"I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody's house.
Ther's no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That ever plate we break was cracked
By Mr. Nobody."
-- Children Po
Nothing ever is anyone's fault anymore.
We have no-fault auto insurance and no-fault divorces.
Drunkards aren't to blame for their drunkenness.
(Some blame the alcohol saying that it is like a measles germ that just floated into their bloodstream.)
When a worker has an accident on the job -- it is never his fault.
In this self-esteem-ridden world, the cardinal sin is to imply that the disasters that happen to us
could be the direct or indirect result of our own sinful or foolish behavior.
This whole no-fault attitude is an attempt to pretend that God doesn't exist, and it denies
the basic fact of life which is that God punishes sin.
Remember how Satan tempted Adam and Eve with the notion that God was being unfair to them.
Once that seed was planted, Satan immediately began to water it.
Even if God were unfair (which He never is), Adam and Eve would have feared to disobey Him.
So Satan unrolled this smooth lie that "You can disobey what God has said, and you will not surely die."
Satan needs to blunt our fear of God's anger before he can successfully get us to turn against Him.
As long as Adam and Eve fear death more than they desired the fruit, they wouldn't eat the fruit.
So Satan invented the doctrine of no-fault sin.
"Go ahead and sin.
Nothing's going to happen to you.
You have nothing to worry about."
What the devil said was a bold-faced lie, and Adam and Eve knew it.
But once Satan had concentrated their attention on the forbidden tree and started them thinking
that maybe God was unfair to forbid it.
Adam and Eve were ready to think that God might have lied to them.
They were all ears to hear what the devil would say next.
No-Fault News Is No News.
Men have repeated the no-fault sin lie all through history.
The Israelites said the same thing just before the destruction of Jerusalem.
Jeremiah writes, "They have lied about the Lord; they said, "He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine.
The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them;
so let what they say be done to them."
But God brought the Babylonians and destroyed Jerusalem.
The apostle Peter writes about the same kind of people when he says,
"First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following
their own evil desires.
They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised?
Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.
But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed
out of water and by water.
By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept
for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."
Changing the words of the Christmas children song, we can say,
"His Making No Lists
Aren't Checking Them Twice,
He Don't Even Care Whose Naulty or Nice."
Has the church of today bought the same lie?
How often do we hear sermons about God's judgment?
God has been recast as Santa Claus.
In the scheme of things today God is seen as just existing to bless us and to help us,
and to make us feel better.
He totally accepts us the way we are, and merely wrings His hands mournfully when we go astray.
God does love us, but God also is a God who punishes sin.
The Old Testament preaches the love of God in the same verse that tells us that God punishes sin.
Exodus 34:6-7: "And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, 'The Lord, the Lord,
the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiveness,
maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin,
yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children
for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."
And as for eternal punishment for sin being only an Old Testament idea, most of what we know
about Hell and the Lake of fire came from the mouth of Jesus Christ, the loving Son of God, Himself.
You can see this in such Scriptures as Matthew 25:31-46; 8:11; 13:40-42, 47-50;
22:13-14; 24:50-51; 25:28-30;
Luke 13:23 to 30; Matthew 5:22, 18: 8-9, Mark 9:42-48; Luke 16:19-24, and John 15:5-16 and many others.
The Bible calls Jesus' sacrifice on the cross the highest expression of God's love.
But if God does not punish sins, then how did God show His love by throwing the life of Jesus away as He did?
The sacrificial death of Jesus was cruel and unnecessary if God could have forgiven us
without punishing our sins.
Both Old and New Testaments teach that our God is a loving and righteous God.
He is the God "who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4)
He is also a God who hates "the wicked and those who love violence." (Psalm 11:5)
Right and wrong, heaven and hell, and God's judgment have never been popular doctrines.
Jeremiah was thrown into a muddy cistern for preaching them. (Jeremiah 38)
David was ridiculed. (Psalm 69:6-12)
"Fools mock get making amends for sin," we read in Proverbs 14:9.
Satan takes great pains to eradicate the teaching of responsibility for our own sins now as always,
labeling it antiquated, naive, unloving, and dozens of other names.
Instead, he leads men to believe that salvation has no power to change
a sinner's heart, attitudes or behavior.
When a Christian claims to be struggling with sins that he never seems to conquer,
it is because he can't quit embracing them long enough to thrust them away.
We Christians are supposed to deal with sin at the point of a sword, not to "struggle" with it.
Eve "struggled" with Satan in the garden of Eden.
She didn't just jump right in and eat the fruit the minute snake appeared.
Satan had to entice her with tempting suggestions before she ate the fruit.
This kind of struggling is just coy way of giving in to sin.
This kind of struggling is just to put up the appearance of a fight to the fool onlookers into thinking
that you are a good person who is trying his best, when really you never intended
to permanently reject that sin in the first place.
In the musical, "My Fair Lady," Eliza Doolittle's father is a reprobate who has lived with Eliza's mother
for years without marrying her.
He is also a habitual drunkard and lives by begging loans from his friends rather than by working.
His philosophy of sin is summed up in his song:
"The Lord above made liquor for temptation
to see if man can turn away from sin.
The Lord above made liquor for temptation, but
With a little bit of luck.
With a little bit of luck
When temptation comes, you'll give right in!"
By endorsing the idea of struggles without victory, the church is sailing perilously close
to Mr. Doolittle's position.
By expecting nothing at all from the "poor sinners," we actually encourage them to keep on sinning.
This kind of "understanding" amounts to Satan's lie, "You shall not surely die."
Go on and sin
No big deal
God will overlook it.
Sin is addicting.
The Bible says that men can become slaves to it.
But the Bible also says that you and I are responsible for our slavery to sin.
Rather than excusing ourselves it is a reason to fear and dread that sin enough to flee
to Lord Jesus Christ for deliverance.
The Bible says that Christians are not slaves to sin.
Paul wrote in Romans 6:16-18: "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone
to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey whether you are slaves to sin
which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
But thanks be to God that though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed
the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness."
Notice that there are two distinct groups mentioned:
those who are slaves to sin, and those who are slaves to righteousness.
Each group has chosen its own master.
Sin's slaves are headed for death.
Since Christians are headed for life, not death; Christians are not slaves to sin.
We used to be slaves to sin, but we have been set free.
We are now slaves to righteousness.
Satan knew he could do nothing with Adam and Eve as long as they were content with God and His gifts.
So he tempted them with a false need for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Once our first parents became discontented with God had given them they were vulnerable
to more of the lies of Satan.
Still, they wouldn't cross the line and actually eat the fruit as long as they were afraid that they would die.
By denying that they had anything to fear from God, Satan had them straddling the line.
Straddling the fence just doesn't work.
Matthew 6:24 reminds that "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one,
and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.
Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (KJV)
"Living for Jesus a life that is true;
striving to please him in all that I do,
yielding allegiance, glad hearted and free,
this is the pathway of blessing for me.
O Jesus, Lord and Savior,
I give myself to thee;
for thou, in thy atonement,
didst give thyself for me;
I own no other master,
my heart shall be thy throne,
My life I give, henceforth to live,
O Christ for thee alone.
Living for Jesus who died in my place,
bearing on Calvary my sin and disgrace,
such love constrains me to answer his call,
follow his leading and give him my all."
O Jesus, Lord and Savior,
I give myself to thee."
-- By T. O. Chisholm
Sermon was adapted from several sources by Dr. Harold L. White