GUEST SERMON: There is no denying sin runs rampant in society today

Published on March 19, 2017

Silhouettes of a family at the Cross of Jesus.

©© by Balazs Toth

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE.I. - Joel 2:12-13 “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God.”

Our southern neighbour has a new leader who has said loudly and repeatedly that his nation and indeed the world as a whole are in a mess.

I couldn’t agree more. I disagree, however, with his assertion that he is going to fix it. The reality is that you can’t solve spiritual problems through political means. Most of the “mess” we are in boils down to the spiritual condition of mankind and our failure to acknowledge our sinfulness and confess our need for the saving power of Jesus Christ.

In the New Testament crowds flocked to hear a strange looking man called John the Baptist who preached a powerful message of repentance. His message had a huge impact on the people who hit their knees and called on the mercy of God to save them.

The Bible makes it clear that repentance is the first step of obedience to the Gospel as we die out to our sinful ways and turn towards God. This must be followed by the “burial” of the old man through water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins. The final step of our “born again” experience is when we rise to walk in newness of life as we are filled with the baptism of the Holy Spirit that John prophesied about. Faith of course is the key ingredient in this Gospel experience as we put our trust in Jesus and the finished work of Calvary.

There is no getting around the fact that sin runs rampant in our society today. Daily headlines and overflowing prisons bear dramatic witness to this truth. The planet seems to be filled on any given day with violence, hatred, and corruption. There is a storm on the horizon that is being preached about in a shrinking number of pulpits and that is the judgement of God.

As I look at our world I am reminded of the story of Jonah and what a tremendous difference one man with a message can make. This reluctant prophet was given a directive from God to go to the city on Nineveh with a blunt message concerning their sin. This Assyrian city was an enemy of Israel and this led to Jonah’s detour as he tried to avoid doing what God told him to do. A huge storm and a few days in the belly of a whale convinced Jonah that no one can run from God and that he needed to do the right thing.

Over a hundred thousand people lived in Nineveh, and they were an undeserving people when it came to God’s mercy. They were much like the world is today in 2017. When Jonah got there he simply stated you have 40 days until God is going to destroy this city. I wonder what would happen if the same message was delivered from every pulpit across our nation.

In Nineveh an amazing thing occurred. The Bible says “the people believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.” Even the king fell on his face and turned from his evil ways. God responded in mercy and spared the city. It is a story of God’s love and compassion and it reinforces the fact that no one is beyond redemption. Today at this crucial hour in our world the Gospel is for all who will believe and repent and obey.

There is no president, prime minister or earthly leader that can fix the world’s problems. Do we have 40 days left before the true King returns? I do not know. I do know that he has promised to return suddenly as a thief in the night. So, please remember this: 2 Peter 3:9  “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” It is a certainty that one day every knee will bow to the master. It is far better to choose to do it now while there is still time left on eternity’s clock. Philippians 2:10-11 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,…and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

Rev. D. Blair Sorrey is with the United Pentecostal Community Chapel, Lower Montague (www.upccmontague.ca). A guest sermon runs regularly in Saturday’s Guardian and is provided through Christian Communications.