Generation Cedar

I heard a sliver of a sermon by Chip Ingram today that really made me think. He was talking about how common it is for Christians to watch movies with all kinds of se*ual content and pass it off as nothing. “That was a great movie except for those few parts.” Then, in only the passionate way Chip Ingram can, he said, “People of God, WAKE UP! The wrath of God will visit those who toy with sin.”

The wrath of God. That’s the one thing Christians don’t want to talk about. It’s something non-Christians don’t want to hear. It’s so “outdated”. “How can a loving Savior be capable of wrath?”

What if His love is not even possible apart from His wrath? What allows God to love us so completely and perfectly is that He is completely and perfectly HOLY. And a holy God cannot abide sin–AT ALL. And since Jesus paid for our sin, and it is only under His blood that we can even stand before God, then sin must evoke His wrath. It was that sin that crucified His Son.

So how do we explain that God hates sin, and yet we are not capable of being sinless? It’s seems so much of an oxymoron.

Isn’t there a difference in falling into sin, realizing it, repenting and getting up again, and tolerating sin in one’s own life–being cavalier because “we’re covered”?

I think it must be our heart’s attitude that causes God’s fury or His mercy to be extended to us. “Trampling underfoot the Son of God”…whoa. Isn’t that when we tolerate sin, treat it as no big deal?

Shouldn’t we abhor sin as He does? Shouldn’t we flee from the appearance of evil? I think the church has dropped the ball on this part of Christian theology. And it can be confusing to think through.

What do you think?

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6 Responses

  1. This reminds me of the Pharisee and the tax collector praying. The attitude we have and the way we approach our sin reveal our true hearts.

    I think we have redefined “love” in America to be something it’s not, then attributed that “love” to God. (who think He is altogether like us) Then we weight the attributes to our own desires. A loving God yes, and Holy, and **gasp** Just!

  2. I hear what you are saying, but we also have to remember that not ALL Christians are at the same level of development. Some Christians (like myself) are just beginning to see God as He truly is; learning what it means to be truly saved by grace, yet learning also that sin should not continue to control our lives once we have accepted Christ into our lives – while other Christians are more mature and understand more fully the true nature of God and his plan of salvation.

    Romans chapter 3 tells us that NO ONE is righteous, and that ALL have fallen short of God’s glory. This should humble us, because we are all sinners, regardless if we are mature or non-mature Christians.

    However, I do agree with you about Christians/churches in general who don’t like to focus on “The Wrath of God.” The old testament is full of examples of how God’s chosen people, the Israelites, continued to disobey God’s chosen path by worshiping idols and following the ways of the worldly. As a result, they constantly suffered the consequences of God’s wrath. Yes, God restored their favor and forgave them AFTER His punishment ceased, but some of their pain could have been avoided if they had resisted their sins BEFORE the dire consequences.

    These events in history should be a strong testimony for ALL Christians today. If God didn’t tolerate their sin, he certainly WON’T tolerate ours!

    Your blog topic reminds me of a scripture in Hebrews 12: 25: “Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven!”

  3. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

    If we believe what is in Scripture we have to believe that God hates evil and we should flee from it.

    For thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Psalm 5:4-5

    Does this mean we point fingers? No. But we take heed, lest thinking we stand we fall. He also commands us to be holy as He is Holy. I think a lot of times we fear man more than God. How else would we justify so much? We don’t want to be “out of the loop” or considered a prude.

  4. “To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to Him it is sin”
    James 4:17 KJV

    I think it’s that simple. When we receive light on something (we realize we are sinning), we stop. Because frankly, I do not want to disappoint my Lord.

    Obviously Christians are at different maturity levels but our hearts define it all.

    I know there are habits, addictions, and so forth but to stay simple here… we STRIVE TOWARD HOLINESS! Someone who becomes a new Christian may not have arrived, but neither has the older Christian… we continue daily walking toward holiness.

    And yes we continue loving God with all our heart and loving our neighbor as ourselves… or all of our striving is done in vain.

  5. LOVED your comments. It is nice to hear like minded people. If sin is sin why do we candy coat it.
    I am a child of grace and try to show grace to others. I bristle against leagalism and yet as believers we should be raising the bar of behavior not playing limbo with the world.

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