You may not be ready for this nor receptive to what I have to say, but you’re a sinner and you’re in danger. I’m not saying you’re a bad person but I know for fact you’re like me. You have struggles and things you’re tempted by. You might even think that your shortcomings define you, but they don’t. Your choices define you.
We’re all sinners and if there would be one worse than you, then perhaps it’s me. In the eyes of a human being, it may be up for debate, but in my own mind, I take ownership of all of my errors and wrongdoings. I recognize the gravity of my sins. In this age of sensitivity to rebuke, I am fortunate to have submitted to the rebuke of the conscience God placed in me. Had I not, I would also react with anger when someone spoke honestly about the subject of sin. Had I not submitted to God (to one so supreme), I may have also wanted to tune out the voices of countless Christians who try to spread the good news.
Without Christ, I would have remained in the same danger you now face. You cannot save yourself, sibling. Pride won’t save you and denial certainly won’t help you. You surely cannot hide from this danger, nor stare it down into submission. Only Jesus Christ can save you.
Scoffing at the truth or even getting angry about it will not make it a lie. Denying your sinful nature won’t give you an excuse, nor will trying to avoid it. Furthermore, calling yourself “good” based on the standards of the world doesn’t change the fact that YOU HAVE SINNED! You are headed for eternal destruction; for the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). Overall, you may indeed be a good person. Likewise, I am currently seen as a good person in the eyes of other people. But when it comes to sin, and God’s perfect standard, none can stand shamelessly on their own. That’s a fact!
Nowadays, more than any other time in history, we’re trying to redefine what God considers sin or should consider sin so we can sleep blissfully. Our redefinitions don’t change the truth. They lead to more relativism (…as in moral relativism).
Here’s what I know and believe:
- Those who recognize the LORD as their God, and submit to Him, not allowing society, or “times” to change what He has defined practice moral integrity.
- The everlasting God doesn’t change. He has had the same laws from the beginning.
I would be a fool to fear anyone’s disappointment more than I fear the power of a deity who can destroy every aspect of my being just as easily as He made me…if not more. There is a reason we will always need a perfect standard to determine and evaluate measurable qualities such as “goodness”.
Goodness (which is a more casual way of expressing the concepts of righteousness and grace), can be evaluated by comparing it to the LORD’s example. Just as the straightness of a line, can be evaluated by comparing the line to a ruler, or to the path of a laser, righteousness can compared and contrasted to God’s own. The same way human beings cannot consistently draw perfectly straight lines and circles without tools, is the same way we cannot be good without God.
Now, after reading this, many might disagree. They don’t believe in God and they still consider themselves to be good. Likewise, their friends agree and would vouch for their goodness…but here’s the truth of the matter. They did not raise themselves. They did not teach themselves manners and ethics. They were taught by people who had been taught by others who had been taught, etc. The knowledge of good and evil is something that human beings learned long ago. The standard of “good” was first established by God and stands forever. It is as unwavering as the perceived straightness of an uninterrupted laser beam.
Apart from God it is in our natures to sin. But I’m not here to judge you, nor pretend I’m blameless and without fault. That’s not my job, nor will it ever be. God alone is judge and arbiter and if no one likes it, they deceive themselves by calling the pinnacle of all existing power “God”—when in reality they’ve become their own gods in the sense of being able to customize the one true Authority over all to suit their fancies.
They make gods in their own images, to be lustful, proud, envious, haughty, gluttonous, selfish, narcissistic, and imperfect. They make God into someone who is okay with their lifestyles. If they even know the slightest bit about Jesus, they choose to accept only the aspects of Him they associate with theirs. They accept the aspects of Jesus that show He cares enough to heal our infirmities. Yet they haven’t read enough in the Bible to know that Jesus also had righteous anger. Much like the God of the Old Testament, Jesus showed His disapproval of sin. As a man whose mission was to show God’s grace, He demonstrated forgiveness, healing, and provision.
Nowadays, many Christians and heathens take Christ’s forgiveness for granted. I have been guilty of that as well, but I have also been working on this tendency. You see, when Christ died for this world and became its mediator, it was to cover guilt and shame. He died so that the unwavering righteousness of God would not stir up His wrath against us. He died because He did not want anyone to perish, but for everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
God’s omnipotence means He can force everyone into submission. However, His love for us and respect for our will means He will not force anyone to obey Him. Therefore, some become angry when the gospel is preached. Those who enjoy their rebellion despise any and all rebuke. Some hate Christ and Christ lovers in their refusal to submit to God. You’re in danger! Please wake up! Please!
The forgiveness of Christ and the penalty He paid for us is not an excuse to keep sinning. God can save you daily. The blood He shed when He gave His life is more than enough to cover the multitude of our sins, but we have to repent. We have to desire change. If we wish to be pardoned, yet we continue to commit the same sins, we are like repeat offenders who commit the same crimes. What will God’s verdict for us be if Christ cannot mediate in our favor because we really didn’t care? To quote Hebrews 2:3, “How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?”, if we asked for forgiveness out of the fear of punishment but never committed to turning away from our sin. You’re in danger and Christ is reaching out to save you. Please grab hold of Him. He does love you!
This same Jesus, however, who went like a lamb to the cross will return like a lion instead. The same Jesus who was the incarnation of the loving and merciful God will return a second time as the warrior God who destroyed nations in times past. The same way Jesus flipped the tables of greedy tax collectors, He will flip the tables of society for the last time.
Those who believe their goodness is enough to earn them a place in paradise fool themselves. Their hubris is akin to one who refuses the help of a good attorney. They intend to represent themselves and show how straight their walk through life has been. Unfortunately, all have sinned and fallen short. Therefore, anyone who tries to boast of their goodness will be brought to humility against the perfect standard of God. God’s standard will reveal the crookedness of all their ways.
Dear brother, sister, you are in danger. You try to change the one who embodies the perfect standard to suit your needs. You try to make excuse for your sins and rationalize thrm. These are futile endeavors. I know it’s humbling to completely come to terms with our imperfect natures and our need for God. It’s even harder to give up the things our bodies desire more than others. Tell me do you crave God? Do you pursue Him with as much hunger as your next meal, your big break, or love? Would you give up your partner for God? If you wouldn’t, you’re a fool. If that stung, you’re too sensitive. But you’re in real danger. Would you rather be saved, or remain in your feelings?