It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a popular pastor preach about the dangers and horrors of sin. I’ve heard a lot about time management, goal setting, self-improvement, favor, blessing, and healing. The past couple of years have seen a shift to a lot of messages around social justice, tolerance, and welcoming people into the church who are living in proud defiance of the Word of God.
What I don’t hear is preaching on the depravity and destruction of sin. We hear God is love and forgiveness without the context of why we need His love and forgiveness. Let us be clear in our understanding: God hates sin and so must we. If sin doesn’t repulse us and drive us to our knees in repentance, the odds are better than good you don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
The Bible makes clear God hates sin (Romans 6:23; Proverbs 6:16-19; Proverbs 8:13; Psalm 5:5; Isaiah 59:2; Isaiah 13:11; Isaiah 61:8; Zechariah 8:16-17). Throughout the Old and New Testament, we read how God despises evil and learn the consequence of sin is death. Knowing how much God loves us, how much must He hate sin to have our death as its consequence? There is no doubt God hates sin. Why then are preachers and teachers not talking about it? Why are their congregants not trembling every time they gather and hear the Word of the Lord?
It’s easier to do something to make us feel better about ourselves than it is to stop doing something we enjoy. It is not sacrilegious to state that sin is enjoyable. If it weren’t, there would be no temptation to engage in it. But every pleasure of sin fades quickly. All we are left with is the recognition of falling short of what God has for us. Disappointing Jesus mortifies those who love Him. You cannot be a lover of God and continue to practice sin (1 John 2:3-6; 1 John 2:15).
We will sin as long as we are in this world. Our best efforts will never make us holy and perfect. Only the blood of Jesus can accomplish such a miracle. But those who know Christ will continually move away from sin, confessing it immediately when we do sin, and stopping any habitual sin. Sin will become the exception rather than our way of life.
God hates sin and we must never forget this. If it weren’t for sin, He would not have had to send His only and dearly loved Son to die in our place (John 3:16). His hatred of sin is so great He sacrificed His Son to redeem us. His love for us is so immense that He didn’t hesitate to do so. Sit with that for a few minutes. Sin is repulsive. It pollutes our communion with God. It destroys our health and vitality. No lasting good ever comes from it. It is hideous and the ultimate expression of pride and arrogance before our holy God.
It doesn’t matter what you call it, sin is still sin. And God hates sin. If God hates it, and we love God, our only choice is to hate sin as well. No more dancing around the subject. No more winking at evil because it is culturally acceptable. Let us all tremble at the thought of sinning against our holy God.
Oh Father, help us to hate sin as you do. Keep us from it. Forgive us when we fall. Make sin terrify us to the point we avoid it at all costs. Help us. Forgive us. Our sins are before You. Cleanse us and make us clean.