Promises and Secrets

Promises and SecretsPromises and Secrets

A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.



Comfortable with Sin?

VIEWPOINT



As clear as the Bible is on what God approves and what He does not, an amazing number of people calling themselves Christian do exactly what He says never to do. Without even realizing it, they have become comfortable with sin.

FACT



God clearly defines sin in the Bible.

Comfortable with sin?

If you have looked around you in today's world, and even in today's churches, you must have realized that people today have become comfortable with sin. You may not see it as sin, but you do see that Christians have become smug and complacent in their lives. They do things that God has declared to be detestable without even thinking about it, usually not even realizing that it is sin. Now, if you ask someone about it, you will often get an offended reaction. "What? I don't sin!", "We don't have to worry about that!", or maybe even "So what? Everyone is doing it."

When you stop to think about it, it is only reasonable that people should feel this way. For all the "truly evil" people in the world who don't even believe in God, there is no reason in their minds for them to be concerned. And few people who attend church, and feel that they are following God, feel that they are as sinful as those "evil" people. They admit to being sinners, but do not feel that they have to worry about their salvation because they have been forgiven. Therefore, they do not attempt to do anything to stay within the will of God. They are comfortable as they are.

Still outside the will of God

But, for those who consider themselves believers in Christ, being comfortable with sin should not be a good place to be. However, before they can take a stand and be on guard, they must actually know what is defined as sin. If you do not know what is sin and what is not, how do you stay within the will of the Father so that you can enter His Kingdom (Matthew 7:21
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

)?

Definitions

Wikipedia defines the Christian views on sin like this:

Now, if you as ask a Christian if he despises God and His Christian Biblical laws, how do you think they will answer? "Of course not! I follow all God's laws. There are just some that do not apply to me."

According to Paul, we are all sinners (Romans 3: 9-12
9What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10As it is written:

"There is no one righteous, not even one;

11there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one."

). Yet, we still have an advocate with the Father.

So, how do we become saved? If we are all sinners, why aren't we doomed?

Jesus is the only way

Every Christian knows the answer to that. Jesus Christ forgives our sins if we repent and commit, and at that point, we are saved. While this is a great place to be, there are problems with the attitude of many who relax too much once they have been forgiven. They forget about the commit part. Immediately after forgiveness, they begin to perform the same activities that required the repentance in the first place.

If something is sin, but you don't think it is...

Jesus forgives our sins if we confess them and repent. But what if you are doing something clearly forbidden in the Bible, but don't confess and repent because you believe it is not a sin? Believing something does not make it true or right. The Bible identifies sin. If you are continuing in sin, especially after being made aware of it, then there is no sacrifice left that can help you. So, you have rejected forgiveness (Hebrews 10:26-27
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

, 2 Peter 2:20
If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

) by continuing in sin. You have become comfortable with sin.

Where would they get the idea that this is OK?

This is because they have often been encouraged by misinformed pastors who say that they have already been forgiven for every sin they will ever commit! One pastor even told me directly that a Christian can no longer sin in a way to lose their salvation! If you doubt that this attitude exists, take a look at 412Teens.org, The Life, Joseph Prince.com, and even Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. These were just the first four results of a search for "forgiven for all sins past, present and future" on Google with 2,770,000 results.

The site at Joseph Prince.com counters the argument that the Bible does not say that future sins are forgiven by saying that there is no verse that says past sins are forgiven. To listen to his argument, we no longer have to worry about committing sin ever - contrary to many passages in the Bible. The site at Billy Graham even says, "Never forget: Your salvation does not depend on you and how good you are."

What does that mean? You can be as bad as you want and not lose your salvation? What about Hebrews 10:26-27
26If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

? If there is nothing you can do, whether right or wrong, that can affect your salvation, then those who continue to be idolators, adulterers, gay pastors, and thieves are saved and Paul is a liar (1 Corinthians 6:9-10
9Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

).

