SIN IS A VERY SHORT WORD BEGINNING A VERY LONG SENTENCE!
Today, few people take sin seriously. Satan is wise in that he does his best to make people think sin is not as bad as it really is. One of the ways in which he has done this is by renaming sins in ways that makes sin more palatable.
Some examples suffice:
Compromise is labeled “broadmindedness.”
Licentiousness is “having a good time.”
Fornication and adultery are listed as “the new morality” or “situation ethics.”
Skepticism and atheism march under the banner of “free thought” and “modern thinking.”
Dirty movies are for “mature” audiences, not dirty minded ones.
Instead of saying a young person stole a car, it is often referred to as “joy riding.”
Instead of someone stealing from his company or place of business, he “embezzled.”
Selfishness is often referred to as being conservative.
Instead of being fussy and hard to deal with, a person like this is one who “thinks for himself.”
And the “sales closers” are: “take a chance,’ or “everybody else is doing it.”
If you want people to take poison, mislabel the package.
In Isaiah 5, Isaiah lists the sins of the children of Israel and discusses what the reasons are for God punishing them. In Isaiah 5:8 the sin is covetousness (joining house to house); in 5:11 he mentions the debaucheries that are involved in drinking; in 5:13 the problem is that they have no knowledge—the word of God is no longer in their lives and they do not know what God’s commands are. In 5:18 unbelief is evident, and the people are daring God to punish them for sin (arrogance and pride). In 5:20 we read, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter;.” In 5:21 he talks about those who are so wise in their own eyes they cannot see what sin is doing to them; in 5:22 Isaiah again mentions those who drink, and as a result of that drink, they pervert justice. Finally, sadly, God shows the bitter consequences of their sins because they have rejected the law of the Lord—”therefore the anger of the Lord is aroused against his people.” (This phrase is mentioned 25 times in the book of Isaiah).
Sin is the curse of mankind since the Garden of Eden. Sin breaks the relationship we have with God, and it breaks the relationships we have with people, even those we love. Jesus emphasizes that because people will serve him, they will be “hated for my name’s sake” (Matthew 10:22; 24:9).
In a sinful world many want and desire that Christians accept their lifestyle. Can Christians accept what God despises; should Christians accept that which breaks our relationship with God and others? Acceptance of sin leads us further down the path of alienation from God because our hearts will care more about what we want and what others think. One of the things we desire is that we be at “peace with others,” so because we care more about what people think than what God commands we will accept that which he hates. This does not lead to life, but death. Eternal death.
A sinful world pleads with us to accept them as they are, and leave them alone. God has commanded us to share the good news of Christ with everyone, and when one hears the gospel, believes in Jesus and his atoning death for their sins, REPENTS of those sins; confesses these sins and is baptized into Christ, they are raised to walk in newness of life. They we have the abundant life of John 10:10; we can know we are where God wants us to be, and live with him forever. This is true life; this is abundant joy.
What does sin bring? Listen again to Isaiah 59:1-8, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, Nor his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. BUT YOUR INIQUITIES HAVE SEPARATED YOU FROM YOUR GOD, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that he will not hear . . . No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth, they trust in empty words and speak lies, they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity . . . Their feet run to evil and they make haste to shed innocent blood, their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity . . . The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths, whoever takes that way shall not know peace.”
Sin is so serious that God sent Jesus to die for it, and Jesus willingly gave his life to save us from it! Can we accept that which God sent his son to die for? We should hate sin, but love the sinner enough to teach him God’s way. Will we do that?
Charles Hodge, of Duncanville, TX wrote these word as an aid for Christians to deal with sin and sinners.
“It is one simple fact: Christians hate sin yet love sinners! (Didn’t Jesus do that—love sinners enough to die for us all? TCT). So simple to preach yet so difficult to practice. It appears contradictory. Some preach against sin so heatedly they cannot accept or love a sinner . . . Others accept and loves sinners to a degree that they cannot preach against sin. BOTH are wrong.
“To illustrate . . . I hate cancer but love cancer patients! There is no contradiction in this. Even if their cancer was basically self-caused. Even if cigarette smoking caused the lung cancer, the patient is still loved, aided, prayed for and served. Lung cancer patients must not be ’shot’ because we preach against cigarettes. Booze can cause cirrhosis of the liver but the patient must still be loved with compassion. Gluttony can cause stomach disorders and obesity, which is as harmful to the body as cigarettes and booze; but we don’t shoot the glutton. Worry causes ulcers, but we don’t shoot the one who worries. The point is vividly this — illness is hated but sick people are loved.
“Compassion, urgency, ministry, and encouragement must be given the sick. They have our priority—Jesus calls the sinner—not the righteous.”