Is it just me or do things seem to be getting worse? Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, nudity, profanity, drugs, and booze are everywhere. Millions of babies being aborted every year. What is the Christian to do in the midst of such madness and immorality?
Here are some questions we need to answer about this sin problem:
1. What part of this is our fault?
First, we have to recognize our culpability for our culture’s demise. I’m afraid the church has concerned itself with many of the wrong things, as sin has been growing all around us. We have Christians fighting about the color of the carpet in the church building, while sin claims victim after victim.
We are soldiers of the cross. If we take time out from the battle to worry about carpet samples, or other inconsequential things of this world, Satan laughs as he claims another victim. An older brother in Christ said to me the other day, “I can’t believe they let you get in the pulpit and preach with a beard; things sure have changed.” I wanted to say, “The world is decaying around us, people are dying without Christ, and you’re worried about my facial hair?!”
If we hope to make a difference in the world, we have to stop fighting inconsequential battles and focus on the things that really matter! Maybe if we had done that twenty years ago, our culture wouldn’t be in the shape it’s in now.
2. What part of this is our responsibility?
Next, we have to remember that it is our responsibility to influence the world for Christ! Jesus taught us to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). He taught us to teach the gospel and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). Are we doing that? Are we living up to our responsibility? Or have we relegated it to others?
Must we be reminded that it’s not the responsibility of the government? The government’s job is to punish evil (Romans 13:4), not to change the hearts and minds of the people. Stop thinking that hope and change come from Washington, D.C. when they really need to come from Christ’s church! I wish the government would stop contributing to the problem, but recognize that they are not the solution; the solution lies in the body of Christ – the church.
First, we have to live as people whose lives have been completely transformed by the gospel of Christ. Secondly, we have to share that life-changing gospel with others! Is your changed life obvious to the world or do you blend in with the world? Do you talk, think, and behave like the world or like Christ? And is the sweet Good News of Christ dripping constantly from your lips, telling those in the world, “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” (Acts 2:38)?
It’s OUR responsibility to spread hope and change. We are the pillar and support of the Truth (1 Timothy 3:15); the Truth that sets men free from sin (John 8:32).
3. What part of this is NOT our responsibility?
It is NOT our responsibility to save people or force them to change. We teach, influence, encourage, warn, etc. but it is God who does the saving and the transforming. It is God who gives the growth and increase (1 Corinthians 3:7), when we fulfill our responsibilities of planting and watering the seed!
Furthermore, we are not responsible for the behavior of the world. There will always be those in the world who choose to live for their flesh and will not repent and turn to God. They are responsible for their behavior; we are only responsible for warning them of the consequences and encouraging them to choose life in Christ.
The Lord said to Ezekiel, “If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul” (Ezekiel 3:18-19). I believe we have a similar responsibility to warn the wicked.
Expose What’s in Darkness
Sin kills. It is our responsibility – and our privilege – to share with people the truth about sin and the anecdote for sin. Remember what Paul wrote to Christians, in a world not so dissimilar to our own:
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret…Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:11-12, 15-21).
I love you and the God who saves from sin loves you,