The battle with sin is the final topic in this series. So far, I have laid out reasons why I believe the writing is on the wall for our nation. Never before have we seem the proliferation of sin across our society on the scale we are seeing today, and mark my word, we will reap what we are sowing in the lives of the next generations.

We are engaged in a battle with sin to the death with sin, both in our own lives and across society! Make no mistake, these battles we see are not about fairness, equality or catering for a small minority who want to express their sexuality, it’s not about inclusiveness and love is love or my body is my body, this is a battle to the death. Either we kill sin, or sin kills us!

Romans 6:23 (ESV Strong's)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

This war is not just a physical battle, it is spiritual, and it is a life and death battle for the very survival of life as we know it.

 

Ephesians 6:12 (ESV Strong’s)

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

So today we will examine how we can fight and win in this terrifying war against sin...

 

 

CHECK THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT

 

The first thing we must realise is that our conscience is our friend, not our enemy in the battle against sin. Our society tells us the conscience should be seared, dulled or hardened, because it makes us feel guilty for the sins we commit, and we don’t like that! Society says, “It’s not your fault,” so instead of recognising sin we ignore it, suppress it and if confronted by it, we shift the blame to our parents, our spouse, our upbringing, our situation or our recently diagnosed mental illness.

 

When the check engine light comes on, society urges us not to look deeper and find the cause, but to put a sticker over it and ignore it! They reason, if you ignore it long enough, maybe the light will go out. Meanwhile sin rises victorious, God’s standards are flaunted, our children are corrupted and healthy babies are murdered, and all the while we hear no evil, see no evil and say nothing!

 

Ezekiel 3:18 (ESV Strong's)

If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.

 

It is time to fight and kill sin in our own life and across our society, because if we don’t kill him, he will surely stop at nothing to kill us!

 

THE BATTLE WITH SIN RAGES

 

The apostle Paul faced this very dilemma in the battle with sin in Romans 7. Listen to what He says…

 

Romans 7:14-15 (ESV Strong's)

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

 

Romans 7:19-20 (ESV Strong's)

For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

 

Romans 7:23-24 (ESV Strong's)

but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

 

Paul struggled with sin, he fought the good fight, and so must we. Church, we must never put a sticker over our conscience and think we are ok, because sin will start killing us off right there. The battle rages, and though we may not totally win until we are with the Lord, we must fight and kill off sin the best we can. We start in our own lives, and as we win this battle we earn the right to speak into the nation!

 

KILLING OFF SIN

 

Colossians 3:5 (ESV Strong's)

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

 

God calls us to show mercy and love to one another in this battle with sin, and to love our enemies, even if we don’t agree with them, even if they flaunt sin in our faces and attack us. I am not suggesting hatred to gays, transgenders, abortionists or wayward politicians. I’m suggesting love to them, kindness and respect. However, in the battle with sin I will not show kindness respect and love to the evils they perpetrate! Love people, even the evil ones, but kill off sin!

 

It is time to kill off sin, to fight sin to the death and win! But let me first tell you How sin is not put to death, in our lives and in our community…

 

1.      SIN IS NOT KILLED BY COVERING IT UP

 

You can hide your sin, cover it up and no one will know… except you and God.

 

Proverbs 28:13 (ESV Strong's)

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,

but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

 

Covering it up, putting a sticker on your check engine light, actually leaves you in a more dangerous position that facing your sin and dealing with it. Covering sin doesn’t kill it, it makes it more dangerous, and starts a progression that leads to death…

 

James 1:15 (ESV Strong's)

Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

 

2.      SIN IS NOT KILLED BY INTERNALISING IT

 

Forsaking the outward expression of your sin, but still harbouring it in your mind and imagination does not kill the enemy in this battle with sin. Outside you look good, and no one knows the sin that still lurks within. Jesus warned religious leaders about this inner battle with sin...

 

Matthew 23:24-25 (ESV Strong's)

You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

 

Cleaning the outside doesn’t make the inside clean, so internalising your sin doesn’t set you free, regardless of whether you look good on the outside to your friends or family.

 

3.      SIN IS NOT KILLED BY EXCHANGING IT

 

Heroin addicts are often treated with methadone, substituting one drug for another… it is less destructive, but the addiction remains. Substituting one sin for another does not solve the problem and it does not kill sin. Replacing the sin of fornication with pornography does not cure your lust.

 

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV Strong's)

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:

 

All sin is sin, so exchanging one sin for another does not kill sin, it just morphs it!

 

4.      SIN IS NOT KILLED BY REPRESSING IT

 

In this battle with sin People try to repress sin in many ways. They try and drown it in alcohol or drugs, suppress it by escapism in movies and TV shows, and they try and repress one destructive relationship by starting another destructive relationship.  But sin is irrepressible… drink and get high all you like, when you sober up guess what… your sin is still there, bigger than ever!

 

Wherever you go, however you try and escape, sin will hunt you down on this battle with sin! But here’s the great news… God will also hunt you down, and find you in your sin.

 

Psalms 139:7-10 (ESV Strong's)

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

 

You can change jobs, change churches, change town, change country, change marriage, but your sin still goes with you. Prinze God, that your Saviour goes with you also. So don’t repress, confess.

 

 

5.      SIN IS NOT KILLED BY UNTIL THE CONSCIENCE IS CLEAR

 

Sin is only killed when your conscience is clear. Remember, your conscience is the check engine light, so when the underlying problem is solved, the light goes off. Don’t stop fighting in this battle with sin until your conscience is purified, because partial obedience is disobedience!

 

Acts 24:16 (ESV Strong's)

So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.

