If you look online, like I prefer to do, and go to that wonderful search engine Google and type in “list of sins in the Bible,” you will get an amazing list of websites that tackle the sin problem. My favorite link to click was “40 sins that can send you to hell.” I laugh at that one because I hate to tell you, but without Jesus, ANY sin will send you to hell. I clicked another and it said that using terms like “Oh my gosh” or “geez” is sinful because it is simply another way of taking the Lord’s name in vain. If that is the case, then oh my gosh am I in trouble.
There are sins that are easy sins for the church to tackle. Those are the sins of alcoholism, drug abuse, infidelity, and many others. While for the person going through the problem feels like the world is crashing down around them, the church has a solution. We have Jesus. We set up a program around a Jesus-centered approach and tackle the problem head on.
But then there are other sins. These sins are much harder to quantify. They don’t readily show their head. They may come out only when backed into a corner (like I had happen to me recently…forgive me Mimi). These are sins like greed, misplaced anger, lust, hatred, pride, laziness, etc…. Those are sins that are not so easy to tackle.
I am going to stick with a topic that I have covered a lot lately, homosexuality. I bring it up a lot because of my late brother being gay and the fact that it has turned into the litmus test of the 21st century to tell if people are Christian or not.
Now I am not going to water this down. Homosexuality is a sin. It is a choice you make. But that does not preclude you from getting into heaven. How often do we see the televangelist screaming out or the Westboro Baptist church types screaming out in hatred that “God hates fags?” Sorry, but I have no hell to give you. That is simply between you and God.
Here is how I see it though. With this or any sin, if you want to come and stand beside me in worship, I would love to join with you in praising God. If you are gay and ask me to marry you I will tell you I cannot because of what my Bible says about the sin of homosexuality. But I am never going to dissociate from you. If anything I will spend more time with you. No, not hitting you over the head with Leviticus, but simply showing you that Christians can love.
Many people who are stuck in sin are actually hated by those who claim Christ. It is a very fine line to have your beliefs and share them with people and to be homophobic (or hate the sex offender or the wife beater or the….). If we are attacking the person and arguing just to be heard and win the argument, then we are struggling with one of those sins that are much harder to quantify. It is very easy for us to mask our hatred in Christianese.
The litmus test should not be whether a person is gay, drunk, drugged, or anything. The litmus test should be the Gospel of Christ.
Yes, living the Christian life, I truly believe, will lead to people changing their ways. And yes, I truly believe that those who are gay will make the choice to swing the pendulum the other direction (so to speak) when they realize that Jesus’ love is more than any man or woman can provide. But it should not be up to us to change any person through our actions. God has given us freedom. We can share Him and His Gospel, but if a person chooses to reject it, that is on them, not us. It is not up to us to change them. The person can only change themselves, and that is only if they truly want to change.
So whether you are battling an “easy” sin or a “tough” sin, know that Christ is right there.
We just celebrated Easter, a 3-day holiday that is all about what Christ did for our sins. It started with Good Friday, when Christ was crucified. He conquered death by dying on the cross. Sure, He could have pulled Himself off of it. But He chose to die a sinner’s death. If He would not have taken all our sins and died, then there would be no remission of sin.
Then comes Sunday where we celebrate resurrection Sunday. This is the day that Christ shows His victory over death and hell. The action was completed on Friday but the celebration happened on Sunday.
So I will ask you. Have you been hurt? Perhaps it was someone who claimed Christ as their Savior. Perhaps it wasn’t. It could be something you did to yourself like drug or alcohol addiction or maybe it was something someone did to you to cause you to harden your heart, such as rape or abuse. Regardless, Christ has died and rose again for your sins. He died for your hurt and pain. If you simply reach out to Christ, you will find that your Savior will come. He will listen. He will heal. He will call you friend and family.
I would love to hear if you have reached out to Christ. Please comment or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to get in touch with you and help you on your journey.