Do you like detective stories? Stories filled with suspense and danger? It might be nice to read one, but to actually live in danger isn’t the best idea! However, if you liked such stories, pull up a chair and listen to mine…
My sin is missing! I used to have sin in my life, but now…it seems to be gone! How did I come to be in this deprived condition? Well, recently I have been listening to a few sermons from some of today’s popular preachers and as I have, my thoughts & concerns regarding sin have slowly slipped away! The preachers don’t seem to use the word, and in fact, they don’t really address the issue at all. And so now after following my new teachers, all awareness of sin has slowly dissolved away. That’s okay, right? I can still acknowledge that I “don’t always make the best choices” and that sometimes I “mess up”, but sin? No. That seems to be a thing of the past. And good riddance. Instead of being depraved in sin, I am now deprived of sin – and I don’t miss it at all!
Obviously, I am trying to use a bit of sarcasm to make a point. In Scripture we see many teachings regarding sin. We learn that sin is actually a crime – a crime against God’s law. Each sin is a crime for which we will be judged (by a just judge who in no way pardons the guilty). We learn that every sin is an act of rebellion, and every rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. We are taught that every act of sin is a refusal to accept the Lord as our Lord, and is considered to be idolatry. Each sin makes self and desire our god instead of Him. You see, every sin is not only a crime against God’s law, but also an insult and challenge to our God on a personal level.
In short, the act of sin, its’ consequences in the heavenly court, along with the immediate effects of sin here are all BIG deals in the eyes of God. Such a big deal that God sent His Son (the Living Word, God incarnate) to die in our place so that the just judge can remain just and offer forgiveness to His people. And not just forgiveness! With forgiveness comes a new birth, the “beginning of the end” in regards to sin in the life of a believer. For every believer is given a new heart that follows God and His laws willingly. They have a life trademarked by repentance and an ever-widening gap between the believer and sin.
Wait a minute…that’s another word missing in modern preaching these days, isn’t it? “Repentance.” But I guess that’s logical, now that I think about it. How can the word or concept of repentance (the changing of ones mind in regards to sin) be preached when the very concept of sin has been softened, avoided, re-worded (or re-defined) and all but removed? “Repentance” was included in the messages delivered by John the Baptist, Paul, John and Jesus Christ Himself, but it is completely missing from the modern preacher’s vocabulary (dear reader, do your teachers regularly discuss sin and repentance?)
Folks, the absence of sin and repentance from today’s preaching does much more than simply contextualize the gospel message for the modern man. It changes the call of the gospel (by eliminating repentance), softens the hard truths about sin, and it robs God of His glory. Does that last statement surprise you? It shouldn’t! Think of this:
- Without the dark of night, we can’t see the beauty of the stars. Likewise, without the backdrop of sin & evil, we can in no way appreciate the purity and righteousness of our God!
- Without knowing the wickedness of sinful man, how can we appreciate the grace involved in Jesus dying for His people who are so incredibly undeserving of such a sacrifice?
- Without knowing the sentence of death already handed down to a guilty race, how can we truly express gratitude for the rescue carried out? A rescue we could never even begin, let alone finish, on our own?
Our Lord accrues much glory in how He deals patiently and kindly with sinful man. And from our perspective, how can we ever truly know, appreciate and glorify our God if we are so active in avoiding all negative & troubling aspects of ourselves? It is as if we find the notion of sin so appalling, we are willing to let others live in it, and tolerate it ourselves, rather than call attention to it while calling men to repentance. Except – the ugly truth of the matter is that modern preachers don’t find sin appalling because it is appalling to God, rather, they find the subject of sin appalling because it is an insult to their pride. It is a pride of methodology. They directly rebel against the command to preach it, because they know a “better way” to reach modern seekers. They have stripped the Lord of the message His right to be Lord over the message. Their sin is rebellion, and they have lost sight of their sin in the dark shadow of pride.
Beware of the preacher who never discusses sin, repentance, and atonement! They are everywhere! And since these are essential parts of the message they are clearly commanded to preach (see Luke 24) it can only mean your preacher is walking in rebellion if he is avoiding them. If they are not in sight, the gospel being preached is “another gospel”. None of us can, or should, lose sight of sin. If you are sitting under a teacher (or author) that has…you are in a dangerous place!
To view all the articles in the Dangerous Places series, click HERE.