I Peter 5:7-9 (NLT)
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.
I read the testimony of a porn star who left the industry to become an activist against human trafficking. As I read her account of fame and fortune in the depths of despair, she was the number one “Googled” actress for many years one who rose from the darkness and secret corners to be recognized in public. Drugs and alcohol with a deep longing for a peaceful end called suicide ended when she was indicted as the head of an escort agency becoming an active participant in the degradation that had put her in this pit. Naturally, my flesh thought of course she wanted out. She was now about to lose her freedom and be carted off to prison. Until I read a little further, she was a preacher’s kid. Raised in the church, she became a youth pastor going into the high school’s teaching abstinence and purity. She was raped. At that point, she believed that she was now worthless and entered the industry on a fluke when someone asked her to “model” for their website. With each act, she felt was her punishment for what had happened to her. Lord, forgive me for being so judgmental. Have I forgotten where I came from? The depths of the pit that once held me. How it felt to be locked in self-condemnation? The ongoing punishment of self-inflicted pain for sin that could be so freely forgiven? In my repentance, I am reminded that the greatest and most effective lie of the enemy today is that any sin is unpardonable.
Unpardonable sin is the result of a hierarchy of pride in human hearts. Society has determined that there are levels to sin and the church has not helped in this endeavor. To imply that God still punishes the redeemed of sin is a lie. Jesus Christ is the answer to all sin. Those who call on Jesus to be their Savior and Lord though they sin will never be condemned again. But when our relationship to the Son of God somehow gets wrapped in religion, it is sometimes difficult to separate the sinner from sin. One sin was enough to nail Jesus to the Cross. A variety of depravity was not necessary to cause the torture and murder of an innocent man. Just a single law broken. A lie would have done the trick. Any act of obedience no matter how large or how small is a step that can become a fatal turn for those who do not understand the magnificence and magnitude of God’s Grace for humanity. All of humanity.
When I was in my late teens, I was very active in church. Returning from a mission trip to Africa, I was offered a position at our church which had over 25,000 members. It was my dream. However, I made a mistake that I somehow believed was too big for God to forgive so I walked away from it all. My church, my family, my life and my calling. For years, I wandered. Marriage ended in divorce. Three little people who now had imperfect lives because of me. I was a life failure in my own eyes not worthy of God’s Grace. How could He love me? I knew Him and still managed to mess up so horribly. In the midst of my downward spiral, I met my husband. On our second date, we were talking about the future. The kind of life we one day hoped for. He said, “If I get married, whoever my wife is will have to love God.” Given our positions in life at that time, this could only have come from the Holy Spirit hidden in us both trying to get out. I knew from that moment on that he would be my husband. When I look at my life now, how can I not serve God? In the last sixteen years, God has proven over and over again that He never wanted to punish me but has done nothing but lavished His Love and Affection over my life over and over again. It only takes one stumble, one fall, one disappointment and one devastating turn for the enemy to take over with a single lie.
God’s Grace is ALWAYS sufficient for me (2 Corinthians 12:9) …and you! To think that it is not is the moment that we become vulnerable and easily devoured by the lie of the enemy. We must give all of our worries and cares to the Lord as an act of faith and trust so that moment we do make that one mistake or create a terrible mess that we are not easily overtaken. There is no unpardonable sin just one big lie that there might be.
I Samuel 12:19-22 (NLT)
“Pray to the Lord your God for us, or we will die!” they all said to Samuel. “For now we have added to our sins by asking for a king.” “Don’t be afraid,” Samuel reassured them. “You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the Lord with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on him. Don’t go back to worshiping worthless idols that cannot help or rescue you—they are totally useless! The Lord will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the Lord to make you his very own people.
The Children of Israel had asked for a king. Rather than allowing the Lord to lead them, they wanted a man. When they realized their mistake, they asked the prophet, Samuel, to pray for them because they had sinned against God and now expected punishment for their actions. Samuel told them, “Don’t be afraid, you have certainly done wrong but make sure now that you worship the Lord with all your heart.” This is the moment when tragedy is turned to triumph and the most challenging step a person must make. To turn back to the Lord immediately or just give up. The Lord will not abandon His People…ever. Even when we bring dishonor to His Name, reject His Son’s sacrifice or bring sorrow to His Spirit – His Love is still unfailing and His Grace never-ending.
How do we get this message across to the world? How do we help others see that God’s Love and Forgiveness is greater than any sin every committed? It begins with us. Believers must come down off the high horse of condemning others. A lack of forgiveness has drained love from the Body of Christ and now the world sees the church as condemning rather comforting. There is no unity in the Body of Christ. With churches splitting and dividing when one pastor divorces another and form two new bodies, I know four pastors who once worked together each with their own church today filled with people who love one another from afar because of the differences of men. There is no unpardonable sin. Love covers a multitude of sin.
Romans 3:23 (NLT) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Everyone has sinned and will sin falling short of God’s Glorious standard. Everyone. Every single person drawing breath will sin at least once if not multiple times in the course of the day. We are all on the same plight. We try not to sin but do any way. The only hope we have is in Jesus Christ. (Romans 7:19-21) I read an article after the “Ashley Madison” leak that estimated more than 400 pastors, teachers, deacons and elders would resign from their church. No 4, 40 but 400. Sin is rampant. Love has grown cold. What are we going to do about it? It is heartbreaking to think that many will tumble into the depths of despair and darkness never to return to the Light of His Love because their hidden sins are revealed when there are many who are thankful it wasn’t them yet fail to embrace those who are victims.
Hebrews 9:14-15 (NLT)
Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.
We need the Blood of Jesus to permeate our hearts and minds once again. His Grace is not only sufficient for me but everyone who Christ died for. He died to set all of mankind free from the penalty of sin. Sin is part of who we are. Every person struggles with sin the same way. The only way we overcome sin in our life is to love God more than sin. To seek Jesus over our own way which leads to sin. To avoid the darkness and choose the Light of His Love. Jesus has given us grace but now we learn the meaning of Grace and the worth of His Mercy given to us new each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
I John 5:18-21 (NLT)
We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.
This world is under the control of the evil one. You may not believe in the court rulings or the glamorization of sin. We have redefined “hero” to mean anyone who is willing to bring their secret life out in the open. Christians are voicing their opinion on social media and being beat to death with their own Bibles in commentary. However, I do not believe that godly men and women should be labeling one sin more heinous or depraved than another and be very careful when speaking on the matter. To make fun of someone in sin is not what we are called to do. We are to show love and compassion for all mankind leading them by love and forgiveness. The church cannot require people to change to come to church but be so filled with God’s Power that they cannot help but want to change when they encounter His Presence in that place.
There is one true God. His Son, Jesus Christ, died to release every man and woman that He created from sin’s penalty. Who are we to decide that their sin is any worse than our own just because we think it is worse? Sin is vile to God! Every single one. He made sure that not a single sin was unpardonable it is time we do the same. Sin is always going to be wrong. I am not advocating that preachers stop calling it what it is and warning against it. What I am saying is that we must open our hearts and minds to love God with such abandon that we understand just how wide, deep, long and high His Love is for us so we can give it to others. Everyone else even those we find the most vile and repulsive. It only takes one sin to turn someone from seeking God to becoming the person we deem unfit. Just one.
Luke 15:4-7 (NLT)
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”