PREDISPOSED TO SIN AND OPPOSED TO ACCOUNTABILITY
That pretty much sums up what the focus on today’s message is. But, so no one feels cheated out of a sermon from The Word of God, I will go ahead and preach.
Predisposed is defined as something or someone making someone else liable or inclined to a specified attitude, action, or condition. Factors such as ethnicity and gender are examples of predisposed characteristics that cannot be changed. Among many other characteristics, these predisposing characteristics do not make a person sin or walk upright with The Lord.
Other traits that are many of us have may include determination, persistence, rudeness, impatient, quarrelsome, unforgiving, confidence, enthusiasm, playful, talkative, and the list goes on. None of these characteristics can make a person sin or walk upright with The Lord.
The bible makes it clear that we are born into sin. Psalm 58:3-- Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies. Psalm 51:5-- Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Since we are born into sin (Romans 5:12-- Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned).
Simply based upon the fact that we came from Adam, we are predisposed to sin. But that doesn’t mean we (1) give up or (2) blame Adam for our choices that we make.
Flip Wilson, comedian from yesteryear, made famous the line “The Devil Made Me Do It.” That is the same mindset that many of us have. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. We blame our parents. Our kids blame us. It’s the same song and dance that has been going on for 6000 years.
Ezekiel 18:1-2--The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel:“ ‘The parents eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
The ancient Hebrews would excuse their sinful ways and their wickedness by saying they were not responsible for their own sins because they inherited certain traits from their ancestors. This is just an example of there being nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). While we may be INFLUENCED by the genes that we inherit from our ancestors, we are still responsible for our own actions.
"Sour grapes" were wild grapes which had a sharp acid taste that would excite the nerves. The Hebrews were basically stating that if the parents ate sour grapes, the children would feel the effect of it. I am not aware of my children being directly influenced by any food that I eat. Pretty much at this point, God was tired of Israel trying to excuse their horrendous behavior and lack of faith on their upbringing or any other influences they have.
Honestly, while we are all predisposed to sin and have traits and characteristics that could cause us to live wickedly and absent from God, it all comes down to our values and morals. These dictate our actions. It is not my parents, my wife, or my kids. It is not my brothers and sisters in Christ. It is not the bank that I owe so much money to. It is my values and my morals that dictate my actions when I am faced with the choice of whether or not to sway from The Word of God. As our standards in society and the church have gotten lowers, so have our values and our morals. And this is completely unacceptable.
God sees it as unacceptable and we should to. When the day comes that we stand before God to give account for everything we have done, we will not be able to blame our race, age, gender, ancestors, friends, church, pastor, or any other person. We will stand alone before the Father and give account for every action that we have taken. Every word that we have uttered. Every action that we have not taken. Every word that we have not uttered.
I want to dispel one argument that many people seem to bring up, and that is “How can a loving God send people to hell?” First of all, as the creator of the universe, God can do whatever He wants to do and since we are born into sin, we cannot rightly claim an inheritance in the Kingdom of God, or sit at His feet for all of eternity based upon our own righteousness and worth.
In Genesis 4, God told Cain that if he did what was right, he would be accepted. God has predestined us to heaven based upon our obedience to Him and accepting of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. He doesn’t force anyone to heaven, and he doesn’t force anyone to hell. He simply has a path in place, where if we do right, we will be accepted but if we do wrong, we will be under the curse and separated from the presence of God.
God does not delight in anyone going to hell and he certainly is not going to send someone there based upon someone else’s actions. At the same time, He is making it abundantly clear through Ezekiel that we cannot blame anyone but ourselves.
He gives 5 principles of His judgement…
1. If we shun sin and live righteously (through Christ) we shall surely live
2. If a righteous man’s son is wicked, that son will surely die
3. If that wicked son has a righteous son, that son shall surely live
4. A wicked man who repents and turns from his sins will surely live
5. A righteous man who turns away from his righteousness and sins shall die (we CAN lose our salvation)
I want to look back one more time at verse 4…
1. Every soul is personal to God. Each of us belongs to Him and He knows us. We are distinct and exceptionally hand made by the Creator.
2. God has given each of us our personal traits, characteristics, and abilities. He knows what we can do, and what we can’t do. He knows what we are capable of doing (good and bad) and what we are not capable of doing (good and bad).
3. We all have personal rights to Him. We can ask Him for things such as wisdom, we can ask Him for strength, we can ask Him for mercy, etc. We can also ask Him for salvation.
4. God also requires some things from us. He requires us to get to know Him better. He requires / wants us to love Him. He requires us to allow His Holy Spirit to move freely in us and around us without grieving it or blaspheming it.
Nobody else can do for us what we can do.