No Gray Area
Probably over 50% of the people in our American society would disagree with our thought today. We won't try and force our understanding of scripture on them, but we sure wish they would reconsider!
A really good sermon recently asked this question, "Does God have a problem with what we don't call sin?"
I think most people would agree that there are numerous things we (society in general) don't call sin today that we did call sin 30-50-150 years ago. So what changed? Is it possible for things that were detestable to God in 1965 to be acceptable to God in 2015? Believe it or not, some people would, with a clear conscience, answer that "YES" even though scripture tells us God never changes. Many of them say if society accepts it or makes it legal, then it's OK because society has changed their stance on it.
Consider these thoughts today. In Titus 1:2, (NKJV) we see these words, "...in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began..." God cannot lie. It's not that He will not lie, or that He refuses to lie, He can't! In application, that means if God ever said something, it was true. If God ever called anything sin, what He said about it was true, and truth doesn't change with our opinions or desires, it can't, or it would change constantly.
On the flip side of things, we read these words concerning the devil, "...for he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:44 NIV). God is holy, He can't co-exist with sin, He cannot lie. Satan is unholy, is a liar, and can't be in God's presence. If you look at our society today, it would seem that some people want to be half-way in-between. Only problem is, God says things are either righteous or sinful, they can't be mostly righteous or a little sinful.
The point we are trying to make is man has this scale of Perfect - Good - Mostly Good - A Little bad - Neither - A Little Good - Mostly Bad - Bad - Really Bad, or something like that. BUT God doesn't! Either He accepts it or rejects it, and it's not weighed based on circumstances of the moment or our intent. For example, people want to tell little white lies as long as they don't hurt anybody. What harm can come from that? Maybe we spare somebody's feelings in some way, or save them embarrassment. Maybe our little white lie sells a car or a house, what harm is there in that? At least, that's the way our world thinks, not just about lying, but about most things. Man has this 'gray area' he operates in, and usually in good conscience. God doesn't categorize sin as acceptable as long as it's in man's gray area. Sin is always unacceptable, even if committed with 100% honorable intentions.
If you were asked to rate on a scale of 1-10 the worst sins, if you responded like the majority of people, you would place murder, child abuse, rape, some of those at the top, and then lying would be somewhere closer to the bottom, maybe somewhere near petty theft and gossip. Or maybe you split lying between "bad, harmful, hurtful" lies, and "little white" lies. Where does God put lying? Well, we absolutely must recognize that God doesn't rate sins 1-10, rather He rates sin as "Yes It Is" or "No It's Not". How serious do we consider God with regards to lying in comparison to the average person's opinion? "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur..." (Rev 21:8) NIV
According to scripture, any (and all) sin separates us from God, and short of being restored to Him through the blood of Jesus Christ His Son, all sin gets us that punishment described above. Do we believe that? Has man's watered down teachings of scripture these days caused us to believe that God won't really do what He says He will? Remember, He CANNOT LIE! If He says sin will land us in Hell, you can bank on that. Yes He loves us, deeply, but He is also a just God, and we've lost sight in our society of exactly what "justice" means and what the consequences are when it comes to God.
Our thought today isn't all about lying, that was just one example of most people having a different view on right and wrong than God does. If we are not in tune to Him, we might go about every day doing things that are flat out wrong, and not realize we are transgressing His will for us. If we base our sense of right and wrong on that of our society's laws and the general consensus of our population, we are in big, big trouble with God. Society may have legalized everything from drug abuse to killing babies, and for them, it's all OK because they are within the law. We must resist the urge to think like they do, because they are following laws established by man's opinions and majority rules.
But what about God's laws?