So, why would Jesus, Peter, John the Baptist, and a host of others be concerned about believers losing their faith?

But, if that is the case, why would Jesus have told the man from the pool at Bethesda, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."? (John 5:14) Jesus was also worried about people losing their faith (Matthew 24:12
12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,

, Luke 18:8
8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

). How do you lose your faith if all you supposedly need "is to be forgiven once and you're in, and never have to worry about it again no matter what you do?"

Think about the billions of "Christians" who were baptized and "got saved". If Jesus was worried about finding faith on the earth when He returns, and He knows the end from the beginning, how could He have missed knowing about all those "saved" people? Perhaps the faith He seeks is not the kind in the churches of today.

Lots of faith, but faith in what?

And, why was Peter concerned about backsliders in 2 Peter 2:20
If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

? How many times should a person forgive (Matthew 18:21-22
21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" 22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."

)? You know, as in just once doesn't do it. Are we to believe that there no rules to follow once we are forgiven by Christ the first time? What about the words of John the Baptist
2and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." (Matthew 3:2)

and

From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." (Matthew 4:17)

and Peter
38Peter 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."

telling us to repent? For what do you repent if you can no longer sin because "the law doesn't apply to us"?

If that's the case, Romans 4:15
15because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

means what the pastors say it means and we are free to act in any way we want because, without a law to name it sin, it can't be called sin, and we can still be saved even if we do it. But, if that is the case, then why are we constantly warned not to sin so that we do not lose our salvation? (Galatians 5:19-21
19The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

, James 1:14-15
14but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

, Romans 6:12-14
12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

) Both of these things cannot be true. I'd rather stick with the Bible.

Just how far can you go until it's too far?

Paul spoke of something that today's "Christians" do not seem to think is even possible. In Ephesians 4:29-32
29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

, Paul speaks of our being able to "grieve the Holy Spirit of God with whom you were sealed". People say, "Yeah, but I was sealed, so I'm in." Not so.

Read another passage that the "I can't lose my salvation no matter what!" people don't seem to hear in the sermons of today. Romans chapter 11 describes an important part of God's plan, but the parts today's "Christians" seem to need to learn and remember are verses 11:11 and 11:17-22:

11So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. (Romans 11:11)

and

17But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." 20That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. (Romans 11:17-22)


"So do not become proud, but fear."

That faith we are so proud of today must be in the word of God and His will, not the will of our pastor and the creed of our denomination. If you do not stay true to both God's word and His will, "you too will be cut off" because you will have grieved the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 7:21
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

).

Everyone on the same page

What is the meaning of repentance? The Oxford Dictionary defines "repent" like this:

re-pent
/re-pent'/

verb
verb: repent; 3rd person present: repents; past tense: repented; past participle: repented; gerund or present participle: repenting

feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one's wrongdoing or sin.
    "the priest urged his listeners to repent"

Similar: feel remorse for, regret, be sorry for, rue, reproach oneself for, be ashamed of, feel contrite about, be penitent, see the error of one's ways, be regretful, be remorseful, be repentant, be conscience-stricken, be guilt-ridden, wear sackcloth and ashes

view or think of (an action or omission) with deep regret or remorse.
    "Marian came to repent her hasty judgment"

archaic
feel regret or penitence about.
    "I repent me of all I did"

"Oops, sorry. OK, I'm good now? Ooh, look at that...it'll be OK just this once..."

When you truly regret an action, and then repent, do you turn around and continue that action? To listen to the sites from the Google search above, repentance is a one-time thing, after which we are free to continue sinning without fear of losing our salvation.

Oh, you can repent and ask forgiveness for each sin, but at what point does that become asking for permission to sin without cost? And what about those sins listed in the Book that you refuse to see as sins because "everone is doing it"? When do you think that becomes "grieving the Holy Spirit"? The actual definition implies that you repent because you are sorry you did whatever it was, and that all your efforts will be to not repeat it. To continue the same action is tantamount to rejecting the forgiveness.

