“Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.”22 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?” 23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” John 8.21-24
Sin is not a popular subject inside of some churches. Outside of church it’s very popular! But inside some churches, some pastors don’t deal with sin, preach about sin, or confront church members of sin. We allow culture to convince ourselves of the many “grey areas” of sin. We think that perhaps Paul didn’t really mean what he wrote in his letters to the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians or Philippians.
One church went so far as to put up a billboard on a major interstate which said, “Hell and judgment not included.” In other words, “Come and bring your sin of choice and you will not be condemned for any of it.” I dare say these churches, and pastors, lead toward the far left side of theology, biblical interpretation and politics.
But how can you believe any of Jesus words if you don’t believe them all? How can a church claim to be Christian if they ignore the very clear and plain teachings of Jesus who said — “You will die in your sin,”? Sure, ignore Paul if you want to, (I would not) but can you really ignore Jesus? Can you ignore the Messiah who said, “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” Three times in as many verses Jesus says, “You will die in your sins.”
Of course this might be where a person questions, “What is sin?” To which I would say, “Read and believe the whole Bible or non of it!” For they are no different than the Jews who arrested, abused and killed Jesus for claiming to be God. The Jews didn’t believe his authority even if the Old Testament pointed to hundreds of prophecies that Jesus was the Christ.
I say, either we believe it all or none of it. Now this doesn’t mean we throw out reason, tradition or experience, but we weigh it all against the authority of the Bible as well as our own reason, tradition and experience. (see John Wesley’s Quadrilateral.)
Sin keeps us from knowing and experiencing the full grace and joy God has provided. Run from it! Hide from it. Cling to the cross and allow the God of all love to redeem you from your sin and fill you with his power and might.
“O Lord God, you were clear when dealing with sin. You hate it. You rejected it. You called it out. Come now, Holy Spirit and fill be with your love and mercy. I am a sinner saved by your grace. We love sin but it leads to death. Help us know the truth of the Gospel and to reject sin at its deepest and most secret level. For you paid the ultimate price that all might come to know you as Lord, Savior and friend. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen