With ever increasing immorality in the world today, we are seeing more and more of the consequences of sin being played out in people’s lives. Along with these consequences of sin come the pain and hurt that follow. People’s lives falling apart and relationships being destroyed.
Much of the response from pastors, leaders, and churches is to preach and teach by picking certain verses from the Bible and combine them with their thoughts, opinions, illustrations, and stories to formulate sermons in an attempt to help people solve their problems. But instead of focusing on the root cause of sin, our broken relationship with God and choosing our own way rather than God’s Way, these “solutions” are nothing more than jumping from one sin to the next. Churches end up being simply one place among many that give advice on how to deal with the results of our sin.
In other words, this understanding of “christianity” is nothing more than some ideas on how-to improve our fallen sinful condition in this world. It starts and ends with how to better ourselves and the world as well as how to navigate through the tough circumstances we each face in life. The Bible is seen as a “tool” that can give suggestions and instruction for our lives, but not as the final authority of who God is and what it means to believe in Him. Jesus is seen as a good “teacher” that died and rose again for all these “mistakes” we have made so that each of us can go to heaven when we die. In essence, this “christianity” is just a better way to live.
By simply reducing Christianity to a self-help or self-improvement course is sadly what many are being taught and embracing today. Sin is no longer talked about as sin against God, others, and ourselves, but some bad “decisions” in our lives. In light of this false “christianity”, the aim is to alleviate all our struggles and work for the common good.
Without truly confronting the root cause of sin and our need to repent and believe the Gospel, all the attempts to fix the world’s problems are masking the real problem; our need for faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. At best all these attempts to preach and teach about the issues facing our world is to put bandages on the underlying problems of our heart of sin. So why does it seem like everyone today is so caught up in chasing how to fix one sin after the next?? Simply because it provides everyone with some support through the challenges we all face.
But upon a closer look, does it really work?? Not at all. And especially when it is done in name of true “christianity”. Although these methods may appeal to many, it leaves people no different than before; only feeling more fulfilled with how to live a seemingly better life. At the core it gives people a false assurance that they are “Biblical Christians”, but instead they end up believing in some sort of moralism. It turns a faith based solely upon Jesus and growing in faith, obedience, holiness, and worship into a godless religion based upon being a “good” person.
At this point some may be asking what is so wrong with focusing on the effects of sin in our lives and working to help others and our world?? Didn’t Jesus tell us to “love our neighbor as ourselves”?? Shouldn’t the Church help people struggling with the effects of sin in their lives?? What we miss in asking this is not that we shouldn’t care for and help those we encounter in our lives, but without pointing people to truly repent of all sin and put their faith in Jesus, they are still left destined for eternity separated from God in Hell.
Sure, people can be set free by many different problems and begin down the road to living a life more in line with the Bible, but just because they do doesn’t mean they have now put their faith in Jesus. They may be a more moral person, but their morality doesn’t in any way save them from their sinfulness. We must stop putting bandages on the results of people’s sin and boldly preach that people must believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior and in turn walk in complete faith and obedience to Him.
For some, putting bandages on sin is all they have ever been taught or known. For others, it may be a great reminder to remain faithful to proclaiming the Gospel and not get swept away into simply trying to resolve the effects of sin in our world. People simply need Jesus. It is from surrendering our lives, putting our faith in Jesus, and becoming obedient to all the Bible that sin that the effects of sin in people’s lives will begin to truly change. True change starts and ends with our relationship with God, not ourselves like so many are saying today. Therefore, it is so critical that we examine ourselves, the churches we are part of, the pastors, leaders, authors, and others in our lives to make sure we are grounded in the Truth of God’s Word and that we keep the Gospel the primary focus in our lives.