What do you think about sin? When you hear the word, what does it mean to you? Would you prefer it to be called something else or does it not matter in the least because it’s an irrelevant concept to you? If you do think or care about it, and you’ve not repented of those sins you’ve committed, what do you think God will do when you come before Him in judgement?
I think most of us bandy the term about without much thought, and we look at the world and much of the evil within it and think we’re okay because perhaps we’re not a murderer or serial adulterer or whatever. Here on earth, we tend as a society to grade sin – we consider ourselves to be “good” if we figure we don’t do anything to harm anyone else, and we consider murderers and the like to be evil and utterly sinful by comparison. I had a very interesting conversation with some Catholic ladies recently when a Protestant lady with them said she didn’t like to call herself a Christian because she still did so many “bad things” to which one of the other ladies replied “We (i.e. the Catholic Church) don’t care what you’ve done bar murder – you’re still entitled to call yourself a Christian” with the underlying implication that applied to ALL people, whether Catholic or not. I stated I disagreed and laid out my rather more fundamentalist views on the issue and the reply I got was “Well, if you’re not a Muslim, and you’re not a Hindu, or a pagan, what’s left?” So it’s obvious it’s now become purely a label for Westerners who don’t subscribe to any other particular faith. Sin therefore has a gradient from the least (perhaps a “white” lie) to the worst (murder/torture etc), and many errantly think their sins are so minimal as to be of no concern to God, and thus Heaven’s door should be well open to them! Well think on…..
God has no such gradient. God doesn’t look on sin as we do and judge as we would. To Him all of us are outright rank sinners because we are born with an inherent sin nature which in essence utterly defiles us from within and alienates us from Him. He doesn’t look on those who consider themselves “good” and judge them any differently to those who’ve murdered. And sometimes I think we find that unfair or shocking, but when you think of it, how would you expect Him to judge sinners – all are bound for hell if they don’t repent, and there are no gradients of “torture” in hell – eternal separation from God is without doubt the unbelievably worst sentence He can pass on anyone and all who sin and don’t repent fall into that category. To Him there are no “good” people – remember what Jesus said when someone even called Him good??
Mark 10:18 And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good except one, God.
If you continue to consider yourself good enough to somehow convince God you should be allowed access to heaven, I would heavily caution you to change your stance urgently. Firstly none of us has any right to expect God to do anything for us – He is GOD – an awesome, incomprehensible, majestic being of proportions we can’t begin to comprehend – you only have to look at His creation to marvel at His power. Secondly He has stated that He alone has the right to determine our fate in any sense – we are His creation to do with as He chooses:
Jer 18:6 O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter? says Jehovah. Behold, As the clay in the potter’s hands, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. 7: The instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck it up and to pull it down, and to destroy it; 8: if that nation, against whom I have spoken, will turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to them. 9: And the instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build it and to plant it; 10: if it does evil in My sight, not to obey My voice, then I will repent of the good with which I said I would do them good.
Only and ONLY through Jesus Christ can we ever have any capacity to enter into God’s presence let alone expect Him to undertake for our needs. Our Western laid back attitude to Him is appalling at times in its utter irreverence. Unless born into a Christian family, we’re quite likely to have gone through childhood hearing the name of God and/or Jesus used repetitively as swear words if not by our parents, at the very least by siblings without any reprimand. And once that attitude is acceptable and we then start doing so ourselves, it’s a slippery slope to ending up viewing God as some Cosmic grandfather, there to do our bidding not the other way around. But all is not lost for any of you who come under that heading – God is more than willing to listen to the cries of a repentant and contrite heart and will absolutely change our attitudes and hear our prayers if we respect and revere Him appropriately. If you’ve come to the end of your tether where sin is concerned, and desire to try and overcome sin in your life more fully, then ask Jesus to take charge of your life – repent and submit to Him, His Word and His Will. Click the link in the Blogroll to find out more on how to do this.