A father and his son were going on a vacation. The son was looking forward to doing some fishing. The father was looking forward to just relaxing. They were going to spend a few weeks in Venezuela in a cabin right next to a freshwater river.
When they arrived at their cabin, the son saw a boat tied to a nearby pier. He could barely contain his excitement at the thought of taking the boat out and fishing in the river.
But the father advised the son that any fishing that he would do would have to be done while standing right on the wooden pier. This particular river was known to sometimes have crocodiles swimming in it, and taking the little boat out would just not be safe. So the father made the son promise that he would go no farther than the pier's edge to fish.
Well, the father and son got settled into the cabin. Then after a little while, the son went outside to fish on the pier. The son stood on that pier trying to fish, but his eyes kept wandering over to the boat tied nearby. He wasn't having much luck catching anything from the pier, and he began to be convinced that all of the fish must be closer to the center of the lake. He thought, "Surely that boat is sturdy and safe. It couldn't possibly be dangerous to take it out. I won't go too far out." So in spite of his father's warnings and his promises to obey, the son untied the boat, got in it, and paddled away from the pier. Then he began fishing from the boat in the center of the lake.
Well, no sooner did he cast his hook into the water when out of nowhere a crocodile appeared. The crocodile came fast upon the little boat and knocked the boat right over with his tail. And now the boy was left screaming in the water with the crocodile closing in on him.
From the cabin, the father heard his son's screams. He ran out to the pier, jumped into the water, swam out to his son, and grabbed ahold of him. He dragged his son back to the pier, saving him from the crocodile and putting his own life at risk.
The son was sobbing uncontrollably, telling his father how sorry he was that he disobeyed him, and thanking him for saving his life. And right as the words were coming out of his mouth, he noticed that his father's legs were mangled and torn. Blood was everywhere. His father looked like he was having a hard time breathing. His face was turning gray. He didn't look like he would make it. He was moments away from dying because of his injuries.
Then the father told his son, "I'm just glad that I got to you in time. Son, I forgive you."
And as his father lay there dying, the son thought to himself, "Wow, that was actually pretty exciting. I think I'll try to find another boat."
What kind of son would be this callous, ungrateful, and selfish? What kind of son would desire to continue doing the very thing that his father died for? Surely no one would ever REALLY behave like this.
Sadly, many people treat Jesus the very way this son treated his father. Many people continue to run back to the same old sinful situations, while not giving a second thought to the One who shed His blood and died on the cross to save them from that very sin. Their words of "I'm sorry" mean nothing in light of their disobedient, selfish actions.