 

A clear conscience is a wonderful thing as we mentioned last week. While ever sin is present, even if it is tolerated, then a clear conscience is unattainable. So don’t try and substitute a dulled, a seared or a hardened conscience for the real thing. Sin isn’t dead until the check engine light is off!

 

12 STEP PLAN TO VICTORY IN THE BATTLE WITH SIN

 

Killing off sin entirely is not going to happen this side of glory, but that does not mean we stop fighting the battle with sin.

 

2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV Strong's)

we all, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.

 

We should expect our victories over sin to be ever increasing even if the final victory will not be seen until we reach Heaven.  Indeed, the ultimate victory will be ours, and every blow you land for righteousness is a victory for God and for His holiness!

 

So despite the recent legislative changes, I will not stay silent, and I will not stop fighting for what is right and godly! I refuse to keep silent and fade away, and I will obey the laws of this land only up until they contradict the expressed law of God.

 

So if we want to keep fighting sin in battle with sin, and if you want to become anything in your life for Jesus you will need to keep fighting. What are the 12 steps towards killing off sin?

 

1.      DECIDE ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

 

Victory over sin starts with a decision. If you are content to just continue with your sin, if you are content to sear or dull your conscience and let it all slide along, you will never have victory over the sin that is destroying you. You have to decide, enough is enough.

 

Deuteronomy 30:19 (ESV Strong's)

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,

 

Contentment is the enemy of improvement, so victory over sin starts with a decision, a decision that you are not content to be ruled by your sin, to not accept the status quo. A decision to change is required, that enough is enough, and I want better!

 

2.      CONFESS YOUR SIN

 

1 John 1:8-9 (ESV Strong's)

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Don’t ignore your sin, and don’t excuse it away. God will not zap you, fry you or embarrass you, just confess your sin and let Him forgive you. Murder, lust, greed, it doesn’t matter what it is, He promises that if you confess your sin He will forgive you, so take Him at His Word and do it!

 

3.      ABSTAIN FROM FLESHLY LUSTS

 

I remember chasing my kids, and they would scream and run away, crying “Don’t! Stop!” When I did stop, they would walk back closer and closer to try and make me chase then again. Their “Don’t! Stop!” Became, “Don’t stop!”

 

1 Peter 2:11 (ESV Strong's)

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

 

John MacArthur gives simple but profound advice on killing off sin… “Do you want to put to death the lusts in your heart? Then stop entertaining them. Peter does not prescribe a program of therapy. He does not suggest that such sin be treated as an addiction. He simply says abstain. Quit doing it. You have no business indulging such thoughts. Put them away at once.” [i]

 

My family had a cattle farm in Maryborough, and we also agisted cattle. We sent those cows off to the butcher and felt nothing, but our house cows, the ones we grew up with, and cuddled and cared for, these we could never butcher! While ever you dabble in sin, flirt with it or mollycoddled it, while ever you cuddle it, care for it or enjoy it, you will never kill it! To kill off sin, you not only need to stop it, but you also need to avoid not entertain it in the battle with sin!

 

4.      MAKE NO PROVISION FOR THE FLESH

 

We may stop actually doing a sin, but we often kind of leave the door open to doing it in the battle with sin!

 

Romans 13:14 (ESV Strong's)

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

 

In other words refuse to accommodate in any way anything that might lead you back into that sin! If you don’t want to fall, don’t walk where it is slippery. If you have an issue with gluttony, don’t pile up your supermarket trolley with junk food. If you have an issue with lust, don’t surf porn sites. If you have an issue with gossip, walk away from people sharing secrets with you.

 

By doing this, you cut off sin before it gets the chance to grow and breed. It is easier to pull out a baby tree than cut down the fully grown specimen!

 

 

5.      FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS

 

Whatever you look at determines what you become, because as Jesus said,

 

Luke 11:34 (ESV Strong's)

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.

 

If you look at porn you will lust. If you watch violent movies or play violent computer games you will get angrier. If you hang around pubs you will drink. If you hang around church, you will grow more Christlike.

 

2 Corinthians 4:18 (ESV Strong's)

we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

 

Hebrews 12:2 (ESV Strong's)

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith

 

So to kill off sin in this battle with sin, don’t constantly look at it, don’t hang around it, don’t entertain it and don’t camp outside it’s lair. Instead, fix your eyes on Jesus, and on things eternal, for whatever you look at you become…

 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

 

 

6.      FILL YOUR MIND WITH GOODNESS IN THE BATTLE WITH SIN

 

If you decide not to look at sin or anything leading to it, where do you look. It’s like when Fiona and I are shopping and she takes me into a lingerie store… I don’t know where to look, where to stand, and anything you do, you’re going to look like a pervert!

 

Philippians 4:8 (ESV Strong's)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

 

Job 31:1 (ESV Strong's)

“I have made a covenant with my eyes;

 

So look away from sin, and fill your mind with Jesus and with good and godly things… Christian or wholesome teaching, books, videos, music, TV shows, and in particular…

 

7.      FILL YOUR HEART WITH GOD’S WORD

 

Psalms 119:9-11 (ESV Strong's)

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

 

Reading the Bible every day, coming to a Bible preaching church, memorising Bible passages, do whatever you can to focus on the Word of God, and fill your heart with His Word!

 

I read and even memorise God’s Word a lot. I am amazed at how often God’s Word comes out of my mouth in general conversation.

 

The next step is…

 

8.      PRAY WITHOUT CEASING

 

You cannot live a triumphant life over sin without prayer. Many know this verse, but note context…

 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV Strong's)

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

 

Being in a constant state of prayer is an awesome way to kill off sin and its effects in your life in the battle with sin. Notice the preceding and following verses? Praying constantly is about rejoicing and giving thanks constantly too! A gratitude attitude, being thankful for everything you have, is a great way to kill off the effects of sin and help you focus on Jesus and eternal things.

