Encouragement for Old Sinners to Come to Christ

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Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

If you are old and fear that Christ will not accept you for having sinned away the better part of your life, let Jonathan Edwards compel you. This is from a sermon titled “No Obstacle to the Pardon of the Returning Sinner,” based on Psalm 25:11, “For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.”

I am afraid God will not accept of me, when I offer him only mine old age.

To this I would answer

Hath God said anywhere, that he will not accept old sinners who come to him? God hath often made offers and promises in universal terms; and is there any such exception put in?

Doth Christ say, All that thirst, let them come to me and drink, except old sinners? Come to me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, except old sinners, and I will give you rest? Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out, if he be not an old sinner?

Did you ever read any such exception any where in the Bible? And why should you give way to exceptions which you make out of your own heads, or rather which the devil puts into your heads, and which have no foundation in the word of God?

Indeed it is more rare that old sinners are willing to come, than others; but if they do come, they are as readily accepted as any whatever. . . .

You say your life is spent, and you are afraid that the  best time for serving God is past. . . as if it were for the sake of the service which persons are like to do him, after they are converted, that he accepts of them. But a self-righteous spirit is at the bottom of such objections. . . .

But if they are willing to accept of Christ when old, he is as ready to receive them as any others; for in that matter God hath respect only to Christ and his worthiness.