April 18

2 Kings 23-25, Psalm 108

Concerning sin, we, as a people, view it incorrectly. Yesterday, a patient of mine told me she planned to increase the amount of marijuana that she smoked once it is legalized. Her reasoning was, if it is legal it must not be bad for us. Allowing society to dictate what is right and wrong will lead us in the wrong direction. Another misconception is weighing the badness of sins. In other words, since heroin is so bad, then marijuana is not so bad. Or if one views the transgender movement as being very strongly against God, perhaps gay marriage is not so bad. In God's eyes, sin is sin. Another misconception is that of corporate judgment. People mistakenly believe that they are not personally responsible for what they do. If in a good church or under a good leader in government, then God will view them favorably. Lastly, many believe that rather than repentance, a few good works will make up for their bad works. All of these popular thoughts are inconsistent with how God views sin.

Though Josiah was a wonderful king, and once he actually read the Word of God, he brought about amazing reforms as outlined in 2 Kings 23:3-25, this did not make up for the tremendous evil brought about under the leadership of King Manasseh. Also, even the though the leadership had changed and many of the people fell in line, the hearts of the people remained wrong concerning the things of God. God is not mocked or fooled, He knows the difference between superficial change and a deep heart change. Just prior to Jesus' teaching on being born again in John 3, he concludes the previous chapter in 2:24-25 with, "But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man." People may believe they can hide their sin, but God can not overlook it. We read in 2 Kings 24:2-4, after Josiah died, and a succession of evil kings came after him, "And the Lord sent against him raiding bands of Chaldeans, bands of Syrians, bands of Moabites, and bands of the people of Ammon; He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord which He had spoken by His servants the prophets. Surely at the commandment of the Lord this came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and also because of the innocent blood that he had shed; for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, which the Lord would not pardon." With 60 million abortions in our nation since 1973 with the passing of Roe v. Wade, do we believe God will overlook all of the innocent blood spilled in our nation? With 1.5 billion abortions worldwide since 1980, do we believe God will overlook all of the innocent blood spilled in our world?

King Josiah did the right thing. He systematically and without compromise destroyed everything which was not of God from his nation. But the people were not saved by his corporate act. Likewise, we may have regime changes, but we must all come before Him and repent of our sins. If any of us have been involved in abortion, guilty of substance abuse, guilty of sexual acts outside of what God has condoned, we need not fear His payment and punishment for our sins as long as we accept His prescription for forgiveness. We must all personally take ownership for what we have done and repent if our sins. This means more than saying we're sorry, but we see God's way as the right way and re-think what we have done and what we are doing. We accept His way as right and our way as wrong. Secondly, He has offered His Son as payment for our sin. Though it was not simple for Him, He made it simple for us. We need to accept Jesus' sacrifice as payment for our sins. Lastly, this can not be some shallow, superficial acknowledgment with our minds or lips, but He must become Lord of our lives. When we close our eyes and visualize the most important item in our lives, it should be Him and nothing else. Outside of large scale revival our nation will be judged along with most of its citizens. May we be outspoken with the only message of hope which really exists.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster