Over the past many months, the Holy Spirit has strongly impressed upon me five modern expletives that are rampant in our modern world, in American society, and even in the modern church. They have not been positive impressions, but rather, they have been very heavy, negative impressions from the Lord that would not let me go.
The first four I have already addressed and you can find them on the Whole Truth Help homepage under the titles of “All One And The Same,” “Hey, Whatever,” “Oh My God” and “The Religion of No Offense.” Now we address the fifth one under the title “Everyone Makes Mistakes.” If the Lord would impress and lead you as well into these concerns, you could use them as a springboard for very relevant and critically important now-issues sermon series entitled something like “FIVE DEADLY MODERN EXPRESSIONS” or “FIVE DEADLY MODERN ISSUES.” May God bless you!
Recently in this wide world of sports, the University of Arkansas’ head football coach Bobbi Petrino was fired for having an adulterous affair and lying about it to university authorities. When it was being reported on by Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on ESPN’s Mike And Mike In The Morning, Mike Golic said in essence, “Bobbi Petrino made a mistake, and everyone makes mistakes.” When Magic Johnson announced that he was retiring from the NBA because he had contracted the Aids virus, he too said that he had made a mistake.
On and on it goes. We now live in an age in which people are no longer morally wrong but only mistaken. It is common fare now to refer to moral failure as a MISTAKE. And not only that, when the mistake is exposed, the moral failure, now a mistake, is softened even more with the attendant phrase, “And after all, everyone makes mistakes.” Well then, that certainly makes it less culpable than what it first sounded like or appeared. After all, if everybody does it, that is makes mistakes, certainly then the guilt of it is diluted into a generalized, common, very understandable boo-boo at worst.
Immorality now almost sounds like a misdemeanor when it is all said and done these days. So come now, loosen up you rah-rah fundamentalists and narrow-minded moralists, enough of your legalistic police cars with their sirens wailing and their lights flashing and whirling. Come now, settle down, slow down, for after all, no gross immorality has been committed, just a minor indiscretion at worst. Very few folks of infidelity are hellions anymore from the realm of darkness, just heavenly ones who for the moment are innocently sidetracked.
So today we get to drive as fast as we want, and as long as we don’t crash into anyone or run someone off the road, society smiles approvingly and says, “Boy, they surely are in a hurry, but who isn’t these days?” You see, they are hurrying, not violating. And so the beat goes on!
We live in a world that does not believe in sin anymore. It does not believe in Satan. It does not believe in hell. It does not believe in eternal judgment or eternal punishment. And shockingly, neither does much of the modern church, for they never preach it, and they send out fewer and missionaries to save people from the Hell of it all.
THE DEADLY AGE OF WORD-MISREPRESENTATION
It is much trickier and more deceptive than all that we have said so far, and anything that we have seen in history throughout all the ages. All around us:
“SLAVES OF VICE ARE WEARING THE GARMENTS OF VIRTUE,
AND SINNERS WHO HAVE DEVILISH QUALITIES ARE
DRESSING THEM UP AS DIVINE ATTRIBUTES.”
To be more exact, we are living in the age of word manipulation in which the negative is being characterized as positive, and the positive is being characterized as negative. If you will:
“MEN LIVE BY AN EVIL MEASURE AND DESCRIBE THEMSELVES
BY A GOOD MEASURE.”
But we must remember and find great certainty and boldness in this fact:
“THE TRUTH CANNOT BE MADE FALSEHOOD AND FALSEHOOD
CANNOT BE MADE TRUTH BY ANY TWIST OF
While the shameful has never been so verbally honored before, the Prophet Isaiah saw some of it in his day, and he warns us in Isaiah 5:20-21,
“Woe to them that call evil good and good evil; who substitute darkness for
light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.”
“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight.”
Changing the label on the bottle does nothing to alter the contents. They are what they are, no matter how you falsify the label. You and I must remember that in a society which calls:
–SIN a MISTAKE.
–EVIL a NEUROSIS.
–SIN CONVICTION a NEEDLESS GUILT COMPLEX.
–SECRET SIN a NEEDLESS TRAUMA.
-DOUBLEMINDEDNESS a TYPE OF SCHIZOPHRENIA.
–CONDONING OF SIN laudable TOLERANCE.
