sinful flesh in this life). However, the primary difference between the sin that is harbored within the believer’s heart and that of the non-believer’s is that it has been atoned for by the precious blood of the Lord and Savior of men, Jesus Christ, through faith. As far as God, the Father, is concerned, the believer’s sin is covered by the blood of His is dear Son, Jesus Christ. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8.1). In other words, God no longer judges or condemns the believer for his sins because Jesus already bore God’s just wrath and condemnation for their sins (past, present and future) on the cross. So, it is not that the believer no longer has sin residing in his heart. He absolutely does. He will continue to do struggle with sin until he leaves this life to go on to the next because sin still resides in his flesh. However, the difference is that he is no longer held liable for his sin because God, the Son Jesus Christ, has paid the price in full for the debt of his sin against God, the Father.
However, all are given the opportunity to repent and turn to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Even in close of Solomon’s prayer, he acknowledges the mercy and forgiveness of God:
“If they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to a land far or near, yet if they turn their heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly,’ if they repent with all their mind and with all their heart in the land of their captivity to which they were carried captive, and pray toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, then hear from heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their pleas, and maintain their cause and forgive your people who have sinned against you.” – 2 Chronicles 6.36-39
If you are reading this blog post and you have not “turned your heart” away from your sins toward Jesus Christ, “confessed your sins,” and repented,”with all your mind and with all your heart” for the forgiveness of your sins, then I would plead with you to make today the day of salvation! (For a more thorough explanation of the gospel, please see my “profile.”) Then, comment on this post so that I might rejoice with you in God’s saving work in your life and point you to some helpful resources that might encourage you in your new walk with God.