Do you ever feel convicted when listening to a sermon or reading the bible? That uncomfortable stab at your pride? When you feel that sting about something God speaks to your sinful heart, do you pray in humility or bristle in anger? The truth hurts, doesn’t it? But why does it hurt? Pride.
Do you desire a life free from pain more than you desire communion with God? The Lord says that He does not despise a contrite heart. The only way to restore fellowship with God is to confess our sins and let His grace cover our pride.
I do agree that discussion over whether something is a sin or not is moot; God says it, that settles it. My opinion doesn’t matter one whit. And I don’t care what particular sin you’re talking about; that’s also irrelevant. I was a sinner even while in the womb. If fact, all sons of Adam and daughters of Eve have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 1 John 1:8-9: “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I’m thinking about the book of Jonah…starting at 1:1: “The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.’” Why would God ask Jonah to speak out against their sin? To give them the opportunity for repentance. But Jonah didn’t want to hurt their feelings, or perhaps we was afraid of being persecuted, so he ran away in a protest of silence.
So God punished Jonah by letting him be swallowed by a fish. Finally Jonah submitted and obeyed, went to Ninevah, prophesied against their sins, and warned of God’s wrath. The people of Ninevah believed in God and repented. Jonah 3:10 says: “When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.”
My question is: would someone in Nineveh have chosen salvation if they didn’t really believe they were in peril?
Jesus died for all sin, and all sinners can accept the forgiveness Jesus offers IF THEY REPENT. Why would anyone repent unless they admit that they’re a sinner? Romans 4:15 says: “for the Law brings about [God’s] wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.” If we decide to fast from declaring sin as sinful, would you agree that there would be no burden for repentance?
I have been pondering over these questions this morning. Why am I always silent about my faith? Because I fear persecution? Probably. Because I don’t want someone’s feelings hurt? Perhaps. But will the people I care about come to me after this life and ask why I never shared the gospel with them? I doubt I will weep more over those who rejected my outreach than those who could have been saved if I only had spoken up.