Before i go on let me clearly state one thing: we are saved by grace and by grace alone. " for it is by grace we are saved, through faith, not by works so that no man can boast." Our salvation rests upon nothing that we have done, nothing that we are doing, and nothing that we are yet to do. Our salvation is solely by the Grace of God. Yes, this is what i believe.
This article may be a risky one. It has the potential to strike controversy and conversation--but that is ok. It is the Christians responsibility to question the strength of his own faith and to ask to difficult questions. With that said i would like to ask a question: have we, the church, bestowed too much grace? And what is the current definition of grace? It seems to have changed from the original, biblical meaning.
The reason i ask is this: it seems as if the church has become more tolerant and accepting of sin. Homosexuality has not only been allowed into the church but pastors and church leaders now find it acceptable for themselves to be gay. Pornography, divorce, adultery, and so on has gone without condemnation or even acknowledgement that these are, in fact sins. Pride, lust, and a haughty spirit is now found in almost every christian simply because of the status of being an "elect christian." You get the picture. Sin no longer carries the same weight as it used to in biblical times.
Now, let me clarify. I am not saying that the church is to close its doors to those who are gay, to those who divorce, to those who sleep with someone other than their spouse, to those who are prideful,ect. No, this is by no means what i am saying. The church is for the sick, not the healthy. These people are welcome, and should be invited into the church. The problem begins after they enter the church. Like i said, the church is for the sick but not so the sick can stay sick. The church is for the sick so that they can get healthy. If we do not preach against such sins how are those who are committing them to get healthy? If a doctor does not preform a needed operation he has failed at doing his job. The same concept applies to the church.
Grace used to be the idea that although one commits sin, and still commits sin, he is given the same benefits as one who commits no sin. The only thing is that sin was still not an acceptable thing. Nowadays it seems as if grace has simply come to mean tolerance. Acceptance of the sinner and the sin. This is not how it is supposed to be. There are still consequences for our sins-- even if we are secure in our eternal salvation.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences"
-2nd Corinthians 5:10-11
One day all will appear before God and He will ask us about the things that we have done--good and bad. Now lets be honest, even being in the presence of God, as a lowly human sinner, is going to be terrifying. Now if we add God asking us about our past sins i have no doubt that my whole body is going to quake in fear. Not because i am nervous that God is going to condem me to hell but because i know of the terror that God is holding back from me. I know the things that God could do but His grace is allowing me to be saved from such things.
In verse 11 we find the churches responsiblity: to persuade men against the sin that they are commiting and pray that God will give them a holy conviction.
Lastley, "love covers a multide of sins." Yes, sin is a wrong doing --not against us though-- it is against God. The church is called to love everyone . Love does not keep track of wrong doings. Therefore we are to love sinners and embrace them. They are not offending us with their sins and we are to extend all love to them no matter what sin they are commiting. Imagine a church that knows nothing but love and grace yet preaches the truth. It is the way in which God intends it to be. Let us pray for a revival in the church and a repentence of all sins! Amen.