Too Easy On Sin
by Mike Wells

Often after finishing the first few lectures in the Abiding Life seminar, I will be questioned as to whether I am not being too easy on sin. There is an interesting fear among many that unbelievers and believers may think that they are in some way going to get away with sin. They would like to hear me stress that God is going to judge them. However, there are inherent, Biblical problems with emphasizing judgment.

First, our sin judges us on the spot. Because we are held together by Christ, to invite something that is anti-Christ into our being is to invite immediate judgment; it is too late to warn people after they have sinned, for it comes with the sin. "Do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him" (Heb. 12:5). "But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world" (1 Cor. 11:32).

Second, if any believe that the Abiding Life message is easy on sin then we ask you to look to the cross. God is not easy on sin. His Son died because of sin. The popular term "cheap grace" must never be uttered. Grace is not cheap; it cost the Son. God is not easy on sin or man's inner life that sins, for He crucified it. The cross proclaims to all that God is concerned with sin. To say that we need His life is an acknowledgment of our concern. I won't listen to that accusation.

Third, the statement, "People must know that God will judge their sin," is a statement of unbelief. God has already judged all men in Christ. To wait around for judgment is to wait for something that has already happened. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him" (Rom. 5:8,9). " . . . that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them . . ." (2 Cor. 5:19).

Fourth, the person who worries about sin's not being preached has forgotten he came to Christ through the good news being preached. All men have sinned and have the recognition of that fact. The idea that people are sinning because they are ignorant is not plausible. A woman recently related to me that once she and her boyfriend were converted, they "knew" without anyone telling them that they were sinning living together. Without any outer command they got married. It has been demonstrated time and again that if sin is continually preached, there will be an outbreak of sin. Sin should never be the focus; it is a symptom, rarely hidden, that reveals a deeper issue. To preach on judgment is only wiping the outside of the cup.

Fifth, those who most often complain about the lack of emphasis on judgment are suffering from two things: they are sinning and judging themselves, and they desire to bring others under their canopy of misery. Simply put, they can't stand to see others free. All of life is judged by their experiences. If they have not found freedom, then others should not. Those who worry about judgment are often self-righteous, having obtained, in their minds, a standing with God through works. The reasoning is simple, "If God is not judging, then my works are for nothing." There is a vested interest in God's judging others.

Again, God did judge sin in the form of Jesus Christ, and because of this judgment we have received grace and mercy. Therefore, grace and mercy will be our message.

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