Our world is indeed changing all around us. We are living in what I will call a hyper-sensitive period in history. A time when terms are too often adjusted to protect the feelings of those who believe that the grace of God is synonymous with tolerance of sin.
Speaking of such, I ran across a story some time ago that speaks to the importance of speaking truth in love. This story began with a minister who had spoken directly about sin during a message on Sunday and in the mind of one parent in particular, the message was too strong on the subject.
The parent approached the minister later that day at his home and said, "We don't want you to talk so plainly about sin, because if our children hear you mention it, they will more easily become sinners. We prefer that you call sin a mistake and not speak so bluntly about sin."
The minister went to his medicine shelf and brought back a bottle of strychnine marked 'Poison.' He said, "I understand what you want me to do. You want me to change the label on sin. Suppose I take this 'Poison' label off the bottle and put on a label marked 'Peppermint Candy.' Can't you see the problem? The milder you make the label, the more dangerous the poison's presence."
What would change in our head, our heart, and our homes, specifically with our patterns and preferences IF we simply insisted on leaving the 'Poison' label on sin? In that example we understand that changing the label does not change the consequence.
And yet the truth remains the same about sin. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and the death of sin is still eternal unless the blood of Jesus is applied in faith as the one and only antidote for its lethal effect on the soul. Manipulating the term to make it less offensive does not minimize the danger. In fact, it does just the opposite, it increases the danger.
The Word of God does not sugarcoat the consequences of sin, and neither should those who handle it. Should a minister, any minister do that to remain in good standing with parents or people in general, he does not make a mistake, he commits sin for not reading the label correctly and the consequences of such action could be eternal.
God speaks truth to us through His Word under the counsel of His Spirit. We ought to be thankful that God tells us what we must know rather than what we would prefer to hear. May each of us extend the same toward others in coming days by simply keeping the right label on the 'Poison' that kills the soul. May we each stand firm in our position to leave it alone.
When you cross paths this week with someone who hasn't and is suffering from the effects of sin, make sure to point them toward the available antidote in the blood of Jesus Christ. Regardless of how advanced the effects of sin on the soul, salvation is/remains the only solution for recovery and wellness.
The good news begins when we read the label correctly!