YOUR RELIGION CAN BE AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP THAT WILL EVENTUALLY CAUSE YOUR DEATH.
What is good and what is bad?
How many haven’t declared that they sometimes find people in the world kinder than those in the church? Inside the church, you can find envy, competition, strife and sometimes lack of proper politeness. I think we can all agree that there are many tares among the wheat in any church.
But how good is worldly goodness really? And is always what we conceive as bad really bad? What we will see is that the biggest problem we have are really when good and bad are mixed together.
We are so used to seeing the stereotypes of a bad person in movies and TV that we might think that this represents the reality. The bad guy finds enjoyment in torturing others, they think out schemes without any sign of remorse or empathy. Often they have something in their appearance that is nauseating. You look them in the eye and you see evil. They laugh at their victim’s pain.
With this idea of bad and evil, we are sitting ducks in reality.
Never before have so many labels been placed on people. Psychopath, psychotic, narcissist and many more. Everyone is on their own side, everyone sees it from their own perspective. For the most part, we consider ourselves always as the good guy fighting justice and the others who come in our way are always the bad guy. But is there a truth to all the labels that we today can put on everyone who suppresses us in some way? Psychologists and psychiatrists have read all the books from the different researchers and have multiple theories on what causes what.
We already know that the Bible and evolutionary science disagree, but what if the art of modern psychology and the Bible have a dispute too? What if the Bible gives a different perspective then the ones we normally use? In the Bible, men are categorized as either sinners or righteous men. Two labels. When Israel mentioned all their different kings in the Bible they categorized them in one of two ways: He «did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God» or «he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.» We don’t see anywhere in the Bible any diagnoses, injury or trauma used as some excuse for committing a crime against what was good.
The Biblical principle is that there is no excuse for sin and that sin is a choice.
The world of psychology give labels as an excuse for behavior abnormality and indicate or even defend that the patient had no control over their mind and actions.
Dealing with someone with a labeled desire can be like dealing with a drug addict. They are viewed as helpless and sick rather it is about choice.
Yes, people who have done one sin long enough might not have the strength to break free and need help. But this doesn’t change the Biblical labeling a sinner as a sinner. Jesus said a sinner is a slave to its sin and that Jesus can free them and give them their liberty back. Often all psychiatrists have to offer is a label and pills to subdue the patient, as it doesn’t believe in a God or the world of the Bible. Some experiment in training peoples brain to think differently.
Our different ways of viewing bad acts are clearly shown in race discrimination. If a man of color commits a crime in the western world he is usually seen as an extremist, just bad or someone who has been part of a corrupting influence. If a white man does the same, researchers try to figure out what mental illness he has so they can label him and by it explain why a white man would commit such a horrible crime. The double standard of viewing a crime is visible.
Jesus said there is no excuse for any sinful act. There might be reasons for why they are committed but the reason isn’t accepted as an excuse.
The largest church in the world hasn’t been of much help either, teaching that little children are born sinners. Its doctrines leave human without responsibility for their conducts, that they are forced to continue the cycle of sin. However under no circumstance, is this the Biblical teaching.
God told them «turn ye» over and over again, His repeated message was for them to stop doing the evil they did and start doing good. «Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.» (2Ki.17:13)
«Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?» (Eze_33:11)
«Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.» (Zec_1:4)
«In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.» (Mat 3:1-2)
«From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.» (Mat 4:17)
Now if you believe in God’s existence, you also have to admit that God would be unreasonable when asking man to turn from their ways if it wasn’t physically possible for them to follow God’s order. You don’t ask a three-month baby who hasn’t fully developed their bones and body for walking, to get up and walk. It doesn’t matter how much you threaten it or scream to it, the baby isn’t being either disobedient or defiant, it just can’t do what you ask. You are the unreasonable, not the child. The child has no choice because of it’s helpless condition. If God asks man to turn from their sins and to obey His commandments if it was impossible for humans to do it, then He would be unreasonable. If it’s not physically possible for us to meet His demand, then it isn’t a matter of choice.
