We simply don’t like to be corrected. Even by God! It’s just not in our human nature to receive admonition. We resent any attempt at it. Starting way back with Cain we don’t want to hear about sin, righteousness and judgement. With fingers in our ears we continue along this road. We don’t need that negative stuff. Give us positive “peace-peace,” “feel-good,” “bless-me” messages! Tell us all about God’s love and grace that covers all that other nasty judgement stuff.
But it is all part of a very clever and diabolical ploy on the part of the god of this age -- Satan. His strategy to soft-soap sin hides one of the greatest truths of the Bible -- that God hates sin!
Sin is the sole cause of alienation from God and is naturally a key issue, not only in our salvation, but the on-going sanctification process. Sin always reaps consequences. Even though the sinner is forgiven, the backwash and the fall-out from sin and godlessness, is something we have to live with constantly during our short sojourn here on earth.
Jesus said that the world hates Him because he exposes sin. What the world does is evil. It is sin! And the Light, that’s Him, exposes that darkness. Said Jesus: “This is the condemnation, that the light came into the world and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. Everyone practicing evil hates the light.” Elsewhere He said: “The world hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.”
Continuing in sin and disobedience is incompatible with the Lordship of Jesus in our lives. We might claim all sorts of ministries or achievements in His name, and might be seen to be “successful” Christians, but the real truth could well be that He does not even know us! If we love Him, says the Bible, we do as He says.
“God is a just judge and God is angry with the wicked every day,” says Psalm 7:11. “The Lord is known by the judgement He executes,” notes Psalm 9:16 and if you read 2 Peter 2:4-9, you will pretty soon conclude that God is not a doting father. “Sin must be exposed” says Leviticus 5 and “If you close your eyes to sin I will set my face against you and your family” says God in Leviticus 20.
In a nutshell, God hates sin. Abhors it! Detests it! And, believe it or not, God deals with sin. Sooner or later it reaps its lousy rewards. Biblically, sin equals lawlessness, unrighteousness and godlessness. Simply, it is going against God. Rebellion. Anarchy. Doing our own thing. Disrespect.
“I did it my way,” that old Frank Sinatra favourite, would be sin’s international anthem! Of course, we don’t want to hear it. Denial is rife in a world of post-modernism and liberalism. As we “edit” and manipulate the Bible, we undermine God’s authority and turn black and white issues into grey areas, to the detriment of our lives, families and society.
But why does God hate sin so much? Let’s look at sin’s history down through the biblical ages.
First of all, sin caused Lucifer to rebel. It caused a split among the angels. Lucifer in his pride thought he knew better than God. How can a created thing, like an angel, think he is cleverer than the Creator? But that’s what happens when we get filled with our own importance. This rebellion had great pre-historic consequences. The “fallout” after the attempted coup saw the establishment of the kingdom of darkness, a base from which all the fallen angels and demons now exercise their evil spiritual influence.
Sin then caused the fall of man. God was pleased with what He made with Adam and Eve. He gave them their own will but with this privilege came temptation and, bingo, Adam and Eve succumbed to the wiles of Satan. They died spiritually, thus causing their, and our, separation from God. At the fall, Adam lost touch with God, lost dominion of nature and lost control, as envy and conflict subsequently disrupted people, families and nations.
Sin, in the fall, gave Satan a great inroad into man. It allowed the devil access to influence and control man’s mind, and whoever controls man controls the world because God had, after all, put man in charge! “The whole world came under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19)” and “the God of this age” was able to “blind the minds” of the unbelievers so that they “cannot see the light of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4).”
Sin then caused the great flood. The world was in a mess and Noah was called to build the Ark. The world was wiped out, and we should never forget that God is immutable, meaning that he never changes and is the same yesterday, today and forever. It is the same God who wiped out the world who still sits on the throne in heaven, and we need never to forget that.
Anyway, God began again with Noah and his family. But Noah got drunk. And sin persisted. There was only one answer or solution. So sin finally saw God sacrifice his very own Son. Just how powerful is sin? Only the death of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, could atone for it! Just imagine how much the Father agonised as He put Jesus through the pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary.
Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion was a stark prophetic reminder of the horror. It was my sin and your sin that put Him there. He suffered and died very specially for each and every one of us. He sweated blood, the ultimate agony! He was mocked, scorned, spat on, flogged and shredded. His visage was so marred that He was hardly recognisable.
The full fury of satanic hate, venom and anger was unleashed at Him. As the Son of Man, He suffered “humanly” and that is how he became our Saviour, Redeemer and Lord. What Jesus went through underlines the great problem that is sin. Yes, when are we going to understand just how powerful sin is, and how much God loathes and detests it?
We are told in Romans chapter one that because we chose not to acknowledge God but rather chase our own idols and philosophies, God handed us -- that is, humankind -- over to the consequences of our choices so that as we incur the wrath of godlessness we might be persuaded to repent and turn to Him!
God set up His Holy Spirit to convict us on sin, righteousness and judgement to further enhance our understanding of the seriousness of our evil thoughts and ways.
“I will give them single-mindedness… so that they will always fear Me. I never stop doing good for them… I inspire them to fear Me… so that they will never turn away (Jeremiah 32:28).”
Oswald Chambers wrote: “We have to recognise that sin is a fact of life, not just a shortcoming! Sin is blatant mutiny against God. If sin rules in me, God’s life in me will be killed. There is nothing more fundamental than that!”
God sets the rules and they govern life. His Word is the mirror that clearly reveals His mind to each of us that we may clearly understand and obey. Mostly, God is absolute and explicit, like on issues of sexual sin. It’s black and white, so that there will be no confusion. It is because He loves us so much that He hates sin so much. God knows just how much sin does affect us, not only regarding salvation and but also our ongoing relationship with Him. Sin incurs wrath and judgement, and it is a great lie to suggest that God’s love and grace covers up for our persistent waywardness.
Wrote AW Tozer: “The efforts of liberals and moderates to woo men with the soft option, is unqualified evil. It ignores the reason for our alienation from God -- SIN.”
God does not tolerate sin in any shape or form. In Jesus Christ we can find forgiveness if we repent and turn from wickedness, but sin is never condoned. God hates it!