 

 

9.      GUARD YOUR HEART

 

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV-WS)

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

 

You can have a few victories over sin, but you will not kill it unless you remain on guard against it. The enemy will not take your desire for holiness in your life lying down!  The devil has a habit of dressing up sin and reintroducing it. So you need to guard your heart!

 

 

10.   DISCIPLINE YOURSELF

 

1 Corinthians 9:25-27 (ESV Strong's)

Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

 

No athlete, or artist, or musician or Christian becomes great without discipline. We live in a society that applauds discipline for athletes, yet excuses lack of discipline in more important aspects of life. Top athletes are excused for misdemeanours in bars or on the road. Politicians with sordid personal lives are celebrated if they make the country prosperous.

 

To be victorious over sin in your life, you need to become disciplined. Hebrews explains…

 

Hebrews 12:11 (ESV Strong's)

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

 

Discipline is painful, it takes time, effort and true commitment, but the long term gains are amazing, and allow you to kill off areas of sin in your life to a large degree. It takes time, and discipline to reach everything God has destined for you to be in your life, but this leads to…

 

11.   RENEW YOUR MIND- CREATE NEW HABITS

 

Romans 12:2 (ESV Strong's)

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

As you fill your mind with the things of God, especially the Word of God, your mind is being renewed day by day. Renewing of your mind is not simply a mental exercise, it must have a practical outworking. Renewing of your mind causes you to break old, destructive habits and establish new, righteous habits.

 

A habit is an series of actions you repeatedly do until they become automatic. Any addiction is really a powerful bad habit, be it drug, alcohol, porn, spending, gossiping, anger outbursts or gambling! But you can dismantle bad habits and build good habits that enhance your life rather than destroy it. Our society loves to call things addictions and enslave people forever, but my experience is that God can break bad habits, and He can also establish good ones, as your mind is renewed.

 

Latest research indicates that it takes around 66 days to break a bad habit or establish a new one. [ii]

 

When God breaks a habit off your life it can be very quick, because His Spirit can destroy the works of the enemy. One thing is for sure… if you decide in your heart to form a good habit, such as reading the Bible every morning, it can be a powerful force in your life. I personally discovered this when at University I attended a Navigator’s group and signed a pledge called, “No Bible, no breakfast.” This commitment led to me reading God’s Word first thing almost every day, and hardly ever eating breakfast!

 

 

12.   DON’T GIVE UP THE FIGHT

 

I know sin and the devil are mighty adversaries, and relentless foes, but my Bible says,

 

1 John 4:4 (ESV Strong's)

he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

 

In the battle with sin, sin will fight, he will fight dirty, he will use underhanded tactics, he will be relentless, he will tempt and call and flirt and suck you in. You will have times of great victories, then some defeat will drag you back down. You will break some bad habits, and not others. But through it all, no matter what happens, stand strong, gather around people who love and support you and in the words of Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up.” You will get tired of fighting, it will sometimes seem that all is lost, that the sin is winning, that troubles are never ending, but that is when you have to focus on Christ, resist the enemy and decide to fight on!

 

James 4:7 (ESV Strong's)

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

 

This is the promise… resist him, and because he is a coward, he will just flee from you.

 

The original Rocky movie is the story of a fighter who rises up the ranks to become champion of the world, then, in all the luxury and comfort of the victories, he loses his edge, and his title. His trainer decides to take him back to the smelly alley and leaky taps, back to where he came from, and over time he puts the fight back into the fighter.

 

So when it comes to sin, don’t lose the fight, don’t lose the desire to win against a merciless and destructive foe! Never give up, never give an inch, resist, and see him flee! It is time to put the fight back into the fighter!

 

1 John 3:9 (ESV Strong's)

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.

 

Today I speak to those who are tired of this battle with sin, run down and sick of struggling with sin and with life. I say to you, stand strong,

fight hard, form the right habits, resist and stand firm, knowing that the Lord is in us and He is greater than the enemy in the battle with sin!

 

Our society may have given into sin on so many levels, but now is not the time to roll over and accept it as normal. Now is the time to stand up and declare that we will not go quietly, we will stand for what is right and godly in this world, and by God we will win!

 

Killing off sin in the battle with sin is not about seeking legalistic righteousness, it’s not about judgement of others, or forcing obedience to laws, it’s about seeking  God with all your heart and seeking holiness in Him. You cannot be holy, but you can decide to yield to Him and let ahis holiness dwell in you!

 

Today, if you are tired of fighting, I want to pray with you and stand with you.

 

Today we join our shields together.

[i] Vanishing conscience Chapter 7

[ii] http://dornsife.usc.edu/assets/sites/545/docs/Wendy_Wood_Research_Articles/Habits/wood.neal.2007psychrev_a_new_look_at_habits_and_the_interface_between_habits_and_goals.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your conscience is illustrated in a scene from the TV show “The Big Bang Theory,” Sheldon and Penny are driving in her car, and Sheldon points out that the check engine light is on. Penny replies that it is fine. Sheldon says that it was installed by the car manufacturer to tell her that everything is not fine, she assures him that it’s been on for a month, and not to worry about it… the light means nothing. Sheldon, worried, then asks if there’s a check the check engine light light, and Penny later says, “I need to put a sticker over that!”

This is a graphic illustration of what is happening to the human conscience. Our conscience is God’s built in monitor, alerting us to the moral quality of what we do or plan to do.  It is the innate ability to sense right from wrong, and only humans have this ability. When we violate our conscience, it condemns us, triggering feelings of shame, anguish, regret, anxiety, disgrace, guilt and even fear. When we follow our conscience, it commends us, bringing joy, peace, self-respect, and well-being.