And are we even responsible for our sins if it isn’t a choice? If it’s not a choice then how can we be held accountable, yet God holds us accountable for all our sins. What if we are helpless because of past and present circumstances or family relations? God tells us that even in the case of a father and a son, each holds responsibility for their own sin. It means that if the father sins, it’s not the son’s responsibility. (Ezek.18) Jesus also said that following Him would mean there would be division in a family: «The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.» (Luk 12:53)
This means that family relations are not an excuse to not make the right decision. Neither is your upbringing in a household of sin. The larger society isn’t an excuse either as we see it was possible to remain true to God by the witness of the faithfulness of Joseph in Egypt and the Jewish young men in Babylon. There is just no excuse given in the Bible for sin.
In the modern world, a man can be acquitted of a horrid crime if they are declared mentally ill.
Anyone who has met an irresponsible person knows the consequences such a person causes by their actions. If we want someone to be responsible we have to give them their responsibility. From experience, most of us know that the person who doesn’t take personal responsibility for their wrongdoing will most likely commit them again.
Why we let repetitive sinners «off the hook».
Sin is a destructive force, sometimes it destroys families, societies, countries and even the entire world. And it does not consist of stereotypical bad people and good people. Most people who create a lot of damage around themselves do good along with the bad. It can especially be seen in Churches and even the biggest Church in the world, the Catholic Church. Why do people stay in the church after all the terrible abuse that has taken place there, after all that their corrupt leaders have done and said, after all the unchristian acts they have done throughout the ages? Because the church does a lot of good too. And in a way we accept the bad because of all the good we see, thinking it somehow excuses the bad. That the good cover the bad. Do you really want to close down a church that along with its bad actions also feed the starving, clothe the poor and nurture the sick? Won’t you feel that closing them down does more harm than good? This is how we are manipulated to accept sin among us. And the devil knows it and uses it.
Let’s look at several abusive relationship everyone has either heard of or can relate to in order to illustrate the point.
Example 1: The Narcissistic family.
A family had several members with narcissistic traits. They could never apologize to their chosen victim, they never admitted fault. They made the victim look like the villain until the victim thought she/he really was the villain. The victim’s sense of reality was constantly challenged by the gas-lighting.
The childhood was so difficult that it left the person depressed, with anxiety and low self-esteem. Her/His life consisted of second-guessing everything she/he experienced. Our victim in this example lost their life by believing lies about herself/himself and by being taught to live out the lies. She/He never got to live a life of freedom and happiness. When confronting her/his abusers they turn the tables, called it exaggerating, and they make themselves the victim of her/his accusations. She/he is looked upon as a troublemaker who is out to ruin the family. She/he suffers daily and struggle with emotional scars.
This story is a good example of how sin works. Sin destroys lives. But these family members were not the stereotypical bad people. For they didn’t just harm, they also did good things. They didn’t just curse, they also blessed. They hit with one hand and stroked gently with the other. And this is why most people are trapped in an abusive relationship. Because it’s not just bad, it’s good things that happen too. And this confuses the victim into questioning their understanding of right and wrong. Someone who is harmful to another in a relationship, whether its family, husband/wife or friends, will always bring out the good they have done in their defense.
But even though there are good things, it doesn’t change the bad things from being harmful. You can put a little bit of poison in a healthy drink, the victim will still be damaged. The healthy part doesn’t save the victim.
God is furious when His holy things and standards are mixed with evil. «Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.» (Jer. 7:9-11)
He won’t have it. Songs of praise to his honor while destroying the character of the lady on the row behind you with your evil gossip? He won’t have it. He won’t accept your songs of praise while you ignore the rights of those less fortunate.
«Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. …To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.» (Isa 1:4 & 11 & 12-13 & 14-17)
Example 2: Incest
Let’s do another example. A girl is sexually abused by her father. This is very traumatic for the girl. However, most of the time the Father is just a father, feeding, clothing, nursing their daughter. Praising her for her grades, joking with her, taking her to the cinema and other things parents may do. Sometimes the hugs are innocent while they sit on the couch. And then late at night, a night she cannot predict, her dad comes into the bedroom and make his daughter have sex with him. How much good did he do? A lot? How much bad? In terms of time, little. Maybe it was only two times that month, lasting only for a few minutes each time. How damaging can it be? It can destroy the girl’s life forever. God doesn’t measure sin in the amount of time it takes to commit the act, he doesn’t weigh it up to what good we do, He looks at the consequences and the damages. A sin cannot be atoned by good deeds. The girl grows up and her father’s actions take away from her a chance at a normal relationship and she is left with anxiety, depression, and shame.
