"Although they know God's righteous decree and His judgement, that those who do such things deserve death, yet they not only do them, but they even [enthusiastically] approve and tolerate others who practice them." Romans 1:32 (AMP)
The message that I have today is hard to write but it has been on my heart for many weeks. I have no desire to offend anyone but, as I struggle with sin in my own life, I am coming to a greater understanding of the danger of leaving it unacknowledged.
Today's world affords many ways to keep from being accountable for the sins we commit. In fact, many things that God names as wrong are now celebrated. In many cases, they have been legislated and counted as lawful. Rather than being called out by believers, those who walk in darkness are ignored or approved of due to the fear that the believer will be labeled as a hater, or worse. We are told to love others the way they are and to just accept that the choices they have made may be different from our own but that doesn't make them wrong.
However, Scripture disagrees with that. If we believe in the Bible as God's inerrant Word, then we must be willing to take what He says as truth. We do not get to pick and choose the parts of it that make us feel good. No matter how difficult it is for us, we must come to the point of understanding that what God calls sin is sin indeed. We help no one, including ourselves, by approving or being tolerant of what He says is worthy of death.
The greatest act of love that has ever taken place was the Father's gift of His Son. Jesus left Heaven to live as one of us on earth. He felt pain. He knew what it was like to suffer. He was rejected and felt sadness. His ultimate action was taking our sins, all of them, upon Himself on the cross. He took the punishment for me and for you. He who never did one thing wrong received the wrath of God for every wrong ever committed.
Because of His death and resurrection, we have the promise of a future that lacks pain, sorrow and sickness. No more tears. No more fear. All that is asked of us is that we believe in Him and repent of our sins. Repenting means that we turn away from those things that He calls out as wrong and that we follow and obey Him. When we place our approval on what we know is not acceptable by our Lord, whether in our own lives or the lives of others, then we are negating Christ's sacrifice and turning toward separation from Him.
If we truly love those around us, then we must be willing to be truthful. True love comes from God. If we want to sincerely love someone then we must find it within ourselves, with His help and guidance, to speak hard words. Though some won't want to hear them, and though they may turn away from us, "how will they hear unless someone tells them?"
Our days are numbered and growing ever fewer. None of us knows when we will draw our last breath. We must take each opportunity we have to make sure that those around us know that we love them. Time is not to be wasted. This moment may be the only one we have to make a difference in another's life. I urge each of us to ask our Lord to lead us in each and every action we take and each and every word we speak. They matter. They may make a difference in someone's eternity.