By Terry Loving
The title of this post is another “search term” used to find my site. I will do my best to answer this inquiry from a Biblical point of view.
Sin is sin. There are no big sins, and there are no little sins. Sin cannot be measured by who commits it, or by means or degrees. No matter who commits sin – sin is still sin, period.
“According to Catholic doctrine there are “venial” sins which don’t lead to death and “mortal” sins which do lead to death. Both must be forgiven by a priest, usually with some penance thrown in. Venial sin that hasn’t been confessed before death must be worked off in purgatory. Mortal sin can’t be worked off in purgatory and will condemn a Catholic believer to Hell.” 1
Many years ago I interviewed a young lady who confessed that she tried to kill herself. Really, she had no real intention of slitting her wrist, for she used a “butter knife.” She told me that she was Catholic and she didn’t really want to die, just to “punish” her parents. Her major complaint was the fact that they were “always after her” to clean her room. She thought that she could slit her wrists, go to “purgatory,” and look down on her parents suffering from her death. She said to me, “I just want to watch them suffer.”
UNBELIEF – causes strife within the body of Christ.
This young lady thought that she could watch their “agony” from “purgatory,” and gain some satisfaction from the scene. She also thought that she would be in a place to “wait off her sins.” Of course this notion isn’t truly Biblical, and I had a very long chat with her. My point in mentioning the above is that truly, there are no degrees of sin. Some people can commit the most heinous crimes, while some little kid steals a bubble gum. Both acts amount to wrong-doing no matter how you look at it.
NOTE: This post is not about knocking any one religion. However, it is about searching for truth. In addition, the word “church” – “ekklesia” – refers to the people of God, not a building. The Greek word further means a calling out of – “from ek, “out of,” and klesis, “a calling” (kaleo, “to call”) – believers are “called out of” the world (disassociate) – to serve Christ and His Kingdom. Therefore, when we speak of “sin wrecking the church,” we are referring to how sin ravages the people of God.
All sin “wrecks the church” – especially sin that divide and destroy the body of Christ. If the Christian church is divided, fighting, bickering, hate filled, and not properly dividing the Word of truth – how can it be useful to a dying world? If one singles out a particular sin that encompasses all sin, it is the sin of unbelief. Every sin committed under the sun stems from unbelief.
If a person does not believe in God, Christ or embrace and follow the Word of God, he will be a government unto himself. He or she will be known as a “free spirit,” living only as they see fit – not subjecting themselves to anyone, or any institution – especially the will of God. On the other hand, there are those who profess to follow Christ, but conduct themselves as though they do not. They will live like the world, and exercise their free will disregarding the will of God. Unbelievers are inside and outside of our church houses, and in America – we are experiencing the consequences of unbelief.
NOTE: Accepting Christ does not mean you will arise from the watery grave of baptism a “perfect” person. No human will ever be perfect. Jesus was the only Perfect being that walked this earth. It takes time to grow to spiritual maturity, and we will stumble along the way. However, there should also be evidence of our trying to correct our wrongs. Grace is not a license to sin.
Preachers may preach from pulpits every Sunday, and still be guilty of unbelief. Many pews are filled with people who just show up on Sunday for show, just to say they “go to church.” But deep within their hearts, they are cold and unresponsive to repentance, and heeding the warnings to change their lives. The Apostle Paul states in 1Timothy 1:13:
Paul was forgiven for his persecution and murder of God’s people when he was known as “Saul.” He was converted on the road to Damascus. God saw something that He could use for His Kingdom in Saul. He became Paul, a great defender of the Gospel of Christ. The Apostle Paul’s experience is an example of a true conversion. I believe that many people were converted, but reverted back to their old ways.
UNBELIEF- promotes hatred.
Are there not “foul-mouth,” (verbal abusers), persecutors (oppressors), and violent (abusive) persons in our “Christian” homes today? Paul said that he “acted in ignorance and unbelief.” Abusers operate from the same mindset. Which of these sins can be classified as “venial” or “mortal” sins? According to whom? Romans 6:23 proves that all sin is “mortal” – “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Unbelief and Its Consequences
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Romans 1:18-25 – (This chapter goes on to speak against homosexuality).
The Israelites lost the privileged opportunity to enter the Promised Land due to unbelief.
“As I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.”
“Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God: but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called To-day; lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin: for we are become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end:
while it is said, To-day if ye shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
For who, when they heard, did provoke? nay, did not all they that came out of Egypt by Moses? And with whom was he displeased forty years? was it not with them that sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that were disobedient? And we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.”
Today in America, we are witnessing the prophesied Falling Away from God. In our “Christian” congregations, there is much domestic violence and abuse. Preachers preach from pulpits-go home and terrorize their wives and children. Many preachers do not preach against domestic violence for they are guilty themselves of this evil. And they have plenty of company – Deacons, song leaders, Elders – many are guilty. So called “Christian” abusers practice unbelief by their actions, and how they treat the members of their household. They do not believe that they will give an account for the abuse. Verbal abuse is accountable to God on the Day of Judgment. Each one of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
Unbelief causes Christians to turn their backs on God:
“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being assembled to meet him … Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion [in the original greek: apostasy – ‘great falling away’] comes first, and the lawless [one] is revealed, the son of perdition…” 2Thess 2:1,3
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils…” 1Timothy 4:1
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord…” Amos 8:11
Hebrews 3:12 – “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.”
Unbelief causes many to lose their souls –
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God,” (2Corinthians 4:3-4).
Abraham – “Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.” Abraham was “justified” by faith.
Many unbelievers in and out of the church house do not believe that God sees their secret sins:
Isaiah 29:15 – “Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?”
Ezekiel 9:9 – “He answered me, “The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of injustice. They say, ‘The LORD has forsaken the land; the LORD does not see.’”
Job 22:13 – “Yet you say, ‘What does God know? Does he judge through such darkness?”
The sin of unbelief is destroying our homes, our witness for Christ, our country, and our souls.
What is the remedy?
Daniel 4:27 – “Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”
Proverbs 24:9 – “The schemes of folly are sin, and men detest a mocker.”
Isaiah 55:7 – “Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”
NOTE: Abused persons may view their situation as hopeless, and conclude that there is no way out. You must believe that God loves you and will work along with you to find a way out. He is not a magician with a magic wand to instantly make the abuse stop. We were given free will – and we must choose to find a way out with His help. If you look at the situation only, you will miss the open door opportunities to find relief. If you drop anchor in the pool of unbelief, Satan will convince you that God does not care about what you are going through – and that is a lie!
The Unpardonable Sin
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.”
“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matthew 12:30-32)
MAY GOD BLESS THE HEARERS AND DOERS OF HIS WORD.
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- The Sin of Unbelief (gospelapprentice.com)