This post was written by Harrison Zeller. Check him out:
The first question I want to start off this blog with is this: Do we as believers hate sin and evil?
I think our initial, and the easiest, response is to say, “Well yes, of course I do.” But do we really hate it? Does evil break our hearts and make us grieve more than anything? Are we bothered by the fact that so many people are being deceived, dying every day in their sin, and then going to an eternity in Hell?
I just have to say, I’m broken-hearted over the westernized “church” today, especially in America. I am broken-hearted over the lukewarmness of Christians (Revelation 3:16). I’m tired of seeing God’s sheep in the churches not being fed by their pastors because they “don’t want to offend anyone.” I’m sad to see the church in Western society not truly being salt and light as described in Matthew five.
And here’s one thing that frustrates me the most: not seeing believers standing for the truth and exposing darkness. The idea of doing such things is discussed in Ephesians 5:11, where it says,
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
So what I want to talk about is exposing darkness and taking no part in it.
One thing I don’t think we as the Church, or at least the perceived Church, do well at all in today’s day and age is “expose darkness.” I mean, think about it, how many of us are scared to post something on social media about abortion being murder or sexual immorality being a sin, like homosexuality, having sex before marriage, pornography, etc.
In today’s culture, those beliefs are NOT popular. We all know this. And I gotta be honest, I think a lot of times we are scared of what people are going to think of us if we openly state unpopular beliefs about what we know is good or evil. Or maybe we think those people will hate us or be offended. And I believe people will be.
But here’s the thing. We should know that, as soon as we become saved, we are never guaranteed that everyone will love us or our beliefs. In fact, Scripture says that the exact opposite will happen.
‘If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’John 15:18-25
So from Scripture we know that ultimately people, in their sin and rebellion against God, hate Him. And it says they will hate us too!
Here’s another thing. Part of our job as believers is to expose the darkness. We should expose false prophets, sin, and the sinfulness of the world, and in doing that show unbelievers that they need a Savior, that they need the gracious, loving, and merciful ONE and ONLY Savior, JESUS! (See John 14:6.)
As believers we are supposed to hate evil. Proverbs 8:13 says,
The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
And Psalm 97:10 urges,
O you who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Psalm 119:163 says,
I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.
So, very clearly we see that we are supposed to hate evil.
Now let me ask another question: How much do we truly love people and care about their eternal destiny?
I honestly think that often it slips our minds too much. We are too focused on ourselves. But, if we truly loved people and didn’t want them to spend an eternity in Hell, then wouldn’t we tell them about their sin and show them the darkness they’re in? Wouldn’t we warn them of the judgment of God that is coming upon them if they don’t repent? And wouldn’t we then share with them about the Savior and what He did to save us?
[F]or at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’Ephesians 5:14-18
So in verse 8, Pauls talks about the fact that we were once walking in darkness, but now we are light in the Lord. If we truly understand what our state as spiritual beings was when we were in that darkness, then we understand that the eternal destiny of those walking in darkness is Hell. So we should be mournful of that. We should pray for them and tell them the Gospel so that they might inherit eternal life.
In verse 13 we’re told, “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible.” So how are people going to see the darkness of this world and the darkness of their own sin against God? By exposing it with the light of God’s Word and Truth and proclamation of the Gospel. Romans 1:16 says,
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The Gospel is the only thing that saves people from their eternal damnation and gives them eternal life because God uses it as His tool to save people.
If we only would understand that it is solely the Gospel, and ultimately God, that saves, then maybe we would preach the true Gospel. And to preach the true Gospel should involve teaching others that they are sinners and evil people by nature. Teaching them that their punishment for their sin is damnation to Hell because of the justice and wrath of God is important. We should be teaching people that God requires a punishment for our sins, but the good news is that Jesus took that punishment for us. The good news is, God slaughtered His own son. God then demands, though, that we be born again (John 3:3). We must repent and believe in the Gospel (Mark 1:15).
This WILL be offensive to people! People don’t want to turn away from their sin. They actually suppress the truth of God and His word in their sin (Romans 1:18). People don’t want to be born again. And this should break our hearts! We should never be okay with this and act like it’s nothing.
If our job is to be the light of the world, then we shouldn’t be hiding our light (Matthew 5:14-16).
If our job is to be the salt of the earth, then we are supposed to preserve what is holy. (Matthew 5:13). We should want people to be saved and we should hate to our innermost core to see evil things that are accepted in our culture. We should want to change this world by the power of the Holy Spirit doing it through us. If our ultimate goal as believers isn’t to see God glorified, people saved, and evil exposed and gone away with, then we are doing it wrong.
So I come back to the same question I started with. Do we hate sin and evil? And does it break our hearts to see sin and evil so prominent in this world? Does it make us more sad than anything to see people dying and on their way to Hell because of their sin? Do we truly want to be salt and light in this world? Do we want to be like Jesus?
We are all constantly being sanctified and made more holy by the Holy Spirit every day. But still, the point is, we should want to feel this way more and pray that God would make us feel this way more!
I wish you could hear my tone of voice when I say this, because I say these things because I want the church to truly be holy and set apart. I want the Church of Jesus Christ to be the way He has told us to be. I say these things for the good of the saints. And those that aren’t saved.
And so the choice is ours. Will we continue to put up with sin and be okay with people going to Hell because we don’t want to offend anyone? Or will we preach the Gospel with passion, truly loving and caring about the souls we share it with?
I pray that God will make His people more and more holy and will sanctify us more and more. And He will be faithful to do that.
It’s time for the church to stand and be bold in what God has told us to do, not fearing the consequences, but instead trusting that even if the world hates us or our efforts feel useless at times, He will save who He will and will continue to grow us up and do things for our good.
It’s time for us to be salt and light and expose the darkness. Blessings brothers and sisters! May God be glorified and honored forever and ever. Amen.
All direct verse quotations are taken from the ESV
This post was written by Harrison Zeller. Check him out:
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