...you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23 NKJV
The simplest words are the easiest to remember and apply to our lives. This verse is a favourite in Sunday School, and can be understood by the youngest. Why is it then that we more advanced and intelligent adults seem to forget the simple truth of the verse? We seem to be surprised that our actions, not only have consequences, but those sins we commit, even those way back in our lives will find us out.... someday!
One of the best known UK TV presenters died a year ago, and he was venerated as a great man with monuments to his fame erected in his home town, and in those other places where he gave his time freely to help charities in prisons, hospitals and children’s homes. But wait a minute, this same man now has a list of hundreds of incidences of child abuses of the worst kinds coming to light. His young victims were afraid to come forward, or were even discouraged from damaging his career or charity work. So in his life they kept quiet. After all, who would believe them over such a famous celebrity?
There are two words which are not heard today, for the sake of offending someone’s feelings. One of the words is ‘sin’ and the other is ‘hell’. Why do we avoid them? I think it is because we don’t really accept them as severe any more. We have believed the lie of the devil, that neither are real, or at least not as bad as we have been told by our Sunday School teachers. I don’t know about you, but there are few words which adequately describe the sordid actions of this famous and previously trusted presenter, but for me the word is ‘sin’. Plain and simple. As for his eventual eternal destination, that is not for me to judge, because only God is qualified to do that. Having said that, let us not discount the reality of a place of punishment, and if sin is not addressed by us, and remains unforgiven by God, His Holy Justice is clear as described in His Word. We ignore sin and hell at our eternal peril. For my part, I prefer the gift of God, rather than the wages I may deserve.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NKJV
David, what you have written is true. Please do not think this to be a harsh or critical response. Indeed there are times when these words are needed. I do believe though that there are a few other reasons that the words sin and hell (fire and brimstone messages) are not preached as often (strictly my opinion). I remember before I became a believer, such messages caused me to "dig my heels in deeper". In fact, when I was a child it was those types of sermons that caused me to not attend a church, at eight years old.......yes I was an extreme wild child. Also, it kept me out of churches until I was 42 years old, I'm 45 now. I finally met and married a believer, who showed me that God does Love me unconditionally, because God is Love. The first time I attended church I went in rags and leather and told my wife if one person looked at me cross-eyed, I would either hit them and/or leave and never return. I also warned her that any hellfire speech telling me how evil I was.......I would be gone. None of that happened, what happened was I met people that told me, how much God loved me and what Jesus had done, His Finished Work. This in time, sank in and I accepted Jesus into my Heart. Not only did The Lord change my Heart ........Proverbs 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord". But healed me physically as well.
There are also those that have intellectually accepted Christ, but not into their hearts. In this case they believe that they have accepted Jesus, yet they really haven't changed. In that case Proverbs 18:2 "A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself." This type of person truly believes that they've accepted Christ and that they are forgiven, so they believe that there is no judgement for them. In either case I pray that God works in their heart.