Titus 1:15 (ESV Strong's)

To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

 

While your conscience is a God-given safeguard for your life, our society seems hell-bent on destroying it, because we don’t want anyone to ever feel bad or guilty, and therefore whatever you do is never your fault but someone else’s, or your upbringing, or your genes, or a mental disease.

 

And so we ignore the check engine light of our conscience, eventually putting a sticker over it so we can’t see it, believing then that everything is alright!

 

CONSCIENCE- THE SOUL’S SKYLIGHT

 

Ps John MacArthur tells us that, “the conscience functions like a skylight, not a light bulb. It lets light into the soul; it does not produce its own. Its effectiveness is determined by the amount of pure light we expose it to, and by how clean we keep it. Cover it or put it in total darkness and it ceases to function.

 

Your conscience is a sensitive and precious thing, but we can damage it and thereby decease it’s function without too much difficulty. Yet despite the way we try and dull our conscience, putting a sticker over it, it does not change the fact that it is an indicator of a more significant problem.

 

Romans 2:15 (ESV Strong's)

They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.

 

So despite how much we attempt to dull or blunt our consciences, they still accuse us and confront us of sin, either now or one day in the future. Your conscience is the check engine light of life. You can ignore it, cover it up or put a sticker over it, and it is not there to just be a light, it is an indicator of a deeper problem, and should not be ignored.

 

We said last week that guilt is what alerts us to sin, and unless you recognise that you have sinned, you cannot be forgiven. Our world’s obsession with absolving people from their guilt means that none of the deeper problems of sin are ever dealt with… because everybody is a victim, it’s never your fault and therefore, you don’t feel guilty, your conscience feels nothing, and no one sins!

 

When you come to Jesus, you can be forgiven and your soul set free from the death and destruction of sin. Why ignore the check engine light, or pretend it means nothing, when you can find out what it means, and deal with the underlying cause?

 

CONSCIENCE AND THE STANDARD WE FOLLOW

 

Every person, or organisation has a set of standards or rules. These differ between people and organisations, and that’s why we as Christians believe that that the Bible is the standard our society should use. Of course, unbelievers and sadly many Christians think that our standards should be subject to the prevailing standards of the day. I don’t! The Bible is God’s Word to us, and His standards do not change with fashions and opinions. Our conscience is not the standard, it is only the check engine light that alerts us when whatever standard we adhere to is violated.

 

The Bible speaks of many different types of consciences, so let’s look at some of them…

 

1.      GOOD CONSCIENCE

 

Acts 23:1 (ESV Strong's)

And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.”

 

The Apostle Paul said he lived with a good conscience, meaning not that he never sinned, but that he had lived as much as possible according to the standards of God. He followed his conscience, and his conscience was based in the standard of God.

 

Having a good conscience does not guarantee being right, because it depends on the standard you are adhering to. Paul’s speaks of his pre-Jesus life persecuting Christians when he says,

 

Acts 26:9 (ESV Strong's)

“I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

 

A good conscience is a good thing, but it alone cannot save you. If all you have to do is follow your conscience, and truth is variable and individual, then an atheist, or Islamic, or Hindu or an anarchist would be saved, because they live according to the standard of their own conscience. A good conscience is only truly powerful when it is based on the truth of the Word of God!

 

 

2.      CLEAR CONSCIENCE

 

Acts 24:16 (ESV Strong's)

So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.

 

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control what happens in you.  In the same way, you cannot control what other people think of you, but you can live at peace with a clear conscience. A clear conscience means blameless, devoid of guilt towards the Lord or any person. Paul is saying in this passage that his conscience affirmed his actions, and no warning bells went off about how he lived and what he said.

 

I strive to lead this church with a clear conscience, and a clear conscience is a wonderful thing. It means you can look back at what you’ve said and done without regret, without guilt and without wanting to replay events to improve on them. In my life, and I hope in yours, the standard is the Bible, and I make no apology for that standard. I have been criticised at times (even last week) for adhering to this standard, but my conscience is clear, and I proclaim God’s standard without regret.

 

I guess the jump is that we adhere to God’s truth, but do so in love, without judgement or attacking the character of others. This is sometimes a difficult thing. To have a clear conscience one needs to keep it clear before God, that is proclaim His truth without compromise, and also keep it clear before man, which is to love even those we disagree with.

 

I can love those I do not agree with, and do so with a clear conscience. Our love for others must reflect God’s love, which is unconditional, that is it is not tied to what they do or say. So regardless of whether others lead a lifestyle I believe is wrong, regardless of whether they attack and accuse me, I can make the godly choice of loving them, and do so with a clear conscience.

 

If I compromise God’s standards to keep the peace or placate others, then my conscience might be clear before men, but it is not so before God! If I am overly harsh and judgemental, and if I mistreat those who do not obey God, then my conscience is clear before God, but not men.

 

It’s a tough balance, and I apologise for sometimes getting it wrong. Passionate people sometimes become judgemental, and compassionate people sometimes become compromised. I endeavour to live my life in a way that when I die even the undertaker is sad! I want to keep a clear conscience, and conscience that is undefiled, between God and myself, and any one else and myself, devoid of any guilt about what I say and do.

 

The dilemma is that when you stand for Christ, ungodly men will attack you, criticise you and try to destroy you. This is clearly happening in today’s world.  So we must love them, even if we don’t agree with them and they are attacking us! That’s why Jesus said

 

Matthew 5:44 (ESV Strong's)

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

 

3.      EVIL CONSCIENCE

 

Paul speaks of another kind of conscience, too.

