Who Believes In Sin These Days?

I don’t believe in coincidence. As I’ve mentioned from time to time, I listen to Alistair Begg’s radio program Truth for Life. Currently they are airing sermons on the book of Luke, specifically about John the Baptist. Pastor Begg pointed out that John’s approach is contrary to what we experience today.

When large crowds went to hear him preach, he didn’t welcome them, tell them he was glad they came, try to make them feel at ease with a few warm-up jokes, or entertain them with some gripping stories. Instead, he started off by calling them a brood of vipers.

He then chastised them for their repentance … well, actually for not living in accordance with repentance. He warned them about the wrath to come and the axe ready to cut down trees not producing good fruit. He said the Messiah was coming and that He’d have a winnowing fork in His hand, ready to separate the wheat from the chaff and that the latter would be burned up with unquenchable fire.

Luke’s account ends with this: “So with many other exhortations also he preached the gospel to the people” (Luke 3:18). The gospel! That would be, the good news.

Where’s the announcement of God’s love? Of His acceptance and wonderful plan for their lives?

Which brings me back to the non-coincidence. On Sunday my church hosted a guest speaker — Ray Comfort, an itinerant preacher who gave away copies of his small book God Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life: The Myth of the Modern Message. His sermon centered on how evangelism today looks nothing like evangelism in those days after Pentecost.

Today we try to reach people at the level of their felt needs, and we explain how Christ can bring meaning and wholeness to their broken lives. In Comfort’s book he expanded on this point, saying that we have made happiness the chief end of Man.

The problem, of course, arises when people expect God to behave like a genii and He does not. They are disillusioned and angry and end up leaving the faith. Comfort calls these people false converts.

What should be our approach to evangelism instead? I’ve only begun this section, but Comfort says our starting point should be the Law. The Ten Commandments, to be precise.

Which brings us to sin. As I suggested in my post yesterday, Christians have acquiesced to the culture, reducing any talk of sin to a minimum.

Who really believes in sin any more?

People at large reject the idea that Mankind has a sin nature — that something in us keeps all of us from living a perfect life. Some Christians deny that we have a sin nature though they admit we all do sin. Call it a weakness of the will, then, that prevents any of us from standing up to temptation one hundred percent of the time.

Funny thing, but no one will argue the truth of that condition. Everyone admits to doing wrong at some point in time. And yet, our culture tells us that condition is not a problem. I suppose the rationale is, if everyone’s doing it …

While we say we believe I’m OK and you’re OK, in reality we know … all of us know … the statement should read I’m (mostly) OK and you’re not quite as good. For those who have been sucked into some kind of destructive lifestyle, we tweak the statement yet again: I would be OK if it weren’t for __ (fill in the blank) and you’re OK if you do something about it.

And sadly, Christians pander to this kind of thinking. We are NOT OK. We are sinners. Translated (because that word has lost all meaning in our culture) that means we do wrong things because we can’t stop ourselves from doing wrong things.

Until a person understands this about himself, why would he ever want the grace and forgiveness of God?

Published in: on February 15, 2011 at 6:31 pm  Comments (10)  
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