–INIQUITY an act of COURAGEOUS NON-CONFORMITY.
–GETTING TIPSY AND BUZZED a HAPPY HOUR.
–BEING ARRESTED a STUPID GETTING CAUGHT.
–CURSING the FREEDOM OF SPEECH.
–SPEEDING the MAKING OF GOOD TIME.
–MASTURBATION an INNOCENT PLEASURING OF SELF.
–FORNICATION a NECESSARY TYPE of MUTUAL DISCOVERY.
–GREED a very WISE GETTING AHEAD.
–SELFISHNESS a type of SELF-PRESERVATION.
–COVETOUSNESS wise GOAL SETTING.
-ADULTERY an EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR.
–ABORTION a WOMAN’S RIGHT.
–CHEATING SURVIVAL in an UNFAIR WORLD.
–HOMOSEXUALITY an ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE.
–GLUTTONY enjoying GOURMET CUISINE.
–PORNOGRAPHY an APPRECIATION OF FORM AND SUBSTANCE.
–PAINTING NUDITY an EXPRESSION OF THE ARTS.
God pronounces His awful woe upon all of this and more in Isaiah 5:20. But He reveals the flip side of this woeful abuse of words as well, namely calling good evil, when He states in Amos 6:12,
“Do horses run on rocks? Or does one plow them with oxen? Yet
you have turned justice into poison, and the fruit of
righteousness into wormwood.”
If you will, you have so perverted justice so that it has become poison in the land, and you have so perverted righteousness that it now has a bitter taste. Amazingly descriptive and poignant words. This is nothing more or less than calling good evil, justice injustice, righteousness unrighteousness, and holiness unholiness. Such a state of affairs in a society will poison everyone to death, and will turn the thirst for life itself into a bitter state of death.
It happened in Amos’ day, and it is chillingly metastasizing in modern society which now not only calls evil good, but calls good evil, and:
-calls HETEROSEXUALITY ABNORMAL and NARROW MINDEDNESS.
-calls THE HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE AGENDA a form of INTOLERANCE.
-calls PREACHING AGAINST SIN a HATE-CRIME FELONY.
-calls ADDRESSING A SINNER BY HIS SIN (fornicator, adultery, homosexual) UNCHRISTIAN.
-calls PRAYING TOGETHER ON PUBLIC SIDEWALKS an UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLING.
-calls BIRTHING A DOWN-SYNDROME BABY a form of CRUELTY.
-calls PREACHING GRACE the HEART OF THE GOSPEL as a LICENSE TO SIN.
-calls PUBLICLY POSTING OF GOD’S LAWS a PUNISHABLE CRIME.
-calls READING THE BIBLE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS a PUNISHABLE CRIME.
-calls RECITING THE GOD-INCLUDED PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE a form of PREJUDICE.
-calls READING THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE in SCHOOL UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
-calls DISPLAYING CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS in UNIVERSITIES of FAITH PREJUDICIAL.
-calls PRAYING in JESUS’ NAME in THE MILITARY FORBIDDEN DISCRIMINATION.
–calls PRAYING IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS UNLAWFUL.
-calls CHRISTIANS GUN TOTERS and DISCRIMINATORY. (by Barack Obama).
-calls the GENESIS CREATION ACCOUNT unreliable apart from SCIENCE.
SIN – A MISTAKEN IDENTITY
We now hear sins being recast as mistakes all around us. But that is like calling Satan a misguided angel, and calling Hell urban blight. Not only is it a complete distortion and misrepresentation of truth and reality, it is gutless word mincing to try and take the edge off a hellish eternity.
Sins and mistakes are not synonyms, not even close. They have absolutely nothing in common. Even if they were spelled the same and pronounced the same, they are so dissimilar that they still would not be homonyms but rather antonyms. To substitute a mistake for sin is like substituting accidentally pounding one’s finger with a hammer with premeditated murder with a fully loaded gun.
This lethal word manipulation really gained impetus with the well known statement:
“TO ERR IS HUMAN, TO FORGIVE IS DIVINE.”
There is so much wrong with that expression, it is hard to know where to begin. FIRST of all, God according to the Bible does not forgive errors, but He does forgive sins when they are confessed. We read in I John 1:9,
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our
sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
It does not say,
“If we admit our errors, he is faithful and righteous to help
us correct our mistakes….”
