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Monday, August 6, 2012

Sin is Sin

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear. 
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; 
 your sins have hidden his face from you,   
so that he will not hear. 
Isaiah 59:1-2

Contrary to what many may believe, there are no BIG sins and there are no LITTLE sins.  Sin is sin in God's eyes.  God hates sin.  Sin separates us from God.  But God has a plan for our sin problem.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
Romans 6:23

Jesus is that plan!  Jesus gets us close to God!  We can not get to God on our own.  We must go through Jesus Christ, His Son and Our Savior.

We can't be good enough.
We can't do enough good deeds.
We can't pay the debt we owe to God.
We need Jesus.

He is the one who gets us in contact with our Heavenly Father because His blood was shed on our behalf - for our sins.

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

When we realize that sin in our life not only hurts us and those we love, but also hurts God, then we realize we must do something about our sin problem.  We become - or should become - "cut to the heart" like is mentioned in Acts 2:37.

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 

The people, who happened to be the ones responsible for Jesus' death, realized that sin was separating them from God and that what Peter was telling them about Jesus was really true.  He really was who he said he was.  The were cut to the heart and asked how they could take care of their sin problem.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Acts 2:38

We can have that same forgiveness - just as those early Christian did.  That promise is for you and for me - the same as it was for all of those people long ago.

The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off —for all whom the Lord our God will call." Acts 2:39

Peter went on to teach the people.  He warned them about being drawn into the evil and wickedness that was prevalent around them.  Some listened.  Some didn't.

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Acts 2:40-41

Can you imagine, though??!  3000 people were added to their number?  3000 people were added to the church that day???!!!  What an awesome thing!!!  That same thing could happen now.  People need to feel "cut to the heart" like those 3000 people did then.

The sad part is that today, too many people are rejecting God's Word.  Too many people believe that they just have little sins - or little problems - but no BIG BIG sins.  They believe that a God who loves would never send anyone to hell.  They believe that everyone who is basically a "good" person and has lived a basically good life is going to go to Heaven.  God's Word tells us that that is simply not true.  God does want everyone to come to Him, but He will not force anyone to do so.  He allows you and I to have a free will.  We can make the choice to turn to Him and obey Him, or we can choose to turn away from live our lives according to what we think and what we want.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Sadly, many people don't believe in God's plan.  They reject Him.  They reject Jesus and his sacrifice for their sin problem.  They reject the free gift of salvation and the freedom that comes from knowing their sins are washed away in baptism.  They don't know the peace that comes from knowing that Jesus' sacrifice allows for the continual cleansing of confessed sins.  And they don't realize that continuing in sin is separating them from spending eternity in Heaven.  They live to please themselves and their heart's desires.....not realizing that they are living a life of sin that is separating them from their Father in Heaven.  They are not being cut to the heart.

If you are feeling "cut to the heart", please do what God's Word says to do.  Obey the gospel before it's too late.

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10

The world, and sadly many who call themselves Christians will say it doesn't matter how you live, but scripture tells us that this is not so.  We aren't going to be perfect.  No one but Jesus has ever been perfect.  But we can strive to live out our lives in accordance with God's Word, guarding our hearts against the evil desires that Satan puts in our way to tempt us.  We can deliberately choose to make it our goal to walk in the footsteps and example of Jesus.  We can choose to strive to live a holy life.  It's a choice.....and those choices will determine where we spend eternity.  God wants us with Him.  Jesus died on the cross because He wanted YOU to live with Him some day - FOREVER.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 2 Peter 3:10-13

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Sunday night our minister Mark touched on this and also talked about why do so many parents and grandparents harp about sexual immorality over other sins? There are no big sins or little sins. He said it was most likely because of our age and experience we know that those sins have immediate and life-changing consequences.

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