The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21—NIV)
In these verses Paul warns the believer that if they live as the world does they will not inherit the kingdom of God. This is a sober warning. The new covenant provides for the change needed within the believer to reject the above list given in Galatians 5 and to choose goodness and righteousness. The problem with the old covenant was that it could not change the sinful nature of the believer as the new covenant now provides. The old covenant was based on a set of rules, but the new covenant changes the desires and the nature of the believer, so that they keep the commandments of God naturally.
It is clear in the Bible that God judges sin. The world of Noah was destroyed because of sin. ‘They think evil in their hearts continually’, God says. In the new testament Annanias and Saphira were judged by Peter because they lied to the Holy Spirit. God hates sin the Bible says. Our sin separates us from God.
We understand that God is gracious and merciful, and he provides for our errors as we walk with him. However, he does not do this unless we are working hard to defeat the sin in our lives. He will give us the victory if we look to him and use the tools he has provided to help us. Sin is never OK with God. We see this over and over in the Bible. With Saul trying to kill David, with the Pharisees trying to kill Jesus, with the man who sinned in the church of Corinth.
The church teaching today apparently says that sin is OK because it is covered and forgiven by God. When we read the Bible we can see that this teaching is not scriptural. This teaching takes a part of the truth of the Word and tries to make it the whole Truth for reasons of patronizing the believers who are failing and to gain followers in their churches.
How can we know how bad or corrupt things are getting in the hearts and minds of our world leaders, influential people, and the average person in the population? We can know by looking around us. Jesus said ‘you can discern the sky and know that it is about to rain…’.
An article that I read today in the news helps give some indication. The article was about pedophilia stating that the sexual assault on minor children is much deeper and encompasses a higher percentage of the population than previously thought. This has come about because of a new on-line software program that analyses billions of pictures posted to the web to ferret out child pornography. The shocker to these agencies who specialize in fighting child pornography…? The level and scope of debauchery is far darker than previously thought, and surprise of the unwillingness of tech companies to take down and remove pictures that have been located and identified by them as child pornography.
Something else that is readily noticeable in our culture is the language being used by officials and government representatives. Quotes from them printed in the news that contain cursing and vulgar swearing. This is particularly noticeable in news coming from the USA. We know that we are living in perilous times when the quality of people is deteriorating rapidly. How low can people go? Right into the eternal abyss.
Here are some statistics out of China recently. “Shang Xiaoyuan, the director of the family and child research center of Beijing Normal University and a director of the Child Welfare Protection Council of China, said studies had estimated that 1 percent of all Chinese children were raped and that many times more were put in sexual contact with adults. Girls’ Protection, a Chinese public welfare group, said in its most recent report that the cases made public were “only the tip of the iceberg.”
Churches need to be addressing the issues they see within their own congregations that are affecting the quality of people instead of trying to help people feel better about themselves. I listened to an online posting of a session in a church leadership conference where church leaders were told by the speaker, “if you continue to encourage covetousness in your people you will get more money from them in the offering plate, but they will stay like babes, they won’t mature.”
We need to mature as Christians. We don’t need someone patronizing us and telling us fables and lies. We need to face the reality that we are a lost and undone people without discipline and sacrifice in our lives. We need the cross to develop into worthy people for the kingdom of God. This is what church leaders do not want to teach. It’s not popular, it’s not all inclusive, and it’s not always seeker friendly.
Continued corruption or newness of life. I think that this is the decision that we need to make today for our lives. We hear so much about corruption and wickedness in people’s lives on the news. People are being corrupted on a large scale in our day and time. We read in the Bible about Noah’s day and time. How there was only Noah and his family who entered into the ark. This is a small remnant indeed. Eight people who made a decision for righteousness out of perhaps thousands upon thousands of people who lived at that time. This is very scary. It will be like the days of Noah, the Bible says, at the end. The Bible says that people without God ‘walk around in darkness stumbling on what they do not know’. This is an apt description of our times.
We cannot do this life faithfully and competently without God. We cannot do this life without being born again into a kingdom of Righteousness. The gospel is about God changing a person within their heart and mind to enable them to follow after righteousness and truth. We are born again of the Spirit of God. This is similar the Bible says to our being born into the world as a baby. A new life begins. We are born into the family of God. Our fate otherwise is a continuum of corruption and the eventual death of our souls.
Many people it seems are experiencing a hunger for peace, for happiness, for joy in their heart and lives. We hear about this from Hollywood stars. Some have all the money and influence in the world and are miserable and undone. Many have tortured lives. We need to recognize what we need as people, humble ourselves, and receive the gift of God thankfully with a grateful heart. The Bible declares to us that this wonderful gift is Jesus, the Savior of the world.
We are being taught today in the Church that we don’t have to change our wicked ways. If we try to, we are being legalistic. That we can continue sinning and God looks upon us as righteous. The gospel being preached today changes little if anything in the believer’s heart and mind. This is a different gospel than the one the Bible presents.