When confronting her family it doesn’t go well for everyone. The family of the abuser who doesn’t have the bad experience has only good things to remember him by. And the girl remembers it too, she loves her perpetrator. She questions if it’s even right to take the case to trial. She worries if he will make it in jail, he cries that he will not. What does she do? Shall she suffer in silence and save the unity of the family, or shall she break free with all that follows?
Those who do us most harm are not necessarily someone who is plotting evil against us. We sympathize with the wrong-doer. It could be that the person who is manipulating are doing it unconsciously. That the one committing the act doesn’t understand the consequences of what they are doing, that it’s just learned behavior. That they don’t understand that what they do is wrong. Perhaps they have scars of their own and are just trying to cope and are hurting others in the process. The one who sins towards others sometimes do it to protect someone else, to protect themselves or they have some kind of good reason to do it.
It’s not uncommon for people to say that psychopaths are the most outgoing and charming people you will meet. But to anyone they dislike, they are a complete nightmare who destroys their lives. If the psychopath only destroys one life while doing good to 100 people, should he be confronted and punished for his actions? Most people find it easier to blame the victim and let the perpetrator go free for the sake of the 100.
Man’s solution to all of these problems is to accept sin. We accept sin in the churches, in the families, in friendship, and in workplaces. For those who have done or are doing harm is people like you and me. They cry just like us, they might even ask for forgiveness before doing it all over again, they laugh at the same jokes, they like the same TV shows. They are relatable. Some even attractive. We sympathize.
The Biblical God sympathize too, but He does not ever, not even once, excuse sin. Sin has consequences. God is a God of mercy but also a God of judgment. He doesn’t let the sinner get away if he continues damaging other human beings. He is not going to let the father in this example, go unpunished because he placed a large donation to the church that week. God is not going to ignore the daughters cry because the father works at the local homeless center.
When Paul heard of a harmful sin in the church of the Corinthians he told them to get the sin out from among them. He said they were all going to be tainted by it. They were not to excuse the man but to give him consequences for his actions.
The reason why it’s important to punish sin or to not let the sinner off the hook is that if it’s not dealt with it will worsen and spread like an airborne disease. If one person gets to have an excuse for their sin, as if they have special permission from heaven to sin because of some condition or good deed, you can be sure we will find an excuse for our favorite sin too.
Additional, if the sinner is permitted to continue harming others, if we show more mercy towards the sinner then we do the victim, we are helping the sinner in damaging the victim even more. If we are to be followers of Christ we are not to make excuses for sin. Our message to the sinner is the same Christ gave: «repent ye!». Part of Christ mission was also to set captives free. Are we doing God justice if we advise the victim to forgive and continue in a damaging relationship, or if we help them to become free? We can forgive, but we cannot allow it to continue. Is Christianity the religion of suppression, the defender of sin and sinners? In one way it is and in another way it isn’t. Christ reaches out to sinners to give them a chance to turn from their ways, not to protect them and excuse them so they can continue their crime.
A popular saying says that God loves the sinner but hates the sin. And this is true, He died to save the sinner. But He didn’t die so that the sinner could have an excuse to continue the abuse. Jesus said to the woman who was caught fornicating: «Go and sin no more». Repentance is the key here. Help the victim away from their perpetrator and let the perpetrator find his freedom from sin nowhere near their victim or other potential victims. If he is to recover it’s not at the expense of someone else. If the sinner doesn’t have to face any consequences for their actions, if the sinner is excused in some way, we are helping the sinner continuing not taking responsibility for his actions and inspire him in his future sins. «I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness» (Jer 23:14)
The Bible tells us that God «repuke» His failing children. True Christianity deals with sin, they don’t permit it or excuse it. They take the bull by its horns. Yes, it’s hard to bring up in the church board a mans repetitive bad behavior towards others if that same man is kind to you. Yes, it will get you enemies. Yes, you will be less popular if you fight sin. But you are doing the right thing.
