Alyssa Milano recently used Scripture to justify her support of abortion. On April 1st, she tweeted “I love God. I believe in God. But I don’t believe my personal beliefs of which we can’t confirm should override scientific facts and what we can confirm.” She included a quote from the book of John: “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (John 3:12).”
Unfortunately, misrepresentation of the Bible is common among the media and other groups who want to conform scripture to support opinions, when, in fact, moral values are designed to conform to scriptural truths. Personal opinions vary—truth does not. Watch these two short clips from Fox News this week where I discussed these topics: Abortion, God, and Hollywood and Were We Ever Really a Christian Nation?
Our culture’s false perception of God as a cosmic ball of love, or a doting grandfather desperately needs to be challenged. Unfortunately, difficult truths are often compromised, watered-down, or avoided altogether in the hope of “not offending.” As a result, the church is a mile wide but only an inch deep; judgment is never mentioned, repentance is never sought, sin is often excused, and lives are not radically changed. This leaves people confused and deceived because they believe in a crossless Christianity that bears no resemblance to Jesus’ sobering call to repentance. When we fail to proclaim God’s word faithfully, we run the risk of “encouraging sin” and “perverting the words of the living God” (cf. Jeremiah 23).
“To convince the world of the truth of Christianity, it must first be convinced of sin. It is only sin that renders Christ intelligible” (Andrew Murray; 1828-1917). In other words, Christ’s shed blood on the cross only makes sense in light of the consequences of sin. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15), yet, many do not want to mention sin, repentance, or judgment because it's not popular or marketable. They fail to realize that the good news about Christ can only be understood with the bad news as the backdrop.
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death…”.This verse is not popular in many churches, nor is it preached from many pulpits. Telling others that the punishment for sin is eternal death (separation from God) is not pleasant, marketable, or palatable, but it is powerful: “It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16). But be encouraged! Romans 6:23 doesn’t end there. It adds, “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”This is how people are truly saved, delivered, and set free from the bondage of sin and death.
We hear a great deal about God’s judgment and what can keep us from heaven, and rightly so, because “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). But we also need to reflect on God’s goodness, love, mercy, and grace. The important question to ask is what is the condition of your heart . . . has true repentance and a belief in Christ as Lord and Savior taken place?
Jesus healed my brokenness and restored my life, and He can do the same for you. If you take only one thing from this article I hope that it is this: There is a deep longing inside all of us that cannot be satisfied until we recognize our need for a Savior, repent of our sin, and turn to Him. Though the road ahead may be uncertain at times, the solid ground beneath will never shift. It's not about religion but a relationship - it’s all about Who you know.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Jamie McCarthy/Staff
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California and the WCF Radio Network. More can be found at ShaneIdleman.com, including free downloads of his eBooks. Visit him on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to his new podcast, Idleman Unplugged.