The primary aspect that separates a man from God is wickedness. God always hated wickedness and loved righteousness. The emergence of wickedness in the mind of Adam is what separated him from God. Wickedness as is understood is seen in every man from the greatest to the least. It is an attribute of man that makes him stubborn and to follow his own intentions rather than what is desired by God. It is very obvious that the presence of wickedness in a man is due to the lack of righteousness.
How can a man free himself from this state of mind? Can he free himself with his own strength and standards or is it something that he should acquire from the One who is the author of righteousness? If he tries to free himself from the wickedness that he is in, he cannot help himself, can he? Common sense says no one trapped in quick sand can pull himself out, unless he is helped by someone. Wickedness is like the quick sand from which a man needs the help of God to be saved. For this reason, the Holy Spirit speaks the following for all those who desire to be in the presence of God. “Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:22).
Just as it becomes essential for a man to cry out for help in time of need, even so is repentance to receive the forgiveness of God. Yes, it is true that one needs to pray to God with a broken heart that his iniquity is forgiven. By it we must prepare our hearts that wickedness is not carried out in our lives and receive the righteousness of God. Because of the wickedness in his heart, Simon the sorcerer thought he could obtain the gift of God with earthly treasure; and the result of it is what the Holy Spirit spoke through Peter in Acts 8:22. Our hearts maintain wickedness, because it is an easier way to gain anything, and thereby, makes righteousness appear impossible to us. Is God so weak that it is impossible for Him to make us pure and whole? “And He was saying, Abba! Father! All things are possible for You;” (Mark 14:36). When we repent of our sins and pray to God for forgiveness, it is possible for Him to forgive us.
It is the foolishness of many Christians today that they seek their own ways to progress their life than depending on the possibilities of God. Many, as we see today, are raking money to themselves thinking that they can hold their future in their hands. They profess to be Christians in order to receive glory from men; others are involved in gospel proclamation and claim to keep the whole commandment of God, but at the appropriate times fail to sacrifice for Jesus. Their foolishness is by the wickedness they maintain in their hearts, due to which it is impossible for them to completely depend on God.
A man came to Jesus and asked Him as to what he should do to obtain eternal life. Jesus replied by saying that he should keep the commandments of God. In their discourse it is understood that the man kept all the commands of the Law, but lacked one thing. When Jesus asked him to sell his possessions and follow Him, he went away grieving. It is the wickedness in a man that causes greed in him. Therefore, it became impossible for the rich man to depend on the Lord. Because of his greed, he did not believe he could receive a better possession. He thought of the things of the earth rather than of heaven. For this reason, Jesus said it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. The disciples were astonished and said, then “who can be saved?” Nevertheless, for a man who repents of his sin all things are possible for God. “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:17-26).
Therefore, the Lord warns us to seek Him that we might live. Those whom God has chosen through His Son, to them He gives salvation forever. He warns us to seek Him or else face judgment. O those who confess to be the children of God, it is essential that you hear the word of our Lord God Almighty – “Seek the Lord that you may live, or He will break forth like a fire, O house of Joseph, and it will consume with none to quench it for Bethel” (Amos 5:6).
If we do not heed the words of our Lord, there will be a terrible judgment that would come upon us. Our own wickedness or iniquity will find us and it will become the root cause for the judgment of God upon us. At the time when we are at ease, His judgment unexpectedly prevails upon us. Dear brothers and sisters, who can save us at that moment, will the riches you have gathered save you, will your strength and standards save you? Can the glory you received from men save you? If we neglect God and nourish wickedness in our lives, the time ends on us quickly! “Therefore this iniquity will be to you like a breach about to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose collapse comes suddenly in an instant” (Isa. 30:13).
It is vital for us to live for God and sacrifice ourselves to Him to receive His righteousness that we are distant to wickedness. Men in this world love wickedness, because it gives them an immediate fulfillment of desires. However, as children of God we cannot continue in wickedness, because with every iniquity we add to our lives comes the end of our escape. Hence, it is important to examine ourselves whether we are of this world or of God. If we are still living in wickedness it is crucial that we should repent and pray that the Lord may forgive us. Only then can we become the living gospel for those who are in darkness. “And men will say surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth!” (Psalm 58:11).