 

Hebrews 10:22 (ESV Strong's)

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

 

An evil conscience is one that is so offended and violated by guilt that it screams that we are sinners! This is a horrible way to live, completely riddled by guilt and shame, but it can actually be a good thing. It warns us of our sinful actions and drives us to repentance of our sin, and forgiveness.

 

2 Corinthians 7:10 (ESV Strong's)

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

 

In the Old Testament, temple sacrifices were made to cleanse the heart of the people, to cleanse their consciences. But nowadays we do not need to do this, because Jesus has once and for all paid for our sin. Pail says His blood sprinkles us and sets us free from our evil conscience. However, He only does this if we acknowledge our sin, not if we put a sticker over our conscience so we fail to recognise guilt and sin!

 

If you are struggling with your conscience today, the great news is that you can be set free today from this evil conscience that is condemning you and causing guilt.

 

4.      DEFILED CONSCIENCE

 

Titus 1:15 (ESV Strong's)

To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

 

Paul speaks of certain people whose conscience was defiled, but the question is, what kind of conscience is one that is defiled?

 

Defiled means contaminated. Someone with a defiled conscience is so polluted that he cannot differentiate good from evil, because his standard is corrupt. These people are exactly what we see around us today, even in the church, where they depend on their feelings to guide them, not God’s standards.  Paul, before he met Jesus, was just like this… he felt persecuting Christians was right, but he was in error. His conscience was not violated, but it was defiled.

 

Our modern world has countless examples of defiled consciences.  People immediately jump to the wrong conclusions when they see something that formerly was considered quite acceptable. To the pure, all things are pure, but to defiled, Paul says, nothing is pure! So innocent conversations are twisted into sexual innuendo, and innocent actions are viewed as sinister or impure. Even in church, in this moral climate, we cannot have men driving young girls alone.

 

Defiling means dirtying, taking something pure and making it dirty. Today even believers are lowering the standards of the Bible, allowing morality that the Bible clearly does not endorse!

 

Matthew 23:27 (ESV Strong's)

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness.

 

This is what people are like even in the church today… we look good, we look pious on the outside, but inside many cases our consciences are defiled, dirty and full of dead men’s bones. Let us not be like that!

 

5.      SEARED CONSCIENCE

 

1 Timothy 4:1-2 (ESV Strong's)

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,

 

We are living in these later days right now, and Paul uses an interesting term… seared. I love Barbecues, and when I cook meat I sear it on both sides… this is called barbecue searing.  But when sinning repeatedly sears your conscience it is not called being sin-sear.

 

The Greek word for seared is kautēriazō, which means to sear, cauterise, brand or, by implication, render insensitive. When cattle are branded with a hot iron, the area becomes insensitive.

 

How is your conscience seared? By repeatedly being run over. It is the slippery slope towards the deadening your conscience. So the first time you offend, you feel really bad and really guilty, but each time you commit this sin, you feel less and less bad about it. Your conscience no longer pricks you, and slowly your conscience is being seared or cauterised.

 

When you cauterise flesh you can stop the flow of blood. When you cauterise your conscience, you stop the flow of the Holy Spirit.

 

An example would be profanity in our society on TV and movies. It used to offend me, and now I barely notice! My conscience has been seared, and it is a slippery slope! Once upon a time the Simpsons was a show that plumbed new lows of morality, but then came SouthPark, and suddenly the Simpsons seem tame!

 

Defile your conscience again and again, and you sear it, stopping God’s flow in your life. Sear it enough, and this leads to …

 

6.      HARDENED CONSCIENCE

 

You may remember Pharaoh in the Exodus.  He was a man who sinned and seared his conscience so much that it became completely hardened to the truth of God. A hardened conscience is one that the Lord cannot break through, and is the end product of repeated searing and dulling.

 

Hebrews 3:13 (ESV Strong's)

But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

 

We too are open to such a hardening! How do we avoid this? We keep exhorting or encouraging one another. That’s why we need to keep coming to church, taking every opportunity to meet together and worship as one family. Together we can correct and protect each other from the hardness of repeated, wilful sin!

 

People in the world harden or deaden their consciences, and we see this all the time. The ultimate expression of an almost completely dead conscience is in psychological conditions like narcissism, which is in the rise in our society, and psychopaths like serial killers or nasty businessmen, who never really feel any remorse about what they do.

 

Indeed, we can be saddened and angered by this week’s abortion decision, but we should not be surprised. The same spirit that is behind our humanistic society, that is behind gay marriage and gender fluidity, that same spirit is the spirit of the age. It has hardened people’s consciences to such a degree that they condone murder, but get offended if we show them a picture of the slain baby!

 

 

7.      WEAK CONSCIENCE

 

One last conscience described in the Bible is a weak conscience, and this is one that you and I face as believers, and one that we can love and serve each other in.

 

Scripture describes a weak conscience as one too easily wounded or offended, usually due to some past experience. It does not mean that you are weak as a person or a Christian, it means that your conscience is hypersensitive to a particular area.  Ironically, a weak conscience is more likely to accuse you than a strong conscience.

 

Paul illustrates this with the issue of eating meat offered to idols, which was an issue for some in the Corinthian church. In Corinth, meat was routinely offered to idols and because the idols obviously could not eat the meat, this meat was sold off cheap. Now some believers thought this was inconsequential, because they knew the idols were false and really nothing. But others thought that this was really wrong, and would not touch the stuff!