This feeling is enhanced by sermons from their pastors that make promises that the Bible does not make. They even encourage their congregations to engage in activity plainly denounced by God in the Bible. People don't seem to recognize what the definition of sin means. This is where the "comfortable with sin" part comes in.

What is sin?

Most Christians cannot even define sin simply. They list breaking the ten commandments as sin, while not even realizing what that statement even means in their own lives because of the fourth one. They might even list the "seven deadly sins". The trouble is, that is as far as they go. They feel safe if they don't murder, steal, or commit adultery, but then turn around and break the fourth commandment every single week. They can't come up with any simple definition that completes the picture, so their ideas about sin are selective and based on comfort levels. Let's repeat the definition from above:

People don't think of sin as despising God's law. They come close, though, even if they only narrow it to the Big Ten. Breaking any of the ten commandments is sin. Why? Because these are God's laws. All Christians realize this, and agree that it is wrong to break them. They just don't go that one step further to realize that breaking any of God's laws is sin (1 John 3:4
4Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.

). It is that simple. Even if they do realize that much, they do not try to know the extent of God's laws. Most people, because of pastor input, think that those laws don't even apply to them. You know, like the fourth commandment. That is the main issue of this site.

Know the Bible

Jesus once commented, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God." (Matthew 22:29) In that instance, He was speaking to the Pharisees about marriage in the resurrection, but the thought covers any subject where people have come to an understanding about something without knowing what the Bible says about the issue. When you do not know what God has said about an issue, and become comfortable doing something that is detestable to God as expressed in His law, you have become "comfortable with sin." and are in error.

First, know what God is saying in the Bible (know the Scriptures), and second, understand the consequences of that action (the power of God). If Christian people really understood these two fundamentals, there would have been less doubt in Jesus' mind when He wondered about finding faith in the end times (Luke 18:8
8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

).

In a book written by Paul Little called Know What You Believe, the author starts chapter two with this:

"What we believe about God," said the late A.W. Tozer, "is the most important thing about us." Our belief or lack of it inevitably translates itself into our actions and attitudes.

Know what you believe, then make sure it's true

The startling thing about this passage is how true it is. As you will see in the pages on this site, most Christians believe things about God that are blatantly untrue. Also, they don't believe things about Him that are true. The results of these beliefs, or lack thereof, show in willingly repeated sins described by the writings in the Bible itself. And it shows in the comfortable actions and attitudes of people claiming to care about the will of God, but continuing to grieve Him.

Many who read this site will feel that this is only my interpretation. However, when you read the pages, and that thought comes to you, go back and look at the Biblical references and then contact us and explain how you came to your conclusion. As long as your thoughts are presentable to the public, I will be happy to print your views in the VIEWPOINT on the other side of the page. I'm comfortable with doing that, if you are.









Disagree? Find an error? Contact us at glenjjr@gmail.com and give us your view.

Contact Us | Back to Top



This site is based on the plea of David, the author of Psalm 12.


Psalm 12 (NIV)


1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.

2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.

3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue -

4 those who say,
"By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us - who is lord over us?"

5 "Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise," says the Lord.
"I will protect them from those who malign them."

6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.

7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,

8 who freely strut about;
when what is vile is honored by the human race.


A submission from a reader:


 What Got in the Way

    I didn't want the what I found
    Nor did I even care.
    I didn't seek to understand
    The what I saw in there.

    No matter what it can't be true
    I know 'cause I can see
    Just what I want, and what I don't
    And what is wrong with me.

    What absolutes are promised.
    That's not how I depict it.
    And what my what is wanting,
    would make it all conflicted.

    So even though the what is there
    I'd just assume it's not,
    'cause if it was of consequence
    I'd have to ask - then what?


-Steven Glen of Caleb and Company




TELL US YOUR SIDE



Join the discussion here. This space is waiting just for you.



Contact Us | Back to Top