“There is no holy life. There is no war between good and evil. There is no sin and no redemption.” – Deepak Chopra
“Sin” is a VERY unpopular word in our post-modern society. The general understanding now is that everyone is a law unto themselves; each person makes their own moral laws and follows their own individual conscience. If they “mess up,” no biggie. There are no absolute moral standards and there is no such thing as sin.
This thinking is even creeping into the evangelical church. A very popular pro$perity preacher on TBN has stated that he doesn’t harp about sin because no one would come to his services or tune in to his television show. His messages are all about attaining a “better life.”
The Catholic church mandates its members must confess their “mortal” sins to a priest at least once a year. Only once a year? Failure to do so incurs another “mortal” sin. Yet, research indicates only 12% of Catholics go to confession at least yearly (see article below). That is not surprising since Catholicism generally sets a very low bar regarding “holiness.” Part of Catholic salvation teaching is that people must merit Heaven by obeying the Ten Commandments, which is absolutely impossible.
Most Catholics would say they do a pretty good job of obeying the Ten Commandments. If pressed, they will say they’re not perfect but at least they’ve never killed anyone or cheated on their spouse. The Catholic church has reinforced the minimization of sin by differentiating between venial (small) and mortal (big) sins and by teaching such things as “mental reservation,” whereby an individual is not guilty of a sinful act as long as there’s a proviso in their mind that the act is for a greater good. Catholics talk about Jesus the “Savior” but still think they must save themselves by trying to obey the Ten Commandments.
But there is a Holy God Who reveals Himself to the world through His Word. The Lord definitely has absolute moral standards and all of us fall short. None of us could ever possibly obey God’s Law. None of us will be able to stand before Him and present our own “goodness” as justification. When we appear before God we will have no plea of our own. Our lives will be revealed completely; all the private thoughts, acts, and motivations. All of them. No, we may not have actually killed anyone or cheated on our spouse but Jesus made it clear that physical manifestations of hatred and lust (etc., etc.) are rooted in our sinful hearts. None will be able to justify themselves. None will have an excuse.
“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” – Luke 12:2-3
“It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews 10:31
But God loved us so much He sent Jesus Christ, God the Son, to pay the penalty for our sins on the cross. Jesus rose from the grave, conquering death and sin and offers the free gift of eternal life and fellowship with God to all who accept Him by faith as their Savior. I have no righteousness other than the imputed, perfect righteousness of my Savior. Will you accept Him, too? Yes, yes, yes, God wants His children to follow Him in obedience, but you must first become a child of God by accepting His Son.
People don’t realize their need for a Savior until they comprehend just how sinful they are in comparison to God’s holiness. And this realization only comes by the revelation of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.
Bishop asks Catholics in his diocese: ‘When did you last go to Confession?’