 

1 Corinthians 8:7-13 (ESV Strong's)

However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

 

The point was that sometimes things are permissible for one Christian but not for another because of conscience, and while meat offered to idols is no longer an issue, we have similar issues today. Alcohol is an example, which is ok for some and taboo for others. What about watching certain movies. What about eating certain foods? Even in this church an issue like speaking in tongues can become inflammatory. Again, there is no right and wrong, but for some they love it and others feel very uncomfortable around it.

 

Paul tells us how to respond, how love responds, how unity responds to these dilemmas of conscience.  We respond by preferring one another, loving each other more than our pet issue.

 

Yet we can live together happily in unity! How? By those who don’t have a problem with it refraining, not because it is wrong but because it hurts others. And those who do have a problem with it not judging the others!

 

I believe we must do all we can to maintain unity and protect our fellow Christians from violating their consciences. I’m a Pentecostal pastor, and I speak in tongues. But if it offends you or makes a visitor uncomfortable, I will choose to refrain! Why, because I love them more than I love my pet doctrine. I appreciate those who care for others in this way, and it shows true maturity when we prefer our brothers consciences.

 

KEEPING A PURE CONSCIENCE

 

So in this modern age, with all its destructive morality and victim mentality, how can we possibly keep a pure, unadulterated conscience?  The trouble with the advice, “Follow your conscience” is that most people follow it like someone following a wheelbarrow—they might be following it, but they direct it wherever they want it to go, and then follow behind.

 

Remember, your conscience is the check engine light of your life. You can not dictate to it, it informs you when you have transgressed. We need to listen to our conscience and be sensitive to its call, confess it and move on.

 

What would you think of a ship's captain who, sailing off a dangerous coast, saw suddenly through the clouds and the mist the flash of a lighthouse but, instead of at once altering his course, decided to go on a little farther and wait for a second or a third flash?

 

So how can we keep our consciences pure, even in this wicked world?

 

1.      CONFESS AND FORSAKE YOUR SIN

 

Proverbs 28:13 (ESV Strong's)

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,

but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

 

Modern society tries to teach us that we should ignore the guilt we feel, and legitimise what the Bible calls sin. This attitude, as we saw last week, has caused social gridlock…  “the irresistible search for someone or something to blame colliding with the unmovable unwillingness to accept responsibility.  (Charles Sykes)

 

Unless you recognise sin for what it is, and deal with it by confessing it and seeking forgiveness, you will never be set free to have a pure conscience. While we sit around arguing what is and isn’t acceptable as sin in a shifting moral landscape, while we fight for rights and actions that are clearly wrong, we miss the whole point.

 

Sin is sin, no matter how big or small. So don’t cover it up, don’t dress it up and don’t sear or dull your conscience to the point where you don’t feel it any more. Just acknowledge it, call it sin, confess it and let God’s healing balm of forgiveness flood your soul and your conscience!

 

 

2.      ASK FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILE

 

If you have knowingly wronged another, you may need to approach them and ask their forgiveness. It is not enough to ask God for forgiveness and leave a trail of destruction among those you love that you make no effort to heal.

 

Matthew 5:23-24 (ESV Strong's)

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

 

So being reconciled is part of the forgiveness and healing journey for your conscience. How do you know if you need to reconcile with someone? A good sign is if that person walks in the room and your conscience is pricked. I have people with whom I have a severed relationship, that I have forgiven and when I meet them, my conscience is clear. Others, when I meet them, things feel very awkward because my conscience might be stirred up. You need to ask God if you must reconcile, or reach out to them in love again.

 

3.      MAKE RESTITUTION

 

Numbers 5:6-7 (ESV Strong's)

“Speak to the people of Israel, When a man or woman commits any of the sins that people commit by breaking faith with the Lord, and that person realizes his guilt, he shall confess his sin that he has committed. And he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong.

 

The proportions are not important, the principle is. If you have sinned against someone, do what you can to restore the situation. If you have stolen, pay it back. If you have kept something, give it back. If you have accused someone wrongly, take it back.

 

4.      BE SENSITIVE AND DO NOT PROCRASTINATE

 

Your conscience is a sensitive thing, so listen to it and don’t put this off. Your growth in the things of God will be stunted by your procrastination. If you are serious about walking with God, if you are serious about living for Him, don’t delay, just keep short accounts with God, confess it and move on.

 

Acts 24:16 (ESV Strong's)

So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.

 

Some people put off dealing with their guilt, thinking their conscience will clear itself in time. It won’t. Procrastination allows the guilt feelings to fester, generating depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems. Guilt feelings often persist long after the original offence is forgotten, and they frequently spill over to other areas of our lives. That’s one reason people often feel guilty and are not sure why. Such confused guilt may be a symptom that something is terribly wrong spiritually.

 

So if your conscience is disturbed right now, ask God to reveal why and deal with it quickly.

 

5.      EDUCATE YOUR CONSCIENCE

 

1 Corinthians 8:7 points out that lack of knowledge often results in a weak conscience, one that is hypersensitive and easily offended. If that is you, don’t violate your conscience, get into the Word of God and educate it on what truth is, and what sin is.

 

You can teach your conscience to focus on God’s truth, rather than operate on feelings. Being controlled by feelings of guilt, violation, victimisation or offence are no way to live.

 

Hebrews 4:12 (ESV Strong's)

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

 

Fill your mind with Scripture, and your conscience will be tuned to God. You will be balanced, not weak, not seared and not hardened to truth.

 

RESTORE YOUR CONSCIENCE TODAY

 

Today, is your conscience clear? Is it pure? Have you done something that still leaves you feeling guilty when it comes to mind, or when you see someone or something? Don’t procrastinate, don’t ignore it and don’t put up with it! Confess it now and open the way to move on!

