Lately almost every other news story I see is about LGBT issues, either pro or con, and every other TV program or movie, or video game glorifies sex outside marriage, or entertains us with violence and I find that truly disturbing. I find it disturbing for the simple reason that it normalizes and desensitizes us to things the Bible clearly condemns. This desensitization is having the effect on the Body of Christ, the church as a whole, causing us to become comfortable with sin and this comfort effects the effectiveness of spreading the Gospel.
The Gospel is salvation from the wrath of God, which is in response to our sin, and when we become okay with sin, any sin, it prevents the Gospel message from getting through to people. For how can you preach repentance of sin, when you don’t even believe sin is sin?
For instance, when we look at how the Gospel works, we see that there is at first a conviction of sin, our conscience is seared with guilt for the things we have done or left undone. It is then that Jesus steps in and we repent of our sins and we receive forgiveness. How can any of that happen if we do not believe in sin anymore? How can the law of God convict our conscience when we deny its authority to define what is and is not sin?
We as a society have reached the point of having, what Paul describes in Romans as having a debased mind. We no longer believe in the values of the Bible, we no longer believe in absolute truth and instead of cultivating virtue, we have embraced the seven deadly sins as the moral standards we are judged by. If we are not saturating our hearts and minds with sin, or actively approving of people who are doing so, we are judged to be weird, or judgmental bigots and are to be ostracized or otherwise punished.
Take a moment to review the list of what constitutes a debased mindset in Romans, then compare it to what our society now values
Romans 1:28-31 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
Turn on virtually any TV program, movie or video game and that is what you will see, rarely will you see strong Biblical values promoted. Even Christian news sources are full of stories about apostasy, LGBT issues, crime and persecution. All this normalizes evil and makes us less likely to have a mindset that abhors sin.
I pray daily for God to inspire in me an abhorrence of sin, so that I may be conformed more into the image of Christ, yet for every prayer I make, there are a thousand images of perversity and violence to drown my mind in. The more we saturate our minds and hearts with sinful things, the more we come to enjoy the temptations of the world than we do the joys that come from communion with the Lord Jesus Christ.
A.W. Pink once said “How does God save His people from the pleasure of sin? The answer is, “By imparting to them a nature which hates evil and loves holiness.”
John Calvin says “To be Christians under the law of grace does not mean to wander unbridled outside the law, but to be engrafted in Christ, by whose grace we are free from the curse of the law, and by whose Spirit we have the law engraved upon our hearts.”
We are called to be holy as Christ is holy and yet how many of us spend time cultivating that holiness? Instead of doing that, we spend our time filling our hearts and minds with the things of this world. God has given us a new heart so that we may love Him and His law, yet we tend to move back and forth between God and the world, seemingly never satisfied with either.
1 John 1:5-10 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
By desensitizing ourselves to sinful things we learn to justify things we should not be doing or we deny sin altogether. It also causes us to close our minds off from God, His law and the sanctifying power of the Gospel. To saturate ourselves with the sinful entertainment of the world, cuts us off from fellowship with God and other members of the body of Christ. The more we wallow in the depravity of the world, the more our hearts become darkened and the light of God is rejected.
We must embrace the light of God and to do that we must put away the things of this world that are full of darkness. Easier said than done, I know, but nobody ever claimed holiness is a spectator sport, it requires effort and a willingness to engage in the spiritual warfare that brings one to righteousness.
What things of the world do you need to get rid of? What sort of effort is needed to do so?