Summary: A sermon on guilt and how to deal with it.
Sermon for 7/18/2004
I Don’t Feel Guilty Anymore
A man entered a bar, bought a glass of beer and then immediately threw it into the bartender’s face. Quickly grabbing a napkin, he helped the bartender dry his face while he apologized with great remorse. "I’m so sorry," he said. "I have this compulsion to do this. I fight it, but I don’t know what to do about it." "You had better do something about your problem," the bartender replied. "You can be sure I’ll remember you and will never serve you another drink until you get help." It was months before the man faced the bartender again. When he asked for a beer, the bartender refused. Then the man explained that he had been seeing a psychiatrist and that his problem was solved. Convinced it was now okay to serve him, the bartender poured him a drink. The man took the glass and splashed the beer into the barkeeper’s astonished face. "I thought you were cured," the shocked bartender screamed. "I am," said the man. "I still do it, but I don’t feel guilty about it anymore."
What is guilt? Remorseful awareness of having done something wrong
What is our conscience? The ability to recognize the distinction between right and wrong coupled with a sense that one should act accordingly.
What does the Bible say about our conscience?
1. (Rom 2:15 NIV) since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)
2. Everyone has a conscience and it condemns us. Our hearts condemn us.
Thesis: This morning we are going to talk to those who have little guilt and then to those who are plagued by guilt
1. Those who have little guilt
A man was charged Thursday (July 15) in the murder of a West Bend (near Milwaukee) teenager. According to the charges, 18-year-old Katie Gensmer was killed so she wouldn’t talk about a past relationship. David Brace, 20, showed little emotion as he was led into court, 12 News Nick Bohr said. Now charged with homicide, Brace faces a possible life sentence. Gensmer was found stabbed to death with her throat slashed two weeks ago at a Fond du Lac County hiking trail.
Family members wept as they learned Brace told investigators he lured Gensmer to the area with the intention of killing her. He said he was concerned that she might tell others about a sexual relationship she’d had with his cousin.
"He did not know her before that evening. He went over there. They knew each other by face. He asked the victim if she would come out with him for a short time. She agreed to do that," Fond du Lac County District Attorney Tom Storm said.
Following Brace’s initial court appearance at the Fond du Lac County courthouse, Storm admitted this isn’t the first case he’s prosecuted where the motive didn’t make any sense, Bohr reported.
"It’s hard to understand the motivations for anybody who engages in this sort of activity. When you ask about a motive, and he explains to you and I the motive, it doesn’t make any sense to us," Storm said.
In a confession detailed in the complaint, Brace expressed little remorse. He told detectives, "I felt that, ya know, maybe if I had known her it would have had an impact on me maybe a little bit more. There was no sadness. There was no, anything."
Investigators don’t believe Brace’s cousin had any knowledge of his plans.
A. (1 Cor 4:4 NIV) My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.
B. Why do these people have little guilt?
1. They do many good deeds.
2. They are moral people
3. They are religious people
4. There consciences are faulty. 1 Timothy- consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. Guilt is like the red warning light on the dashboard of the car. You can either stop and deal with the trouble, or break out the light.
C. Some people have to punished for some grievous sin before they are convicted of their sinful state. When they are convicted of this big wrongdoing then they are convicted of other seemingly minor sins. When Jesus confronted the woman at the well, she left and told people that Jesus told her everything that she ever did. This is not the case but because he confronted her with her main problem she felt convicted of all of her sins.
D. John 16:8-11
5. They do not believe in Jesus Christ and the judgment to come.
A. The conscience cannot convict of unbelief. This is from the Holy Spirit.
B. He will convict of the seriousness of sin.