Paul says to obey authority for they are set there by God. (Rome 13:1-5) This doesn’t mean to obey any authority in everything. This refers to the authorities job to imprison and separate the criminals from the public. God has instituted the order that criminals have to be dealt with and victims protected from them. This means that God wants us to give the sinner consequences. This means that God cares about the victims and want to lessen the damage the sinner does. If we do the opposite we are aiding the enemy and creating a society of lawlessness.
We can forgive, but we still have to give consequences where it is necessary for the sake of both sinner and victim and for everyone who beholds the situation.
For a long time, many Christians have thought that this isn’t possible. That you cannot show mercy and punish at the same time. That these two don’t belong together. However, this isn’t the case. God both forgives and punishes in mercy. Punishment also teaches the sinner to take responsibility for their own actions, something that hopefully will benefit him and those around him. It doesn’t feel good to be punished, but it does good in the long run.
Example 3: The wife who is abused.
A woman loves her husband. He doesn’t get angry every day. He works hard for the family. He has provided the home with many good things. He plans wonderful holidays, but sometimes he hits his wife hard. It might only happen once a month. But she doesn’t know when it will happen. She is scared even when he has good days. Her behavior starts to affect their children and the people around her. Every time he has lost his temper he has cried for forgiveness not long after. Every time she forgives him. She is no longer free, she is in an abusive relationship and it will affect her health and her life in a terrible way.
She keeps weighing the good up with the bad. What happens if she leaves the abuse? Will her children side with their father, will she lose them? Will she lose her home and many of the things she loves? Will the effect be worse or better? She doesn’t know, so she stays. But she is still in an abusive and destructive relationship.
Do you have an abusive relationship with your church?
All these examples are metaphors on an apostate church. There are many different church denominations that are not obedient to God’s ways or laws. Some present different ways for you to be saved. Some do not represent the true gospel of Christ. They do, however, still have a lot to offer. They do charity, they have social clubs, youth clubs, scouts, they visit the old and they are nursing the sick. They do so much good. They put their head slightly to the side while they listen to your problems compassionately. They are everything to you. Yet that small voice inside tells you that they are in opposition to God’s ways. That small voice reminds you of the bad things they did and do. But these things seem so small compared to all the good they do. Would really God reject someone who did so much good just because they disrespected some of His teachings? The Church hasn’t done you anything bad personally?
We think He wouldn’t because we think He thinks the way we do. Jesus statements are shocking to many Christians today: «Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.» (Mat.7:21-23)
If we leave the church that shares false teachings we might lose so much important to us. Friendships and family, community and respect. There so much to lose. And so we accept the churches blemishes. We except their false teachings and their wrong-doings. We bargain with them, weigh their sins up against their good deeds and think if the good deeds weigh more heavily they are still a good church. We close our eyes the best we can to everything that is bad. But in the end, like Jesus said, this church will take from us and our children eternal salvation. For no one can be saved through works. No good deed can take away our sins or the sins of the church. No self-sacrificing act can wipe away the horrid act we did to our neighbor. Even if it was just once and if you were good to all the other neighbors. Salvation isn’t about weighing good works up against the bad, this was the way of the heathen religions.
How evil is it if good works and righteous acts are what makes us legalize sin? That is just what is happening. Jesus says: «I never knew you».
Sin is of the devil no matter what wrapping it comes in. (1.John 3:8) Sin will never just appear evil, it will always be mixed with that which appear good. Sin will appear necessary sometimes, it will appear like a friend or even appear justified.
When you yourself are about to do something you know is wrong and your conscience tells you, you make excuses in your mind so that you can continue what you are doing.
If your church is disobedient to Christ and preaching a false gospel, you are not safe in its midst. Their good deeds might make you hesitate to leave, but that is why good deeds can be the greatest deception.
All the devil needs to do to win the world is to mix the lies with the truth and people will feel an obligation to take the whole package for the sake of the good, not knowing that they are going straight into the trap.
Satan can fool no one with being evil. Not just he or religious leaders know this, even political leaders and movie stars know this. That is why they are often seen doing charity work or doing some noble act. That’s how you legitimize yourself, that’s how you make it hard for people to go against you.
