If Someone Committed a Crime Before Becoming a Believer and Got Away With It, Should They Turn Themselves In?

The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

If someone committed a crime before becoming a believer and got away with it, should they turn themselves in?

Yes. This is really front burner. I'll give you an illustration, and I'll try not to give too many details.

A man came to me in church a year ago, after the service, and said that he had done arson. He had set something on fire and destroyed a building, intentionally. (Nine years ago, maybe?) And he asked me this question:

"I'm feeling really bad about this. Should I go and tell the police?"

And I said, "Yeah, you should. And let me pray with you that they would have mercy upon you, because it could be a lot of time in jail. I don't know how much damage was done, or whether people were hurt."

But that was my answer. And it's a great opportunity for trusting God.

Now he just came back to the church a few weeks ago and told me he had done it. He had done it. And they were blown away, like, "Now what do we do? We don't know what to do with this." They had not arrested him. They said, "We're doing to do more investigation," and so on. And things were still in process.

He just wanted to thank me. He said, "I feel like I've done the right thing. My conscience is clear. I don't know what is going to come of it entirely, but I had to get that off of my shoulders."

So, yeah, I would say, Yes. And that's not uncommon. The more practical thing is small things.

I have known a young man—no names—who did a lot of stuff in high school and school. He just said a lot of stuff and did a lot of stuff. And God touched him, and he went from person to person dealing with it: "I spoke like this. I said these things about you."

He just cleaned up the past wherever he could think of things, apologizing and repenting. And I think the same thing would be true of the law as well as personal relationships.