Summary: We can’t overlook or diminish the reality of sin and its consequences, but we can rest in God’s forgiveness of all our sins.
A. A huge thanks to my Sunday School class for the lively discussion last week which made the preparation of this sermon extremely easy and hopefully timely.
B. Dr. Chris Thurman, in his book The Lies We Believe, tells the story of Jill.
1. Jill had been a Christian for a long time, was married, and was the mother of three beautiful children.
2. She and her husband had dated for several years before marrying.
3. During the first several months they were dating, Jill became pregnant with his child.
4. As a Christian, she was torn about what to do. Her Christian values told her to marry Dan and keep the baby.
5. At Dan’s urging, however, and since neither of them wanted to get married at the time, Jill chose to abort the baby.
6. Jill became very depressed because this so stringently violated her Christian values.
7. She remained depressed for years.
8. Jill and Dan finally married and began having children, but Jill came to hate herself for what she had done.
9. She was convinced God could never forgive or love her again.
10. She said, “Not only does God hate my sin, but he hates me when I sin. Furthermore, I should hate myself.”
11. Even with sound Christian counseling, Jill continued to hate herself as the only proper way she knew to show remorse for her sin.
C. Consider the woman brought to Jesus.
1. The religious police caught her in the act of adultery—a crime punishable by death.
2. Interestingly, the man wasn’t produced. According to God’s law, he should have been executed as well.
3. Their intentions were not honorable, and their motive was to trap Jesus—not enforce God’s law.
4. Jesus saw through their motives and proposed a question that indicted each one of them, causing them to leave one by one.
5. Only Jesus and the woman remained, and Jesus chose not to condemn her either.
6. Even after being forgiven by Jesus, however, the woman could have fallen into the same trap as Jill and lived a defeated spiritual life.
I. Sin Is Not Acceptable to God
A. In the late 1970’s, we increased our efforts to be politically correct.
1. By being politically correct—whether it applies to race, politics, or religion, an attempt is made not to offend anyone by the terms we use.
2. Being offensive is viewed as being judgmental or perhaps hypocritical.
3. We invent alternative terms so people won’t be offended.
4. Examples: instead of black we used African American, instead of Indian, we used Native American, rather than businessman we used businessperson, instead of plumber we might say serviceperson, instead of short we use vertically challenged, instead of retarded we use mentally challenged, instead of blind we use visually impaired.
B. The effort to be politically correct and non offensive transferred over into the spiritual realm.
1. Telling people they are sinners because of actions or lifestyles they choose became offensive, so we attempted to maneuver around that by calling sin something else.
2. For example: instead of calling homosexuality a sin we simply label it an alternative lifestyle.