The worldly goodness seems very good. For the most part, they smile, they are polite, they help each other. Some even feel they are better at charity and caring than many Christians are. However worldly goodness is not necessarily a result of that person being good. Every human being knows that if they are good to others they get something beneficial in return. All men thrive after recognition, to fit in and for a position. These two things can only be achieved by trying to make the people around you to like you. That means doing something good towards them. Inviting them to dinner, a party, giving them a gift, helping them out when they ask you and being polite and friendly. All those things give someone a position they desire. If someone goes around and are unkind they are left without friends and other important things. People know unconsciously that if you want to have what you want out of life you have to play the game. They don’t do it consciously, but because they have been taught it. This is why people in all kinds of different cultures continue to practice the culture in their society even if they have a problem with it. If you don’t play the game you are out. If you yell at the man smoking at the bus stop he will jell back at you, knowing this will make you not yell. Even an animal or a dog knows how to adjust his behavior to get benefits and avoid punishment. This behavior isn’t necessarily Christ-like, He never said things to fit in or to get praise at the expense of truth. That is why He was hated. If He had done everything everyone expected of Him, they would have received Him and not crucified Him. To those he pleased he would seem like a kind and a generous man, they would have praised Him and given Him a seat among them. But He didn’t, and so instead they called him evil and of the devil. But in reality the act they would have conceived as good would have been bad, and Christ behavior that they felt was wrong was actually good.
The world may give an illusion of goodness were there might not be true goodness. And only in times of distress and want, you will know for sure what is good and what isn’t.
Jesus defined that true goodness only showed when the act wasn’t done with the motive of recognition.
«Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.» (Mat 6:1-4)
«Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.» (Luk 14:12-14)
This is Gods goodness, that is supposed to be the Christian goodness. It’s superior to worldly goodness. True goodness is selfless in the way that it doesn’t seek recognition for its acts. It doesn’t try to use its good acts to manipulate or to gain followers and friends. And it considers what is good in the long run, not just what seems good right there and then.
How to know a true church from an apostate church.
We are not saved by good works. We aren’t acquitted of our sins by weighing it with our good works. We are saved through the blood of Christ, from bloodshed. Someone had to take the punishment for our sins. They were never to be blotted out without a sentencing.
A true church will repent of its sin and try to turn back to God’s ordinances and directions.
They will not look for excuses to sin, they will not allow any excuse for sin. They will teach their members that they have to turn from their ungodly ways and back to obedience to God. They will teach them that there is no salvation through good deeds. That good deeds cannot replace obedience. “But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” (Jer.23:22)
«Bring forth, therefore, fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.» (Mat 3:8-9)
«Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity* (*Anomia=lawlessness).» (Mat 7:16-23)
Again, it doesn’t matter how many good deeds we do in God’s name if it’s done together with lawlessness. The mixture of truth and error, good deeds with bad deeds, are what destroy the church from the inside and make you question what is right and wrong.
«Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.» (Isa 1:16-20)
Good and bad doesn’t always reveal itself in the present
Today more than ever we see the world trying to battle instant gratification. What appears good right now might not be good in the long run.
This might be why God has allowed evil to play out and take its time. Without the testimony of time, there will always be that moment of doubt if sin really is as bad as it’s made out to be.
The consequences of sin are sometimes more far-reached and bigger than the act seemingly was separated from the consequences. That is why victims of abuse sometimes don’t act or speak up against it before they are much older. At the time the crime is committed they are still confused trying to even excuse what is being done to them. But when they are fully grown they understand and see the consequences and impact it had on their life and they are able to see it as even more horrible than ever. Many will accuse them by saying they didn’t seem to say much at the time, but this is because they do not understand that sin are only fully understood in the right light when all the after effects and consequences have been seen and they can look back at their struggle over time.
Many left-wing movements are giving the illusion that instant gratification of any personal need is good. It’s like saying ice-cream is good for you and healthy because you feel good when you eat it. But everyone knows in this case that feeling good at the moment isn’t the same as it being something that is good for you. This type of reflection should be used in all different types of “wants and needs”. What is the effect in the long run? Do your actions affect more than yourself? If you get your way, will someone else lose their way? What is the bigger picture?
Back to the example with unhealthy food. Only few will experience bad consequences as it’s eaten. But for those who eat this same bad food over time will only start to experience the consequences in the future.