SECOND, to ERR is the root word for ERROR which is a synonym for a MISTAKE. Man commits sins while baseball players commit errors and make mistakes. Man commits sins while baseball pitchers throw balls and quarterbacks throw in-completions – errors – mistakes.
The statement that we are dealing with, namely to err is human and to forgive is divine, has misled more people than we can imagine. It is once again the attempt to tone down sin into a much more benign goof-up. And again, we are back to the fact that Bobbi Petrino made an adulterous error or mistake, and after all, everyone makes errors and mistakes. (Except for pastors of course, because they are not really human, and for them to commit errors is viewed as downright sinful.)
THIRD, the differences between sins and errors/mistakes are so great and so multiple, that an entire book could be written about them, and before you know it, you would have to write a second volume. Here are just some of them, and I am sure you will be able to add some that I have missed. Please send me your added ones and I will post them, but here is what I know for sure at the moment:
-A MISTAKE is the miscalculation of the mind, while SIN is the disease of the soul.
-A MISTAKE is an involuntary error, while SIN is a voluntary evil.
-A MISTAKE is an unintentional deviation, while SIN is an intentional defiance.
-A MISTAKE requires rethinking, while SIN requires repentance.
-A MISTAKE may be penalized, while SIN by itself must be divinely punished.
-A MISTAKE must be admitted to self, while SIN must be confessed to God.
-A MISTAKE is a departure from human rules, while SIN is a breaking of Divine commandments.
-A MISTAKE has temporal consequences, while SIN has eternal consequences.
-A MISTAKE can lower our grade, but SIN can lower us into hell.
-A MISTAKE requires correction, but SIN requires the CROSS.”
-A MISTAKE requires a pencil eraser, while SIN requires cleansing by the BLOOD of JESUS.
-A MISTAKE once made cannot be undone but only corrected, but SIN once committed can be removed as if it never happened.
I know that I have just scratched the surface, but it is those last huge differences that Satan does not want people to discover, and make no mistake about that. You see, you don’t wash away mistakes, you undo them. HOWEVER, Satan does want people to get ahold of the realization of personal sin and the washing away of it by the blood of Jesus, for then he has lost them, and that is a mistake he cannot afford to make. You see, he doesn’t worry about people admitting that everyone makes mistakes, but what he does not want people to acknowledge is Romans 3:23,
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
And I John 1:7b,
“…and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
For then the enemy of our souls is defeated when he loses his subjects to the sin-blood reality. That is Hell to him before he goes there. It is easier for him to face his hellish future as long as he can take your and my unwashed, sinful souls with him, for misery truly does love company. You see, his future is like looking into a huge, dark, blank, eternal IMAX screen, which can only be made more bearable if he can see your and my faces in it.
“In Cambridge, England, St. John’s College spans the river Cam with an enclosed bridge built in 1826 and it is known as the Bridge of Sighs. It is named after a more ancient and more famous structure in Italy which links the Doge’s Palace with the jail in Venice. Here prisoners sentenced to their deaths crossed over, dejected in mind and heart. (Therefore the name, “The Bridge of Sighs!”) Presumably, students at St. John’s cross their bridge with equal dejection as they make their way to their examinations, which are to them not entirely unlike executions.
There is another Bridge of Sighs. It reaches from man to his Creator, and carries the sorrows of the former to the throne of the latter. David crossed it, (“against Thee, Thee only have I sinned…”- Psalm51:4), though he was by no means the first and certainly not the last. Not a foot bridge, it is crossed only by those who crawl on their knees. All those who do this are noticed instantly by God.” (Taken from “For Sinners Only” by Jacob Eppinga, Eerdmans Publishing)
Know this if we know anything in this deadly world of word manipulation:
“THE BLOODY BRIDGE OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST DOES NOT TAKE
THE MISTAKEN FROM INCORRECTNESS TO CORRECTNESS,
BUT IT TAKES SINNERS FROM SIN TO SALVATION, AND
FROM CONDEMNATION TO FORGIVENESS.”
It is the only bridge in the world that does this, for Jesus is the only Bridgeman Who can lead across the gaping, firey canyon of Hell safely into Heaven.