 

Political Correctness is the wrong prescription for our society! As a medical person. I can tell you that incorrectly diagnosing a disease or condition very often results in bigger issues that you started with!

We talked earlier about how the writing is in the wall for our nation if we do not change, and how we as the people of God have failed to make the stand we should have against evils we see around us!  We talked about how we as Christians have been lulled into submission, like the fallow ground we have hardened our hearts to what God calls sin, all in the name of Political Correctness.

Hosea 10:12 (ESV Strong's)

Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love;

break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord,

that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

 

In this series I want to resensitise what has for many years become desensitised.  We are so desensitised that we often do not even recognise sin, let alone stand against it. I believe that it is time we break up the crusty, hard shell of our lives, recognise sin for what it is and see again through God’s eyes.

 

In this message I’m going to attack the whole political correctness movement, because I believe that our society has lost the plot when it comes to what you can and cannot say. If you are a fan of Political Correctness, I apologise in advance for offending you, but I for one am over it! I fully expect to face some sort of attack, but somebody has to stand and speak out!  Let me ask the question…

 

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SIN IN POLITICAL CORRECTNESS?

 

Part of the problem our society faces is that we don’t call sin “sin” these days, because sin gives rise to guilt, and our culture has declared war in guilt in the name of Political Correctness! What used to be called homosexuality is now called an alternative lifestyle. What used to be called fornication is now called a meaningful relationship, What used to be called adultery is now called having an affair, What used to be called a tomboy is now called a transgender, What used to be called abortion is now called family planning……. David wrote,

 

Psalms 38:17-18 (ESV Strong's)

For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me.

I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.

 

The Hebrew word for iniquity is AWVONE which means sin, perversity or guilt. But our society has endeavoured to remove guilt as an emotion from the dictionary. Psychologist Dr Dwayne Dyer describes guilt as “the most useless of all behaviours,” and “nothing but a neurosis.” In our modern world, apparently no one is supposed to feel guilty. Guilt is not conducive to dignity and healthy self-esteem, or so Political Correctness tells us.

 

So while our society encourages sin, it will not tolerate the guilt sin produces! Guilt, they tell us, takes all the fun out of life, and columnist Ann Landers even said, “The most painful, self-mutilating, time- and energy-consuming exercises in the human experience is guilt.”

 

THE WRONG PRESCRIPTION

 

If you stand back and look at society, you will recognise certain tactics that the enemy has employed to remove feelings of guilt for what we do and the way we behave. Political Correctness tells us that if we take away guilt, everyone’s self-esteem will improve and we will all be better.  Trouble is, it’s the wrong prescription, and what society prescribes is actually making the moral problems more entrenched. What society is doing is not healing people, and it’s not solving the problem! We have sinners who feel no guilt but feel good about themselves, they have replaced self-examination with self-esteem.

 

So what exactly are the experts of Political Correctness prescribing for our society’s ills?

 

1.      LEGALISATION

 

Psalms 94:20 (ESV Strong's)

Can wicked rulers be allied with you, those who frame injustice by statute?

 

A classic way of removing guilt is simply to legalise something. This is what we saw last year, with changes to the definition of marriage, and for many western governments, it is a common tool Political Correctness uses to remove feelings of guilt from the populace.

 

Take marijuana for example. It is now a legal drug in many states of the US, and sadly states like Oregon and Colorado have found that hen legal younger and younger children are smoking dope, and that it damages young brains more and is affecting their psyche drastically.

 

Prostitution is now legal here, and the main argument is the health of sex workers. The real argument is the increased tax revenue, but that’s another story. Hardcore porn is now legal and readily available. Heroin is not legal, but the government provides needles and safe places to shoot up. The thing is, if you legalises or legitimise these destructive behaviours, more people do them more often because they are more available!

 

You cannot legislate heart changes in the name of Political Correctness. I appreciate the fact that we have a Christian Prime Minister, but he cannot legislate life-changing commitments or changes of lifestyle, addictions or behaviour. Only Jesus can transform your life, and only the Holy Spirit can empower you to live the life you want!

 

 

2.      TERMINOLOGY

 

Isaiah 5:20 (ESV Strong's)

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

 

We are skilled at renaming things so as to remove guilt.  A few decades ago if I said I was gay you’d think I was happy… not so today! Living together when you are not married is now officially called a common law marriage. I noticed that instead of calling gay marriage what it is, they used the inoffensive term “marriage equality,” because after all, who doesn’t want equality in our society?

 

No greater example exists of using terminology to counteract the guilt produced by sin than in the abortion industry. It should be called abortion, or better still baby murdering, but it is sanitised by using terms like termination, pro-choice and family planning. We do not call the victim of abortion a baby, we use the term foetus, and what terms like this do is desensitise the incredible guilt of taking a life. Political Correctness dictates our terminology

 

 

3.      VICTIMISATION

 

Probably the greatest tool to remove guilt from our society is by making sinners into victims.  Psychologists are inventing new diagnoses every day and handing out labels like lollies, but the underlying message of this is this… “It’s not your fault, it’s a disease or psychological syndrome.”

 

Now I am not saying that diseases or mental illness doesn’t exist, I’m just suggesting that many who get such labels aren’t actually diseased but they use the diagnosis as a way to justify their actions and excuse the guilt they feel over their sin.

 

If I can blame a disease, my parents, my upbringing, my friends, my school, my job, my partner or anyone or anything else, then I am personally absolved of blame or guilt. It’s not my fault you see… it’s always someone else’s!

 

Listen, God hasn’t called us to be victims, He’s called us to be Victors!