Diabetes, heart disease even cancer are many of the diseases that you can get as a result of your bad habit to gratify your lust on the expense of your health. But the result doesn’t end there. It will cost to get treatment, either it will cost society or your family. Your bad habits might also affect your children after you, and they might get sick sooner than you did. Or the family will become a slave to debts. Who will care for you when you are sick, whose lives will be affected by you seemingly just doing something personal like gratifying your appetite, chain-smoking or drinking?
This is just one of many examples of how our actions that appear to cause little damage at the time, can have a huge effect on us, family and society later.
This is the case with all sin. It never stops with just us. In order to the see the effects of sin, we need to see it play out.
We cannot judge something from the present alone, we need to make decisions based on the future as well. And the only way to predict the future is to learn from the past. Because the present situation is already a consequence of the past.
The Bible teaches us that God sometimes waits with punishing the sinner. In this way, He can learn if the sinner really repents or not. If a sinner is sincerely sad about his actions he will show it by changing his acts. If someone isn’t upset about their sin and they take notice to see if they are going to be punished or not, if no punishment comes, they even more boldly continue their actions. By waiting with the punishment God can search a man’s heart to see if they are sorry for the sake of avoiding punishment or if they are sorry out of compassion and moral.
«Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.» (Ecclesiastes 8:11)
In today’s society, people are being taught to be selfish, to do whatever makes you happy at the time you are doing it. And those who are trying to think of society as a whole and what will happen if everyone takes the path they desire, are viewed as unkind or unloving.
Today’s sinner desires freedom from consequences, however, that is impossible. And so they call the consequences by different names and they transfer the blame to those who criticize them.
The Bible has only one solution to offer us, and it has been rejected. The solution is to follow Gods laws and ordinances. God promises prosperity to those who do and that those who won’t destroy themselves slowly. What are the consequences of an atheist society? Many socialists think it would be utopia. There are many countries that have gone all the way, without bringing evidence of a good society.
The world is experimenting to its own doom. It still holds fast that as long as we have rules that make us happy right now, as long as our wants and desires are met right now, then it doesn’t matter what the long-term effect is, because we won’t be around to see it.
God’s righteousness weighs present, past and future. And by this knowledge, God has given us His laws. God’s law is a reflection of what is good and righteous. Now and always. If we and our church respect God’s law and measure good and bad by it, we are on the right path. If we refused to acknowledge God’s law as the guideline to determine if something is good or bad, or if a church is good or bad, we are deceived. Social correctness changes, opinions changes, our view on life changes, but God never changes. He doesn’t use our short experience as the guideline for what is right for you. God sees the future and knows what is right. By this knowledge, He has formed the law. And by rejecting the law we reject Him as all knowing. “Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.» (Psa_119:138) «Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.» (Psa_119:160)
Countries and societies all over the world make rules and regulations hoping they are going to come up with a recipe for a perfect society only to have failed over and over again. If fact everything that has been tried today has been tried somewhere else or at a different time. It doesn’t work. Christians do the same, from liberals to conservative. They have their own rules and traditions they defend before they defend God’s law. God claims to have the solution, but man doesn’t believe Him.
We have been given the law as a guideline. The Hebrew word that has been translated into law is Torah which means instruction. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.» (Isa 8:20)
Any church, no matter how good deeds, if they teach man to go against God’s laws it’s not a healthy place to be in the long run.
«Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.» (1Jn 3:4) So if a church willfully teaches and break God’s law, they are a church living in sin. Sin is of the devil and sin leads to destruction.
If we do sin we have an advocate with the father, if we repent and understand that our action is rebellion and bad influence, God is merciful and have brought us salvation through the blood of Christ.
If temporally good deeds in a church are the ticket to salvation then many atheists have that same ticket. For they do good works too. Salvation doesn’t come from our good deeds but through repenting and turning from our ways while we let Christ death pay the penalty for our sin. That is the only way to heaven, the only way to salvation. If we deny we have sinned when breaking God’s law, we do not repent and we will not receive pardon for these sins.
If you are in a church that teaches, inspires you or even pressure you to brake God’s law, you need to leave it no matter how good it seems. It’s a deceptive Godly goodness. No matter how righteous it seems, it’s not Christ righteousness. Christ was in harmony with God’s law. Christ righteousness is in harmony with God’s law.
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev 14:12)