And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come"
The more friendly the church is with sin the more sin the church will celebrate and embrace. In fact, the church has become so friendly with sin that most church leaders constantly lead the professing believers in celebrating their sinfulness. I was just a guest at a well-known prophecy conference where the host asked everyone present, "If there is anybody here that is not a sinner, please raise your hand." Not one hand went up and it was celebrated. You may ask me if I raised my hand? I started to, but decided it would have been a vain protest that would have been treated with shock. I'm not willing to cast my bread on a raging sea.
Yes, we all have sinned and, yes, we all may still sin, but let's not celebrate it with cheap theology. A sin-friendly theology is first and foremost an attack on the cleansing and redeeming Blood of Jesus Christ. He did not come to this earth to promote and build a sin-friendly kingdom. The Bible is lined with prophets, pastors, and evangelists that railed against sin. A short review will identify great servants of God that paid the ultimate price because they preached against sin. One prophet cried forth, "Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone." (Hosea 4:17) Our new theology is "we all are joined to our idols," so "come as you are and leave as you came." Jeremiah spent weeks in a mud-filled pit up to his arms where to go to sleep was to drown in the mud all because his message was not sin-acceptable. These were just two examples of Old Testament prophets.
Now, meet the Son of God who appeared as the perfect image of the Father. He was quick to declare that all His messages were direct from the Father and that He said nothing of Himself. Instead of celebrating sin, He cried forth, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:32) Repentance means one thing alone, to turn away from sin or to reverse one's lifestyle. When he met the woman taken in adultery at the verge of being stoned to death, He forgave her of her sins but soundly declared to her, "...go, and sin no more." (John 8:11) Jesus Christ never coddled sin but instpad was crucified because He proclaimed a righteousness that exceedeth that of the law. He said, "...That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matthew 5:28).
No one ever proved love for the men and women in sin more perfectly than Jesus Christ. He ate with "publicans and sinners" and was crucified for them, but He never pandered to them. His message and life reveals an absolutely supernatural hatred for sin and perfect, Divine love for its victims. That is the exact pattern for His Church. We must never treat sin as acceptable or celebrate it and we must never lose our passion to see every sinner repent and be forgiven. To confuse these two ideals is to forsake the great Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no kinship between a love to reach sinners and the coddling of sin to fill the church.
The Biblical picture of hope for the sinner to escape sin is breathtaking indeed. Jesus Christ did not come to make sin acceptable but to make it unacceptable. Willful, knowledgeable sin is totally unacceptable in the believer's life. One of the most powerful condemnations of a sinning religion came to us in the Book of Hebrews. The writer said, "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins." (Hebrews 10:26) The writer of Saint John's Gospel and the Book of Revelation said in his first epistle, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:1-2) This is the perfect Biblical analysis of our Gospel message. We preach against sin, we warn people against sin, but if they sin, we immediately direct them to the merciful Redeemer where there is plenty of forgiveness.
There is no forgiveness to the person that panders sin. The saints of God must never forget how totally they are dependent on His grace and forgiveness. We must not treat sin in a casual manner. Sin cost the Son of God the most horrible treatment and death and it is to be hated with the same passion as we treat His pain.
The sin-friendly models that are invading evangelical churches are clearly New Age and unbiblical. Robert Schuller has promoted this idea for many years. Now we have Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Bruce Wilkerson and similar religious leaders. This pattern fits the end times prediction perfectly. Even the worldly, liberal news reporters, and non-religious persons are decrying the demise of a credible church world and the absence of any sense of the holy.
We must understand that the prophetic picture for the coming seven years of Tribulation includes a mammoth religious entity that will be comprised of many religious ideas all merged to look exactly like the "sin-friendly" church. This church model talks about "peace" and a worldwide religious unity that is the perfect picture of what New Age leaders are championing. Rick Warren just launched a worldwide plan to promote this peace idea to all the universe. The,language of the massive New Age crowd is now the same language as America's evangelical big names. Paul Crouch and TBN have been ringing this bell for years.
One thing to remember, the church of Jesus Christ is still the voice of holiness and purity from sin and the voice of mercy and forgiveness for every repentant sinner ready to turn to righteousness and grace. The Gospel never changes.
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