Summary: This series examines our developing attitudes towards the acceptance of sin according to the world's interpretation of what sin is.
Sin: An Offense Against God
This morning I want to address the subject of sin, but not necessarily in the traditional sense. This was the message I had planned to deliver three weeks ago but delayed it until today so that I could deliver both parts back to back. I hope you will listen closely or read both parts even though some of it you may or may not like or agree with. As we have spent several weeks on the topic of sin in Bible study, I am not going to walk you through the types of sin that exists today and why certain things are wrong. However in these two messages I want to focus on why we as Christians need to be sensitive to what is happening around us. This is probably a topic that would be best handled in Bible study, but since many of you do not attend Bible study and none of you who only receive my messages by email can attend, this is the best way for me to address this issue. I also want to tell you up front that some of what you may hear/read in these two messages might offend you based on your personal beliefs about sin, but that is between you and God. Jesus said in John 7:18 “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” Jesus made this statement when people questioned why He was not seeking to be known publicly. I point this out only because I want you to understand that my desire is to teach and preach the word of God to the best of my ability and not my “own” word to bring recognition to me. In doing so, if you’re offended by something I say, then hopefully you will seek to understand if you’re really offended by me or are you offended by what God’s word says. This is important because sin is an offense against God, first and foremost, and secondarily man in some situations. I will explain more on this shortly. But first let me give you some background into why I feel led to discuss this subject with you. I preached my first sermon in April 1981 and it was titled “Time Is Running Out.” That was thirty-three years ago and I did not know half of what I understand today. That reflection has caused me to me wonder what have I done personally for the kingdom of Christ as I knew back then that time was running out. We are a lot closer to being out of time versus when I preached that message. So that being said, I was to open this message with Revelations chapter thirteen.
Revelations 13:3-8 and 16-18 says “I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain……And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six."
In these verses we read about a time that is not too far away when two ‘beasts”, who are actually men, will rise up on the earth. One will be a political figure (the antichrist) and one will be a religious figure (who will support the agenda of the antichrist in turning people towards worshipping Satan.) These two will work together to fulfill Satan’s final plans here on earth. The antichrist will work to unite the world systems under him while the religious figure will attempt bring the religious people under one system which supports the agenda of the antichrist. So why is this important for our understanding of sin? Sin is the primary tool that Satan uses to separate us from God. If we are lulled to sleep so that any and all sin is deemed to be “acceptable” it represents the first step towards our willingness to accept the guidance of the Antichrist. Let me give you an example. I have shared with you in the past that the day will come (and already is) when standing in the pulpit and speaking against sin will be considered a hate crime. You might have heard about this situation and if you have, this will serve as a reminder. Rev. Fulks sent me an article a couple of weeks ago about a situation in Houston.