Larry Ray Hafley

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Contending for the Faith

Windshield Wiper Forgiveness

Windshield Wiper Forgiveness

(A brother sent me the following "Calvinistic 'cutsie,'" as he called it.)

    One rainy afternoon I was driving along one of the main streets of town, taking those extra precautions necessary when the roads are wet and slick. Suddenly, my son Matthew spoke up from his relaxed position in the front seat. "Mom, I'm thinking of something." This announcement usually meant he had been pondering some fact for a while and was now ready to expound all that his seven-year-old mind had discovered. I was eager to hear. "What are you thinking?" I asked. "The rain," he began, "is like sin and the windshield wipers are like God, wiping our sins away." After the chill bumps raced up my arms I was able to respond. "That's really good, Matthew." Then my curiosity broke in. How far would this little boy take this revelation? So I asked... "Do you notice how the rain keeps on coming? What does that tell you?" Matthew didn't hesitate one moment with his answer: "We keep on sinning, and God just keeps on forgiving us." Who can drive in the rain again without thinking of this one? Thank You JESUS!

Do Saints And Sinners Have The Same Wiper Blades?

Well, since Jesus shed his blood for the lost, for the sins of those who have never believed on Christ, does the same rule apply to them (1 John 2:1, 2)?

In other words, if forgiveness by the blood of Christ is unconditional for the child of God, why is it not the same for the alien sinner? As noted, Jesus shed his blood for him, too (John 6:51; Hebrews 2:9). If the child of God is forgiven without conditions, as per the windshield wiper, why doesn't the same rule apply to the child of the devil?

The truth is, forgiveness is conditional for both the sins of the child of God and for those of the alien sinner.

First, as to the former, Simon the sorcerer was saved (Acts 8;12, 13). When he sinned, no automatic wiper blade took away his sins; rather, he was told to "repent...and pray" (Acts 8:22-25). John does not tell the child of God that his sins are immediately forgiven as soon as they are committed, as per the windshield wiper; rather, he tells him to "confess" (1 John 1:9). Now, if the wiper blade illustration is true, those sins were wiped away before one had time to repent, confess, and pray. If that is true, if the sins, like rain drops, were wiped away the moment they hit the windshield, why repent, confess, and pray after the fact?

Second, redemption for the alien sinner is by the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18, 19). However, the sinner's soul is not purified by that blood until he obeys the truth (1 Peter 1:22; Cf. Matthew 7:21; Hebrews 5:9). The blood is the grounds, the basis, of salvation. Christ died for Adolf Hitler. He shed his blood for Adolf Hitler. Does anyone think Mr. Hitler was saved? We are not the judge, but with all we know, he was not saved. Now, since Christ died for him, shed his blood for him, why was he not saved? Because salvation, based on the blood of Christ, is conditional, that is why.

To illustrate, Paul told the Romans Christ was delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification (Romans 4:25). We are saved, the Romans were told, by the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9). However, that death, resurrection and blood did not save and justify the Romans until after they obeyed that form of doctrine which was delivered to them, that is, until they obeyed the gospel (Romans 6:3-6, 17, 18; 10:3, 16). Hence, there is no automatic, unconditional, "raindrop--wiper blade" forgiveness.

Neither the erring child of God nor the erring sinner can say, "Thank you JESUS!" until he meets the terms of pardon, the conditions of forgiveness. Yes, the blood of Christ washes us from our sins, but it does not do so until we obey what God has said we must do in order to receive the promised remission (Acts 2:38; 8:22-25; 9:6; 22:16; 1 John 1:9).

Note These Quotes

Note these quotes from Robert L. Shank's book, Life In The Son:

    "...the moment a person is born again, forgiveness has been provided for all the sins he ever has committed and for all the sins that he ever will commit in the course of this life" (Donald Grey Barnhouse, 132).

    "Through the present priestly advocacy of Christ in Heaven there is absolute safety and security for the Father's child even while he is sinning" (Lewis Sperry Chafer, 133).

Keep those quotations in mind as we explore the following thoughts concerning the falling rain and the automatic action of wiper blades.

Those rain drops fell on the windshield "by nature," in accordance with nature's laws. The rain cannot help it; it cannot stop its fall. It is bound to fall and splash on the windshield. Calvinism says the sinner is likewise bound by a "sinful nature" which he cannot control. He is bound to sin. Because of his inherent nature, he must sin.

However, let us suppose water is purposely splashed and sloshed against a windshield. Will wiper blades take it away? Yes. The wiper blades are no respecter of rain drops; they will wash them away whether they fall "by nature" or whether they are purposely thrown on to a windshield.

Therefore, if the wiper blade illustration were true, all sins could be purposeful, deliberate, and continuous, and the sinner would never have to worry, for they would be wiped away. If sins are automatically forgiven, automatically and instantly wiped away, may we not sin with impunity? Remember, as we learned in the first quote above, the sinner has forgiveness of "all the sins he ever has committed and for all the sins that he ever will commit in the course of this life." If that be true, even deliberate depravity must be forgiven, for, according to the second quote, his "safety and security" is "absolute."

Maybe that seven year old boy, Matthew, could tell us about that. Maybe that "little boy" (or, perhaps, his mother) could "take" his "revelation" and tell us if we may go into a life of willful sin. "We keep on sinning, and God just keeps on forgiving us." Why will that not work for a man who turns away in an evil heart of unbelief, has his heart hardened "through the deceitfulness of sin" and pursues a life wholly devoted to the flesh (Hebrews 3:12, 13)? Does that wiper blade still work? If not, what Scripture shut it off? Further, once the blade quit working, how could one turn it back on and get forgiveness? Are there any conditions for pardon, or may we give ourselves over to the devil and be forgiven anyway and say, "Thank you JESUS!"?

Paging Matthew.