As I typically do, I had run the dishwasher at night while we were sleeping. So the next morning, when I opened the dishwasher to empty it, the first thing I noticed was that the dishes were not clean. Baffled and frustrated, I threw another dishwasher tab in there and started the cycle over again. A little while later when I went to unload the dishes, I noticed that they still were not clean. Knowing that the only recent change I had made was the new dishwasher tabs I had bought, I immediately pulled the pack out of the cabinet. My first clue that I had made a big mistake was the fact that there was a picture of a washing machine on the back of the package. I turned the package around and, sure enough, they were not dishwasher tabs but washing machine tabs. No wonder the dishes didn't come clean!
I knew that I would later laugh at the silly mistake, but at the time, I was frustrated by my stupidity and the massive amount of water I had wasted because of such a silly mistake. Not only that, but I knew I would have to make an extra trip to the store to pick up dishwashing liquid because I had failed to read the package. The moral of the story is this: you cannot wash dishes in the dishwasher with laundry detergent!
As comical as the story may seem, it is no joke when people try to find other means of cleansing their sin outside of the blood of Christ. They cling to their works, their religion, their financial standing and so many other things in hopes of appearing holy before a righteous God. Sadly, their erroneous ways are confirmed by false teachings that claim we're all okay as long as we do our best. These same teachings claim that a loving God could not possibly send anyone to Hell. They hold fast to the parts of the Bible that they like and dismiss the parts that they don't. And so, in vain, millions of people around the world are trying to wash away their sins with nothing more effective than laundry detergent.
If only they would realize that, just as my laundry detergent would not clean my dishes, their works or religion or whatever else will not cleanse their sins. There is only one thing powerful enough to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and that is the blood of Christ. Only by accepting his sacrifice on the cross can we appear holy before a righteous God. Everything else is in vain. It may look good. It may sound good. It may feel good. But it is of no effect.
My mistake cost me time, energy, and money, but the mistake of those who look for other ways to cleanse their sins will cost them so much more! It's up to us to tell them, to show them the error of their ways. It's time we spoke up and let the truth be known. Time is growing short, and many are headed down the wrong path. They need to see the truth. Let's get busy, shall we?
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. - I John 1:7-9