Are we hiding the NT warnings against sin?

Status
Not open for further replies.

David_A_Reed

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you, J Baldwin, for starting the thread "Are we hiding the Gospel?" I fear we may also be hiding the New Testament warnings against sin.

The Gospels and nearly every letter of the Apostles contain messages like this:

...the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God ... Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God... - 1 Cor. 6:9-10

Yet hardly any Sunday morning church sermons repeat this warning -- none that I recall hearing over the past 25 years in conservative "Bible believing" Baptist and Congregationalist churches. (Although I did give such a sermon myself a couple months ago as a guest speaker in a Baptist church in Abington, Mass., and it was very well received.)

I hear "sin" mentioned from time to time, but more often in the context of speaking thoughtlessly or hurting someone's feelings. Meanwhile, young people in the church go off to college and fall into the practices they were never warned against -- practices that the Apostles never ceased mentioning:

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

Sin is mentioned in church, but usually in terms of being forgiven, rather than "Don't do that." According to John 5:14, when Jesus healed a paralyzed man by the pool of Bethsaida he told him emphatically:
"Stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you."

Paul wrote to the Colossian church at Colossians 3:5-6

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

When my wife was teaching Fifth Grade at Brockton Christian School, she had the class read Malachi 2:16 which says God hates divorcing. A little girl in the class was visibly upset and asked, "Why have I never heard that?" -- even though she had attended church regularly while growing up.

Could it be that, in this politically correct world, we are uncomfortable preaching these key elements of the message preached by Jesus and the Apostles?

Besides speaking strongly against sin -- and naming specific sins -- Jesus also said,
If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels. - Mark 8:38

David
 

Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
If there was more expository preaching in the church today then the passages on sin could not be so easily skipped over.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
If there was more expository preaching in the church today then the passages on sin could not be so easily skipped over.

I was thinking the same thing. Finally, after years of having to sit under "topic" sermons, I have had the privilege of sitting under not one, but two very good expository preachers. When these men have reached the passages on sin, they have been very bold about preaching against it.


When it comes to the issue of preaching against sin, not only is it important to preach about sin in the way that Jesus and Paul did, but also to remind believers that they have no power apart from Christ to overcome sin. As a teenager and young adult, I got a healthy dose of hell-fire preaching, and I knew the difference between right and wrong, but all I heard was that I had to try harder to be holy. When that failed, as it always does, I fell into despair.

When the gospel is preached properly, we learn of miserable state and we learn of Christ who delivers and clothes us with His righteousness.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
David,

I appreciate your post. It's a worthy topic for discussion. My only criticism of your OP is the assumption that:

Quote:
...the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God ... Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God... - 1 Cor. 6:9-10

Yet hardly any Sunday morning church sermons repeat this warning

In non-confessional, non-Reformed churches this may be the case. Where the preacher is sold out to the seeker sensitive movement this may be the case. To churches that deserve "ichabod" to be written above their front door this may be the case. Instead of saying "hardly any" perhaps you can replace it with "many." Other than that I think you bring up a great topic.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
There's another reason why an otherwise solid preacher will avoid teaching on sin. In order to preach against sin you must be dealing with sin in your own life.

Apples don't fall too far from the tree.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
There's another reason why an otherwise solid preacher will avoid teaching on sin. In order to preach against sin you must be dealing with sin in your own life.

Apples don't fall too far from the tree.

That's a good point, and another reason for expository preaching. Can't miss the passages on sin without people noticing.
 

moral necessity

Puritan Board Junior
As a teenager and young adult, I got a healthy dose of hell-fire preaching, and I knew the difference between right and wrong, but all I heard was that I had to try harder to be holy. When that failed, as it always does, I fell into despair.

When the gospel is preached properly, we learn of miserable state and we learn of Christ who delivers and clothes us with His righteousness.

Excellent words!

I'm with you on that one, though there was a slight twist to the "trying harder" idea. I was ingraned with "already having everything I needed for life and godliness and no more grace was needed" and all I had to do was "claim the victory by faith". It worked for external behavior for a while, but when I began scraping my heart, I saw the monster very alive and well. I was merely placing bandages over my wounds so that the festering sore underneath wouldn't be seen.

Blessings!
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
My oldest son and his pastoral colleagues have been doing a six week series on sin with each of the pastors taking a couple of the sermons. It was refreshing to hear of a modern church devoting so much sustained time to the politically incorrect topic.
 

David_A_Reed

Puritan Board Freshman
David,

I appreciate your post. It's a worthy topic for discussion. My only criticism of your OP is the assumption that:

Quote:
...the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God ... Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God... - 1 Cor. 6:9-10

Yet hardly any Sunday morning church sermons repeat this warning

In non-confessional, non-Reformed churches this may be the case. Where the preacher is sold out to the seeker sensitive movement this may be the case. To churches that deserve "ichabod" to be written above their front door this may be the case. Instead of saying "hardly any" perhaps you can replace it with "many." Other than that I think you bring up a great topic.
Actually, I was hoping to hear what you wrote. Since I was writing what I had experienced in several churches over 25 years, I was hoping others had had a better experience in the churches they had attended.

I wonder, though, what the percentages turn out to be. In the case of the seven churches addressed in Revelation's opening chapters, there was more calling to repent than commendation, and two of the churches actually had some in their midst who held to teachings that led members into sexual immorality.

Although I suspect it is a tiny minority of churches where the full, balanced message of Scripture is preached -- the finished work of Christ along with our responsibility to "strive to enter in" (Luke 13:24) -- it is good to know there are, even today, those who have not bowed the knee to Baal by preaching a watered-down message. (Rom. 11:4, 1 Kings 19:18)
 

Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
"If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord's will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Do not suppose that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to the worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Savior, while they are wedded to their idols, and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel , insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness."
C. H. Spurgeon
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
As a teenager and young adult, I got a healthy dose of hell-fire preaching, and I knew the difference between right and wrong, but all I heard was that I had to try harder to be holy. When that failed, as it always does, I fell into despair.

When the gospel is preached properly, we learn of miserable state and we learn of Christ who delivers and clothes us with His righteousness.

Excellent words!

I'm with you on that one, though there was a slight twist to the "trying harder" idea. I was ingraned with "already having everything I needed for life and godliness and no more grace was needed" and all I had to do was "claim the victory by faith". It worked for external behavior for a while, but when I began scraping my heart, I saw the monster very alive and well. I was merely placing bandages over my wounds so that the festering sore underneath wouldn't be seen.

Blessings!

It was a happy day when I finally realized "I can't be holy on my own." That cry for help to the Lord for grace to obey was turned into strength to obey." As Paul the apostle said, "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. " II Cor 12:9 ESV
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top