“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4 NIV)
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:18 ESV)
“In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25 NASB)
“Let those who love the LORD hate evil.” (Psalm 97:10 NIV)
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires.” (Romans 6:12 HCSB)
GOD TAKES SIN SERIOUSLY. MAN DOES NOT.
That puts mankind on a collision course with the Creator of the universe.
There is no good outcome for mankind when God wants us to go one way, and we want
to go another, when we continue to sin and God hates our sin.
In the days of Noah, God created a great flood, which wiped out the entire population of the earth except for Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives, and a male and female of every species. “They are like those who disobeyed long ago in the days of Noah when God waited patiently while Noah built the ship. In this ship a few people—eight in all—were saved by water” (1 Peter 3:20 GW).
SO, AFTER THAT FLOOD THING, we must have gotten the message, right? Well, apparently not.
After Noah, mankind continued to sin. God said the cries of depravity in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah had reached the heavens and He would punish them. “Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens” (Genesis 19:24 NKJV).
The Bible tells us that 1,000 years after the flood, King David — Israel’s greatest king, the man who as a young shepherd boy slew the giant with one flick of his slingshot — wrote a psalm in which he said the LORD looks down from heaven to see what mankind is doing and concludes: “There is none who does good/No, not one” (Psalm 14:3 NKJV).
“You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” (Genesis 4:7
That’s not good. So, even my most “righteous deeds” are “filthy rags” in God’s eyes!
God is very clear throughout the pages of His Word that He hates sin. Cannot understand it; cannot tolerate it; cannot “co-exist” with it. The Bible—66 books written over more than 1,600 years by some 40 writers in three languages—says repeatedly that God hates sin (Proverbs 6:16).
He hates my sin; He hates your sin. He cannot abide sin.
MAN, ON THE OTHER HAND, LOVES SIN.
We all sin. It’s in our nature, born in Adam’s rebellion against God. “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world” (Romans 5:12 NLT). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 ESV). James, the half-brother of Jesus, strikes at our core to tell us how sin enters our lives: it permeates our hearts through desire, “which gives birth to sin” (James 1:14-15 HCSB).
So, that’s not a good dynamic, is it?
God hates our sin; we are drawn to sin.
God, who is just, has promised that sin cannot go unpunished. Our love of sin leads to a bad outcome: death. “For the wages of sin is death,” God tells us in Romans 6:23a. But God, in His mercy and love for us, has provided a way out of that tragic end. Here’s the rest of that verse in Romans: “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b BSB).
WHY, THEN, DO WE TAKE SIN SO LIGHTLY?
We rarely ever mention sin. Preach a sermon on the topic and watch the pews empty out. Write a blog on it and see how few people read it. Ouch!
In his book Pursuit of God, the Christian pastor and author A.W. Tozer reminds us of Jesus’ words that we are slaves to our sinful natures: “Everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin” (John 8:34 NASB) and will remain in sin unless we are reconciled to the Father through the Son (John 3:17-18).
“But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15 HCSB)
In other words, the sinful man (or woman) has substituted the kind and gentle rule of a loving God for the “cruel slave driver” who exacts obedience to actions, thoughts, and words that harm the sinner as well as those around him or her.
GOD HAS SAID MANKIND will face His wrath because of sin, with one bright, incredibly marvelous exception: those who have accepted His Son, Jesus Christ, into their hearts and confess Him as Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9) will be saved from Divine wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9) and will enjoy God’s presence through eternal life (Revelation 21:3).
What about those who fail to confess their sin, who reject the promise of salvation laid out by God for our benefit?
Jesus said the Lord will punish those who remain in sin (John 3:36). Those who want to live their lives without acknowledging and repenting of sin, who do not want the life-sustaining essence of the Holy Spirit to guide their lives, will have an eternal reward where God is not present. That is their choice, not His.
God has provided an escape route for those who do believe in Him and call on His name (Romans 10:13, Joel 2:32). God paid the price for our sins, making Him who had no sin (Jesus) become sin for our sakes “so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV).
GOD’S PLAN ALL ALONG FOR US was not for us “to suffer wrath but to receive salvation” through the lifeblood of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
Even though we are born in sin (Psalms 51:5), God calls us to be His holy people (Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:16). We can call on God’s strength to help us when we’re tempted to sin, to act or speak inappropriately or even to think errant thoughts (“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13 BSB).
James again says the twin promises of Scripture can sustain us during temptation to sin: one, that if we resist the devil, the devil will flee from us; and two, that if we draw near to God, God will draw near to us (James 4:7-8).
God call us across throughout the Bible to return to Him and live. From the Old Testament (“Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people” Jeremiah 7:23 ESV) to the New Testament ([God] is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 2 Peter 3:9 NLT), God is calling us to repent.
Now is the time to call on the Lord. “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6 NASB).
The Lord is calling you. Hear His voice? “Look, I’m standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I’ll come in and we’ll eat together.” (Revelation 3:20 GW)
What are you waiting for? Your eternity is on the line.
PRAYER: Our Heavenly Father, we know that sin and temptation are never far away. We know that we will stray from the path You have planned for us. We pray that when we follow the desires of our hearts, that You will call us back and help us resist. Our Father, we know that sin entices us, but help us to follow the path of faithfulness. In Jesus’ name. Amen