Friday, May 16, 2014

We Don't Understand?

In this day and age, it seems that the line of morality is quickly being erased, both in the world and in the visible church. Hyper-gracers flaunt their liberty and show how well they flirt with "the line;" Hollywood keeps pushing the envelope to see how debauched they can get without the whistle being blown. And so, the attack against God's holy standard comes from both sides, as people both saved (supposedly) and unsaved daily refuse to bow the knee to the lordship of Christ and then kick dirt on the clear line of demarcation that is contained in the Holy Scriptures.

But here's the dilemma: While the world becomes increasingly hostile to Christian faith, the visible church compromises its faith and accommodates said culture. Why is this a problem? Because in the middle of this squeeze play are people who need to hear the gospel. People who need to be set free from their bondage to sin. People who need Christ and the cross. But regardless of which way they turn their heads, they see the same thing, and so they have no real answer, no real anchor for their soul. And while the world parties it up, and the church seems oblivious to this glaring issue, these same spiritually bankrupt people are going to hell on a daily basis.

That is why they find it so easy to remain in their sins. They have an excuse, a catchphrase that they like to proclaim as a defense to justify their ungodly lifestyle.

"You just don't understand."

You don't understand that even though I'm in adultery, I love her.
You don't understand that porn is a release for me.
You don't understand that I have so much fun when I drink and smoke.
You don't understand how I feel about this person of the same sex.
You don't understand that this little bit of money out of the cash register keeps my baby in diapers.
You don't understand. You don't understand. 
You. Just. Don't. Understand.

As I thought about this excuse, I realized how little sense it made. None of us who were saved by God were born that way. None of us who are children of God are going through life without experiencing anything bad. None of us who are saints are squeaky clean. No! The Bible makes that glaringly clear:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality [or women], nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, ESV

Do you see that? And such WERE some of you. Some of us. We have also struggled with the chains of bondage. We have also been driven by sin. We have also done some heinous things. We were porn addicts, alcoholics, partiers, adulterers, murderers, thieves, sexually immoral, drug dealers, gang-bangers, drug addicts, and the like. 

So, yes, we DO understand. We understand ALL TOO WELL.

Now, I do apologize for those of us in the ranks who have made it appear as if they have never been through anything and have been holy all of their lives, but many of us care. Many of us know about depression, anxiety, doubt, sadness, and the pain you deal with as you look for a remedy. We know what that darkness feels like. We know what it's like to delude yourself into thinking everything's OK when it is all crashing down around you. We know what it feels like to be oblivious to wrongdoing, or to justify why we do what we do. 

We know that destruction leads to more destruction; that sin leads to more sin. We know that there is no way for you to get loose from those chains you're shackled in. We know that you can try and try and try but the result will be the same. But most importantly, we know the end game.

That is why Paul warned the Corinthians not to be deceived: the ungodly WILL NOT inherit God's kingdom. Never. Ever. Absolutely not. 

There is nothing you can do to change that. There is no amount of good that you can do to gain entrance. You can clean yourself up morally and still not make it. Without belief in the saving power of Christ Jesus and repentance of sin, your current state will not change. 

We don't understand? Yes we do. We understand what you're dealing with and going through. We understand your struggle. We understand your frustration and pain. 

But we also understand some things that you don't. We understand that without Christ, there is no hope for you. We understand that the broad path you are on leads to eternal death. We understand that God's wrath is upon you.

We also understand what you really need. The gospel. The death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. So before you prepare your mouth and vocal cords to strain out that phrase, turn your ear to us and hear the redeeming, freeing truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Oh yes, we understand.

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