People don’t see sin for what they used to see

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 13, 2008

By Harold Keller

I haven’t seen a recent poll, but a few years ago, a telephone survey reported that 65% of adult Americans believed they would go to heaven.  Only 0.05% was concerned they would end up in hell.  It’s amazing how some of us deceive ourselves and think we are good enough to go to heaven without atonement for our sins.

In the March 20, 2008, issue of USA Today, an article by Cathy Lynn Grossman was titled: Is Sin Dead?  Pope Benedict XVI said that the modern world “is losing the notion of sin.”  

The article enforces what many people believe – that the churches in America have discontinued preaching about sin.  

Sin is well described in the dictionary as “an offense against God.”

One of the most popular evangelists, Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, never mentions sin in his TV sermons.  When being interviewed by Larry King, he said, “Most people already know what they’re doing wrong.  When I get them to church, I want to tell them that you can change.”  The Rev. Michael Horton, professor of theology at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, California, calls this “moral therapy.”

“It’s changing your lifestyle to receive God’s favor,” Horton says.  “It’s not heaven in the hereafter but happiness here and now.  But it is still up to you to make it happen.”

He finds sad truth in an old newspaper headline he once saw:  “ ‘To hell with sin when being good is enough.’  That’s the drift of American preaching today in a lot of churches.  People know what sin is; they just don’t believe in it anymore.  We mix up happiness and holiness, and God is no longer the reference point.”

In other words, he asks, if you can solve your problems or sins yourself, what difference does it make that Christ was crucified?

Horton said that people have to see themselves as sinners – ultimately alienated from God and unable to save themselves – for Christ’s sacrifice to be essential.

Some of the things Americans call sin are adultery (81%), illegal drug use (65%), dishonesty (63%), abortion (56%), homosexuality (52%), pornography (50%), premarital sex (45%), drunkenness (41%), and gambling (30%).                

The problem with many people today is that they consider sin an alternative lifestyle.

Regardless of what some preachers preach and people accept, unrepented sin is sin and robs one of eternal life.

If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call (985) 652-8477, or e-mail: