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Afraid to Offend?

Rev A.T. Anderson
assoc. pastor D.I.G.G. Ministries

There's an old story about a man who tried to save the city of Sodom from destruction by warning the citizens. But the people ignored him. One day someone asked, "Why bother everyone? You can't change them." "Maybe I can't," the man replied, "but I still shout and scream to prevent them from changing me!"
Lot was a righteous man (2 Peter 2:7) who should have done some screaming. The record of his life reminds us of how our sense of moral indignation can be dulled by the world. Lot chose to dwell in cities where there was great wickedness (Genesis 13:12,13). When Sodom was invaded by hostile kings, he was captured. Even after Abraham rescued Lot, he was still drawn back to that wicked city (Genesis 19:1). And the last chapter of his story is an account of heartache and shame (Genesis 19). What a contrast -- this nephew and his uncle! Abraham trusted God, prayed for the righteous, and lived a moral life. But Lot was "oppressed with the filthy conduct of the wicked" (2 Peter 2:7). Although the sin of his day bothered him, he apparently said little about it.
Today more and more we see churches in a decline.
  More and more we have small cell groups that have split off from the mainstream churches.  Yet, we have more churches in each neighborhood then any country in the world, and more crime and immorality also.  Why?

There seems to be a trend in the so-called modern church to feel good.
  All the music and preaching seems to be toward a goal to feel good about yourself and what you are doing.  Yet what are we really doing for God?    There is a lot of screaming and shouting but for who and why?

Many, many years ago a subtle thing started in the church.
  No one wanted to offend or make anyone in his or her congregations uncomfortable, so they started taking out the sermons against sin.  The preachers stopped shouting about doing right and being moral and instead started to accept the sinfulness.  Eventually sin became less sinful and those churches had nothing to offer the people that attended them anymore.  The only reason people had to go to church was to meet with friends and plan parties and feel good.

The shouting had stopped and the church as was known to our forefathers all but secede to exist.
  We like Lot had stopped shouting and preaching the word of God.  Everything today must be tolerated.  Homosexuality has become another choice of living instead of a perverse sinful activity.  Lies, stealing and the like have become just misunderstood behaviors brought about by our environment.  Sin has stopped being sinful.  In fact anyone today that tries to live a godly life stile is mocked and scorned by the modern day preachers as liberalistic.    Just like Lot we have stopped shouting the truth.

Rom 10:14
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

There was a study done by the Barna Foundation not too long ago that tells us that 77% of Christians today believe that man is generally a good person and that we just make mistakes.
  MISTAKES?

I have heard this message preached and talked about by more preachers then you can ever imagine.
  Christians today do not think they are sinful creatures.  I have heard talk about how we are not perfect just forgiven until I am ready to explode. 

Where is the shouting and outrage that God talks about in the Bible about sin?
   Even Paul hated sin…
    Rom 6:6
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin

Rom 6:11
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 6:12-13
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

1 Cor 15:34
34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not…
and many more scriptures that would probably take us all day to read them all.

Man is a sinner and was born in sin.
  We are sinners from birth and by nature we do sin.  We do not become sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners.  And the only way out of all of this sin is through Christ Jesus.  Now if we are not telling people to repent from their sins and do the things of God then we are not preaching the true gospel of the Lord.  Which in turn makes us sinners.

I have heard people justify their sin by saying, "well, God knows my heart" or "no one is perfect, don't you sin."
  Yes that is true but they miss the message for Christ.  God knows our heart, that it is continually to do evil, not good.  Our hearts are evil.  I want you to dwell on this a moment.  OUR HEART IS EVIL.
    Gen 6:5
5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Gen 8:21
21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth;…

2 Chron 12:14
14 And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.

Our hearts are continually bent toward evil and the only way to stop evil in our hearts is to prepare it by seeking God and His righteousness.
  When we stop doing this, or don't do it at all, that is when we sin, for sin is nothing more then rebellion against God.

If we do not hate sin and its very existence in our lives and the lives of others then we are by the very definition sinners lost to the saving grace of our Lord.
  If we do not prepare our hearts by reading and by praying and by seeking His face continually then we are going to be in rebellion against Him.  We are going to sin.

Let me tell you something that I hope you take heart…God hates sin.
  Don't give me that old worn-out cliché, "God knows my heart" or "he hates the sin, but loves the sinner."  Let's stop trying to justify sin and start shouting it out of our lives and everyone we come in contact with.

Let us stop worrying about what someone else thinks or how he or she will not like us and instead start worrying about if God likes us.

Lot was a pacifist and he allowed sin to dwell amongst him. He would not shout the gospel of truth but instead he dwelled among the sinners and tried to understand them.

Are we like Lot?

Let's start doing some shouting ourselves and if no one else listens, then for no other reason, so that we do not become like the sinners.
 

Let us prepare our heart before the Lord to be righteous and not sinners.
 

Some of you will not like this message.
  Some will still justify what you do or think, but for the few who will look to the scriptures and see the plan of God, I would like to say this…SHOUT.  Shout it from the rooftops, from the very depths of your soul…SHOUT.  For it is only by the preaching of the true gospel that man can be saved.

Let us pray…

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