2015-09-10 - Sin is Still Sin
Sin in the Culture
1 Sam 15:29 "Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind."
There are things that are done in this world today, that would not have been done in this world two decades ago - by both Christians and non-Christians. The list is longer for things that would not have been done 30 years ago, and more for 40 and so on. There are a few things that really didn't make sense. I believe, in one instance, that attempted suicide was considered a crime and carried the death penalty. So if you didn't succeed, the state would finish the job for you, when what the person really needed was help. That was an example of something that we no longer do that is good. Many other things would not have been done because they were considered wrong - for good reason: God said not to do them.
Everyone has sinned (Rom 5:12). None of us is righteous in our own standing (Rom 3:10). If we could live a perfect, sinless life, there would have been no reason for Jesus to come and die in our place, to save us from sin. Jesus spoke more about sin than He did about Heaven. Why not? He is the Great Physician. He came to find those who needed a doctor.
So sin is real. Sin affects us all.
Our culture has downplayed sin to the point where it is winked at and accepted. The church, in many instances, no longer resists, and in some cases, Christians practice things that Jesus clearly spoke against. The woman at the well admitted to Jesus that the man she was living with was not her husband. It was an important point that Jesus made, and she accepted His point. She was so amazed, that she went into her town and brought everyone to meet Jesus, saying - come and see a man who told me all about my life! Many in the town accepted Jesus as Messiah that day, and in the days to come.
When we no longer see it, sin does not have the impact on us that it should. We should resist it in our lives. If you didn't know it was wrong to drive recklessly, you might drive 100 miles per hour to work every day, not seeing the danger involved. It is no different for the things on the list we were discussing earlier. I won't enumerate them here. There isn't enough space or time, and it is not really the point. We know, in our hearts, what they are.
I don't say these things to scold anyone. If I do so, I would find myself looking into a mirror, poking my finger at my reflection. I say them to call us back from the path we are on as individuals, and as a nation, with compassion for those who are caught in the trap. We need to pray for God's mercy that He will pick us up, so that we can be the light on the table rather than hidden under a basket (Matt 5:15). Some today pray for God's justice. If that prayer were answered, I fear that the punishment this nation would endure, in the light of what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, would be devastating beyond our collective imaginations.
Pray for mercy. Pray for open eyes and hearts to see clearly and be honest with ourselves. Judgment will begin with the House of God (1 Peter 4:17, Rev 2-3). And yet we can still be salt and light in our homes, towns and workplaces. 2 Chron 7:14 is a tremendous promise to the nation of Israel, that shows the merciful heart of the Father. If we are willing to humbly turn back to Him, He has promised to hear and accept our prayers for forgiveness, and heal our nation. I believe that pattern holds for the nations today.
Recognize sin. Pray for mercy.
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.