Four Unfinished Confessions PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Harold R. Carpenter   
Harold and Myrna Carpenter
Dr. Harold & Myrna


TEXT:Proverb 28:13

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion (Proverb 28:13, NASB).


It has been said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It can also be said that the road to hell is paved with procrastination and rebellion. This evening I would like for us to consider four of the greatest confessions in history that were never made. Two of these are found in the Old Testament and two are found in the New Testament.

Remember that for a confession to be valid it must be both sincere and complete!


16 Then Pharaoh hurriedly called for Moses and Aaron, and he said, "I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you (Exodus 10:16, NASB).
A. He recognized his sin but he failed to take the second step. He did not abandon his sin!
B. He was separated from the Children of Israel by the Red Sea and by God’s cloud.
C. He drowned in the Red Sea and was forever separated from God (Ex. 15:19-20).


A. He recognized his sin but did not abandon his sin.
B. He was stoned by the Children of Israel and was burned up as punishment for his sin (Joshua 7:25).
C. He was separated from the Israelites.
D. He was forever separated from God.
E. As a result of his unrepented sin his entire family perished.


A. He experienced remorse but did not repent before God. He reaped what he sowed (Galatians 6:7).
B. His confession was made to those who were both unable and unwilling to help him.
  1. Jesus is our High Priest.
  2. He paid the price for our redemption but it is conditioned upon our repentance of sin and acceptance of His forgiveness.
  3. Even though Judas was a first-hand witness to all the teachings and miracles of Jesus, he was willing to betray him for 30 pieces of silver.


11 And He [Jesus] said, "A man had two sons. 12 "The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' So he divided his wealth between them. 13 "And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14 "Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 "So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 "And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving {anything} to him. 17 "But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 'I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men."' 20 "So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion {for him,} and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 "And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22 "But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate (Luke 15:11-24, NASB).
A. The Prodigal Son said, “...I have sinned...” (Luke 15:18, NASB).
B. His confession was quite similar to the other three with the exception that he took action to abandon his sin.
C. He confessed his sins twice:
  1. First to himself in the pig pen;
  2. Secondly to his father in his father’s house.
D. He abandoned the pig pen.
  1. Those who confess their sins but don’t abandon their sins are condemned to forever live in the pig pen of sin.
  2. It was only when he abandoned the pig pen that he received the blessings from his father.
  3. The prodigal son confessed his sins where he should have and to whom he should have.


If anyone knew the value of repentance and confession of sins it was King David. He took Uriah’s wife, committed adultery and became an accessory to murder. After confessing his sin, he fell on his face and cried:

1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! 2 How blessed is the man to whom the Lord [a]does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit! 3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah. 5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord"; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah (Psalm 32:1-5, NASB).

The Apostle John assures us:

7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us (1 John 1:7-9, NASB).

The advice of the Apostle Paul is just as timely today as it was 2000 years ago:

8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation (Romans 10:8-10, NASB).
  • Some people never recognize their sins.
  • Some recognize their sins and mentally confess them.
  • Some recognize their sins, confess them and still do nothing.
  • An unfinished confession is a useless confession.

It is only when we recognize, confess, repent, and abandon our sins that pardon takes place and our fellowship with God is renewed.


This is the outline of the sermon Dr. Harold Carpenter preached 15 December 2003 in the p.m. service. Dr. Carpenter and his wife served as missionaries for twenty years. Dr. Carpenter also taught missions for twenty years at Central Bible College. He now serves as Pastor of Fair Grove Assembly of God, Fair Grove MO.
© Harold Carpenter 2003. Published by permission.


In Essentials: Unity; In non-essentials: Liberty; In all things: Charity—Peter Meiderlin 1626.


You have permission to copy, email or print unedited Power Articles.


Copyright © 1995-2001

Special thanks to the following organizations:

Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible,
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission. (

Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission. (

Scripture quotations taken from the New English Translation® Bible,
Copyright © 1997-2001 by Biblical Studies Press
Used by permission. (

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.
All rights reserved throughout the world.
Used by permission of International Bible Society.

Scripture quotations taken from the Today's English Version® Bible,
Copyright © 1976, 1992 by The American Bible Society
Used by permission. (

Materials of Reverend Clarence Larkin used by permission of
POB 344 GLENSIDE PA 19038 215-576-5590
Last Updated on Sunday, 07 August 2011 15:54