Summary: There are no longer any standards. Anything goes; everything is acceptable. God, however, doesn’t see it that way and He certainly doesn’t take sin lightly and neither should we.
“John Griffith tended to one of the huge railroad bridges that cross the mighty Mississippi.
It was 1937 when this true story took place He brought his 8-year-old son, Greg, to work with him to see what Dad did all day.The little boy was wide-eyed with excitement when the huge bridge went up at the beck and call of his father and huge boats steamed by. Since there were no trains due for a while they went out a couple of hundred feet on a catwalk out over the river to an observation deck. They sat there and had their lunch. The time flew by when suddenly they were drawn instantly back to reality by the shrieking of a distant train whistle.
Looking at his watch, Griffith saw that it was time for the Memphis Express. With 400 passengers it would, in minutes, be rushing over the bridge. He knew there was just enough time, so he told his son to remain where he was while he quickly went to the control room.
With his hand on the control lever that controlled the bridge, he looked up and down the river to see if there were any boats coming and, as was his custom, he looked down to see if there were any beneath the bridge.Suddenly he saw a sight that caused his heart to leap into his throat. His boy had tried to follow him to the control room and had fallen into the great, huge gear box that had the monstrous gears that operated the massive bridge. His leg was caught between the two main gears. Panic stricken he wondered what to do. He knew there was not enough time to go back and extricate his son and then return in time to lower the bridge. What could he do? There were 400 people on the train but this was his son, this was his only son. He knew what he had to do so he buried his head in his arms and pushed the gear forward.(D.James Kennedy/P.T.#66) He sacrificed his only son to save 400 passengers on the Memphis Express. God sacrificed His only Son to save you and me. “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE” (John 3:16).
While in the garden of Gethsemane just before He was crucified, Jesus prayed, “MY FATHER, IF IT IS POSIBLE, MAY THIS CUP BE TAKEN FROM ME.YET NOT AS I WILL, BUT AS YOU WILL.”(Matthew 26:39) A short time later as Jesus was arrested He said to Peter who tried to protect Him, “PUT YOUR SWORD AWAY! (John18:11) SHALL I NOT DRINK THE CUP THE FATHER HAS GIVEN ME?”As author Jerry Bridges says, “It is obvious that the cup was very much on Jesus’ mind that night. The question is, What was in the cup? We generally associate Jesus’ cup with His crucifixion. We assume that when He prayed that the cup might be taken away, He was asking to be spared from that horrible and demeaning death.Certainly that assumption is true; the cup represented His crucifixion. But what was in the cup?”(Discipleship Journal/29/2002)
In order to understand Scripture we must adhere to principles of interpretation.One of them is that you always interpret Scripture with Scripture. Doing that we must examine other biblical references to “the cup.” In both the Old and New Testaments, “the ‘cup’ refers not only to suffering and death but also to God’s wrath. ‘Cup’ is the normal figurative expression in the Old Testament for judgment and suffering at the hand of God.”(Expositor’s/Carson) For instance, in Jeremiah 25:15 God said, “TAKE FROM MY HAND THIS CUP FILLED WITH THE WINE OF MY WRATH……” Isaiah 51:17 says, “AWAKE! RISE UP, O JERUSALEM YOU WHO HAVE DRUNK FROM THE HAND OF THE LORD THE CUP OF HIS WRATH…..” The ‘cup’ symbolizes God’s wrath.
Recognizing God’s love, many refuse to believe in His wrath. They erroneously think that since God is love, there is no place for wrath in His dealings with mankind. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, God is love. But He is also holy and just. As such He cannot have anything to do with sin and He cannot allow sin to go unpunished. His wrath is an expression of His hatred of sin. Even the New Testament speaks of God’s wrath as Jesus says in John 3:36, “WHOEVER BELEIVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE, BUT WHOEVER REJECTS THE SON WILL NOT SEE LIFE, FOR GOD’S WRATH REMAINS ON HIM.” Romans 1:18 declares that “THE WRATH OF GOD IS BEING REVEALED FROM HEAVEN AGAINST ALL THE GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS OF MEN WHO SUPRESS THE TRUTH BY THEIR WICKEDNESS.”
God’s wrath is the result of His intense hatred of sin. Even though the trend today is to minimize the seriousness of sin and to even dismiss the reality of sin, sin is serious.Dr. Karl Menninger asks, “Whatever became of sin?” Society doesn’t even like to use the word anymore. With all too many people, wrong has become right. Everything has become relative. There are no longer any standards. Anything goes; everything is acceptable. God, however, doesn’t see it that way and He certainly doesn’t take sin lightly and neither should we.