UNDERSTANDING OUR TIMES – KNOWING WHAT TO DO
We read about a particular family in the Bible that doesn’t receive a lot of attention, but the attention it does receive is more than noteworthy. We read about Issachar and his sons in I Chronicles 12:32 with the following high commendations:
“And of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with
knowledge of what Israel should do….”
–Issachar – The meaning of the name is “he will bring a reward, man for hire” (Strong’s Heb3458 and Holman Bible Dictionary)
–Men – a person, people (Strong’s Heb582)
-Understanding – to separate mentally, to distinguish, be cunning, diligently, deal wisely, be prudent (Strong’s Heb998)
-Times – fortunes, occurrences…Occurrence means an event, an incident, happenings, circumstance.
–Know – to know or ascertain. The Hebrew word know in this verse is yado, which is a word that means God gives personal understanding and revelation, and is not a knowing that comes forth from reading a book for example. (Strong’s Heb3045)*
*(Study taken from “Understanding Issachar by Diane Buker & Sharon Gonzales)
Good stuff! If there was ever a time that we need to mentally and spiritually be separated from our world, and to know and ascertain from the Holy Spirit what is going on in the modern world and church, it is now. Then to do something about it the best way we know how, as in preaching and teaching to our people a series of Issacharian insightful sermons about the word-manipulation expressions taking place today, manipulation that will draw men from Christ and from the cross and from the Word of God, as well as imperil their eternal souls.
In this 5-part exposure of “All One And The Same,” “Hey, Whatever,” “Oh, My God,” “Everyone Makes Mistakes,” and “The Religion Of No Offense,” we are doing our Issacharian duty before God to, on behalf of the unsuspecting, be cunning as serpents and gentle as doves. Listen brothers and sisters, we are not proprietors of pet shops where dogs makes mistakes on our rug, but we are caretakers of eternal souls for which we will give account before the Lord and Lover of our souls one day soon.
Now then, to conclude this message in our quintet on “Five Deadly Modern Expressions,” we must realize that the evil forces that we are dealing with are skilled artists in calling evil good and good evil. They are “renaming” and “resurnaming” all of the Biblical fundamentals of the Christian faith, as well as doing it every day and right under our very noses.
Please hear this good:
“IT IS TRUE THAT LABELS CANNOT CHANGE A BOTTLE’S CONTENTS,
BUT WE ARE NOT DEALING WITH BOTTLES BUT
WITH HUMAN BRAINS.”
Listen again real good:
“FOR FINITE AND VULNERABLE HUMAN MINDS, MASQUERADING EVIL
WORDS CAN FOUL AND DISGRACE THE GOOD THINGS, AND
MASQUERADING GOOD WORDS CAN FLOWER AND
GRACE THE EVIL THINGS.”
And now it is our responsibility in these dangerous times to expose the fouling and the flowering at every discernment that God gives us, and He is imparting discernment on a daily if not an hourly basis in these dangerous days. Preachers today ought to lay before their congregations the scandal of what is happening in the interchanging of Heaven and Hell as synonyms. These fires of falsification and word manipulation are raging out of control, and just when we think we have one put out, another one starts, and all of them are planned burns by the devil himself and his demonic pyromaniacs.
And what is more, so slippery, sneaky, and subtle are these purveyors of pretense and perversion, that what is also happening is this:
“THOSE LIARS AND FLIP-FLAMMERS THAT SATAN IS USING ARE,
AS WE TALK, BEING FOLLOWED AS MEN OF TRUTH BY TENS
OF THOUSANDS WHO BUY INTO THEIR DECEPTIONS, AND
EMBRACE SONS OF SHAME AS PERSONS OF HONOR.”
Well now, I close with this. In chapter twelve of “Alice in Wonderland,” Lewis Carroll records the following conversation: “Where shall I begin, please, your majesty?” he asked. “Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end, then stop.” But I assure you that our stopping now does not mean that we are at the end. Frankly, there is no end to it, for the evil spirits of the fatal imposture and forceful-farce of words will never stop until Jesus Christ the Truth finally puts an end to them forever. So, goodbye only for now, but not for long! Amen. (Soon will be posted the exposure of “The Religion of No Offense.)