We are living in different and perilous times. As a Christian we have to feel overwhelmed at times at the sad state of American culture, and even more at the brazen attempts by followers of Satan, in trying to demand that Christians accept sin such as abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, . . . you get the picture.
As we live in a culture that glorifies what God despises, we realize that this has been coming on us in a steady fashion, from Satan himself. I usually watch old shows that I grew up with in the 70s, 80s and 90s, and I have seen that “thought seeds” leading to this culture were planted back then in television, radio and other media. It has become one thousand times worse in our culture due to the internet, and easy access to these “sources of information” via our phones, computers and other means of mass media. Now, someone tells lies, and they are believed as the truth. “A lie repeated often enough will soon become the truth.” Another maxim is that “A lie will travel around the world twice before truth can get its boots on.” Hence, it gets to the point that with so much information and misinformation around, we don’t know what to believe, or who to believe, and we struggle. Pity our children who have to grow up in a world not knowing who can be trusted and believed. Pity a world in which people do not know the truth.
According to John 8:44, Jesus said, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” He deceived Adam and Eve from the beginning, and he still deceives mankind. Further, once we have been deceived, unless we repent, it will become harder and harder to get out of the “habit of sinning.”
There is a progression that causes some to become hard hearted to God and the gospel, as well as to truth itself. There are many examples of this in Scripture, such as Saul in 1 Samuel 13. “First comes the tyranny of the urgent, the encroaching pressure from surrounding circumstances. This is followed by insecurity and self-doubt arising from a lack of total reliance on God. Finally, there follows the rebellion itself – the pitiful human attempt to take matters into our own hands, which is tantamount to usurping, or at least presuming upon, the authority of God.” (Bill Arnold, https://gracequotes.org/topic/sin-progression/)
Another writer, Joni Erickson Tada, put it this way, “Though gradually, though no one remembers exactly how it happened, the unthinkable becomes tolerable. And then acceptable. And then legal. And then applaudable.”
My sin – our sin – is an insult to the Holy God. God hates sin. Hence, we should not respond with laughter, then acceptance. We should not follow the pattern of the world that accepts anything and everything, and states that the greatest sin is that of judging (which may be the only bible passage some people will ever know, and that taken out of context). As Christians we should be mourning over the sin in the world, and in our own lives.
“With the lack of Biblical literacy and the rise of immoral behavior, Christians today are being pressed more than ever to conform to the image of the world rather than that of Christ. Their method? Compartmentalize and fragment the Christian life so that God only impacts some of the believer’s life and not the whole. Social media is a perfect demonstration of this with Christians condemning specific sins while, at the same time, laughing about them on the big screen.”
“Maybe a contributing factor to the reason why the world doesn’t take Christianity seriously is because we don’t take our own faith seriously. We have changed the fear of God into merely respect for God. We have taken his word and cut from it the passages that cause discomfort or that we disagree with entirely. Rather than functioning as a locker room to regroup, encourage, strengthen and prepare believers for another week in the world, churches today are often no more than a social gathering where crowds gather to hear a motivational speech teaching them how to feel better about themselves.”
Beloved, we need to turn our laughter at sin into mourning. We need God to help us with an appropriate response to sin; we need to hate sin with every fiber of our being. May we not allow sin to reign in our bodies (Romans 6:12).
If we have sinned, let us turn back to God and ask for his forgiveness. Let us seek forgiveness from those whom we have sinned against. Let us trust in God’s word that promises that we will be forgiven if we but repent. Let us not flirt with sin, nor try to find ways to justify such in our lives. Let us remember that we serve THE HOLY GOD, and serve him with all of our hearts, minds, and strength. Let us not allow sin to reign anymore, but follow God.
(Caveat — Various sources used in this article does not mean I agree with everything they teach or say. Test all things by Scripture! Tommy).
Deuteronomy 29:29 says in part, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever.” Decades ago, when I was an undergraduate student at Harding, when someone asked or started talking about something unrevealed, one of us would call our, “Deuteronomy 29:29.”
Scripture is clear. God’s word is valuable, not because it is written in a book and not just when it is heard or “believed,” but only when it is done. James also says, “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (1:21). Jesus says the wise man is the one who hears his words and does them (Matthew 7:24). DO! Cecil May, Preacher Talk Summer 2020