I will be honest, this post will have the potential to become soap boyish if I am not careful! But it is really hard when you see so much pain and hurt not to call out the reason why!
In the past 8 months, I have dealt with 5 different phone calls of friends and fellow believers who have called to confess either having an affair or being the victim of one. The first one, I really just stood back and wondered what was God doing? Then the phone calls starting piling up and my frustrations grew. Why were people of God struggling so much with this issue?
Now look, let me confess up front, I am a HUGE sinner. I have a history marred by sex outside of marriage, addiction to porn, hatred of certain individuals, having elitist thoughts of myself, pride, anger, lying, failing to mention Jesus because it would cost me money, and the list goes on for miles! So let me be clear, I am not immune to any sin, and I am only a Saint because God has declared it so, not because I live like one.
However, that does not take away the fact that I have sit back and watched sin overcome God's people. And I only could ask the question "Why?"
Then God showed me this verse in Romans chapter 1
"22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them."
People of God, those who claim to know Jesus and be his disciples, if you glory in sin, you are doomed to partake in it!
We the church of God have been deceived into thinking it is no problem to watch others sin via movies or reading books that dramatize sin and that it would not eventually allow sin to overcome our lives. Not one of the calls I got came from someone who was planning on sinning! However, when the temptation arose, because they allowed themselves to glory in the portrayal of sin on the big screen, TV, and in articles, videos watched, etc, they were already deceived into thinking the sin they were now living in was not really going to have huge consequences. Is it not true, typically the sin we glory in by watching often leads to "happily ever after!" That just is not the real world and all of these people now know it, but too late.
Here are some examples!
Women love the Nicholas Sparks books and movies. Who wouldn't. Such amazing stories that show two people falling in love as "fate" brings them together! However, we have failed to point out, myself included, that every one of them show a couple living in fornication! Sex outside of marriage is simply just a part of the story! Yet we watch it and glory in it without pointing out, "That is Sin!!!"
Take simple Romantic Comedies like "Letters to Juliet." My daughters love this movie, however we as parents failed to point out that the main character is living with her fiancé out of wedlock and that is sin. Or that the older character displays the fact that although her now deceased husband was a wonderful man, she never forgot her first true love. Therefore she never could really give her whole heart to love her husband completely because she kept back a place in her heart for her "true love." That is emotional adultery which is Sin, and it should be pointed out.
How about those Marvel Movies. I could not just pick on the ladies. Parents, how many of us let our kids watch Iron Man? Hey it is just a movie, right? But it is a movie that says it is okay if the good guy is a "Playboy" who has any woman he wants. What are we telling our boys about the value of marriage and sew when their hero has sex with super models whenever he wants?
I can here it now! "Come on Ray, you are getting legalistic!" No. I never said you should never watch those movies, however, I did say you should point out that there is sin being portrayed os "okay" and that is is NOT okay. And guess what, I bet if you point out the sin long enough, you will not desire to watch those things, or read those novels where fornication is portrayed as okay, or sit easily through a movie filled with vile language (Transformers: Age of Extinction) or anything of the sort. If we stop glorying in sin, it will amaze us how much sin starts to stand out and how much we HATE sin.
These calls I have received have led me closer to the foot of the cross! They are forcing me to hold more dearly to Jesus. They are growing in me a hatred for Sin amongst the Body of Christ. No different than Jesus, who always loved the sinner, but he despised the sin in the Temple. Jesus who quickly forgave the sin, healed the hurt, but then said, "Go and sin no more!"
I personally can no longer sit idly by as Satan infiltrates the Body of Christ and destroys us with sin. I can no longer stand to allow pastors to preach tickling messages while their flocks glory in the sin that the world enjoys! I can no longer allow my greed to have the American Dream comfortable life to stop me from saying what Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You Hypocrites!"
How I long to see the people of God restored to righteousness (not rightness, but righteousness!) How I desperately desire to see America healed because the People of God, who are called by His name, humbled themselves and prayed, repented and sought out His face, and turned from THEIR wicked ways, because if they do God promises to heal the land.
But on the flip side of that letter, if we do not humble ourselves and pray, and repent and turn from our ways and seek his face, He has promised to turn us over to our wicked ways, destroy our land by completely wiping out the forest of trees (Isaiah 6), and leaving our land desolate with nothing more than a small "holy seed" in the stumps that remain!
Please oh People of God, Please stop glorying in sin! Let'e be like Jesus, never afraid to condemn sin for fear of offending the sinner, yet never afraid to immediately forgive the sin, offer our hand to the sinner as we say, "Now go and sin no More!"