A droll bit of advice sometimes given to persons who are being bothered by some disagreeable problem is, “Let it alone and it will go away by itself.” While the words are usually intended to be humorous, they express, better than many more serious words would do, an unfortunate habit which is altogether too prevalent among us. It is the habit of neglecting spiritual questions in the vague hope that they will stop bothering us and go away of themselves.
We all come into the world with one tremendous question facing us, the question of our relation to the God from whose hand we came. None of the heavy problems propounded by philosophy can equal this one in vital significance and solemn meaning for the individual man. So important is it that it may properly be said that no other question really exists at all till this one has been settled. And it will not settle itself; it must be settled by each one of us personally and individually. lf we ignore it, it will not go away. It will be there to haunt us in the last day we spend on earth, and it will be there to face us in the day of judgment when it is too late to do anything about it.
The question is not a philosophical one merely; it is not even a theological one. It is strictly personal. The deceitful human heart would like only too well to involve it in the fog of doctrinal argument and thus rob it of its real meaning. That is a common way to deal with it, but it is never a satisfactory way. The question will come back again out of the fog to demand a true answer, that is, a moral answer.
Two questions are embraced within the one problem: What shall I do with my sin? and what shall I do with Jesus which is called Christ? In spite of every effort of the pseudo-learned world to dispose of the sin question, it remains still, a perennial heartache to the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. It is one of those persistent pains that lies deep in the soul and never quite stops hurting. It just won’t go away. The devil and the busy sons of men have sought throughout the centuries for something to make this problem go away. They have invented how many thousands of amusements, they have created innumerable pleasures to take the mind off its central woe; but nothing works. Sin is still the world’s first problem.
The second question, What shall I do with Jesus? is the answer to the first one, for Jesus came to save men from their sins. Let us answer the second one rightly and the first one will be solved automatically. If we but come to Jesus with our sin upon us and without any hope except His mercy, we shall surely be delivered from the ancient curse. But remember, sin demands an answer. It won’t just go away. It must be carried away by redeeming blood, and redeeming blood was never shed by any other lamb except the Lamb of God.
A. W. Tozer It Will Not Go Away is from Alliance Weekly 3 October 1951