 

Romans 8:37 (ESV Strong's)

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

 

Conquerors don’t shift blame, or put their head in the sand, they face their opposition and they win!

 

 

4.      REDUCING CONSEQUENCES

 

This inevitably happens when every sin is described in terms of a disease, and treated as such. We don’t blame cancer patients for their disease, and using the same logic we absolve sinners from the guilt associated with their sin.  So thieves have kleptomania, gamblers have an addiction, adulterers are sex addicts and rebelling teenagers have Oppositional Defiance Disorder!

 

Since everybody is a victim, not a sinner, from children to adults, it seems logical that we reduce or even do away with any punishment… here’s some real life examples...

 

A man who was shot and paralyzed while committing a burglary in New York recovered damages from the store owner who shot him, the jury being told he was a victim of society,  driven to crime by economic disadvantages. Because of the storeowner’s callous disregard of the thief’s plight as a victim, the poor criminal will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. A large settlement was paid, and several months later, the same man, still in his wheelchair, was arrested while committing another armed robbery.

 

Bernard McCummings mugged and brutally beat an elderly New York man in the subway, McCummings was shot while fleeing the scene. Permanently paralysed, he sued and won $4.8 million in compensation from the New York Transit Authority. The man he mugged, a cancer patient, is still paying doctor bills, while McCummings, the mugger—whom the courts deemed the greater victim—is now a multimillionaire.

 

Look at the kinds of sentences dished out by our courts and many would agree that the consequences for crime have definitely been reduced in many areas.  However, God says the wages of sin is death, and

 

Galatians 6:7-8 (ESV Strong's)

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

 

THE DEATH OF COMMON SENSE

 

Somewhere in the middle of all this political correctness common sense has died!

 

Romans 1:22 (ESV Strong's)

Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

 

Listen to this poem I found by Anna Russell…

 

I went to my psychiatrist to be psychoanalyzed

to find out why I killed the cat and blacked my husband’s eyes.

He laid me on a downy couch to see what he could find;

so this is what he dredged up from my subconscious mind.

When I was one, my mommy hid my dolly in a trunk;

and so it follows naturally that I am always drunk.

When I was two, I saw my father kiss the maid one day,

and that is why I suffer now from klep-to-men-I-A”.

At three I had the feeling of ambivalence towards my brothers,

and so it follows naturally I poisoned all my lovers.

But I am happy; now I’ve learned the lesson this has taught;

THAT EVERYTHING I DO THAT’S WRONG – IS SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT.

 

Our society is pervaded by the victim mentality, which has overcome our common sense! We are told by the media and the government that if you feel a certain inclination, no need to control it, you have the right to express it, however you feel, whenever you like.  You are the victim of your genes (even though science can not confirm this), or your upbringing, or your diagnosed condition. So if you have the genes of a homosexual you are free to express it. If you have the genes of a woman, even though you are clearly a man, feel free to express it. If you have the genes of a serial killer… better not express that!

 

These days everything wrong with humanity is likely to be explained as an illness. What we used to call sin is more easily diagnosed as a whole array of psychological disabilities, and we dare not call it sin, because then it might make you feel guilty!

 

Now I know this is not very PC correct, but I was talking with Fiona, a trained psychotherapist about this recently. While there certainly are genuine mental disorders, at what point does ADD, ADHD and ODD become bad parenting, or at what point does IED, Intermittent explosive disorder become a badly behaved jerk with a  bad temper?

 

Proverbs 28:13 (ESV Strong's)

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

 

The therapy industry diagnoses sin as sickness, telling people they are desperately sick and therefore not really responsible for their wrong behaviour. This has led to the so called wise in our society believing foolishness, and us foolish Christians seeing the truth, but being afraid to say it!

 

IS OUR SOCIETY WEARING NEW CLOTHES?

 

Hans Christian Anderson wrote of two swindlers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent – while in reality, they made no clothes at all.  They made everyone believe the emperor’s clothes were wonderful, just invisible to them.

 

When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new "clothes", no one dares to point out that they do not see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as unfit or stupid. Finally, a child cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!"

 

This is exactly what is happening right here in our society today! We are told to be open-minded, but we are so open-minded our brains fall out. We are told to be politically correct, but the things we have to agree to as correct make no sense. It is political correctness gone wild!

 

Last week on 60 Minutes they reported on a transgender AFL player. Starting as a man and playing for the Australian men’s handball team, he/she wants to now play women’s AFL. This athlete stands 6 foot 3, and weighs 100 kg or nearly 16 stone. Bigger, stronger, faster than most women This is the obvious result of the current attitude towards PC!

 

Isn’t it time someone stood up and said, “But you’re not wearing any clothes!” Isn’t it time someone broke ranks and said, “You can add bits or remove bits, you can wear a dress or a pair of stubbies, you can change your name From Steve to Eve, but according to science you are still XX or XY, right?

 

And this applies to so many areas of modern life, not just gender or sexuality. It applies to the victim mentality, promoted by professionals and swallowed by everybody else, and no one is courageous enough to say, “But this doesn’t make sense!” because of political correctness. Behaviour unacceptable by society for centuries is now tolerated or even promoted, even things we all agree are wrong, like stealing, embezzlement, murder, slander, and so on, are downgraded or explained away because apparently, no one is guilty anymore!

 

VICTIMS BECOME A SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY

 

The Disease-model therapy doesn’t cure these victim conditions, it compounds them, and no one has the courage to point out how ridiculous this is, for fear of being attacked and called stupid or narrow-minded.   By removing any sense of guilt, and making people feel they are the victims, they become helplessly bound for life to their affliction, and their diagnosis often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy?  And we are the narrow-minded fools for daring to speak against political correctness!

 

Charles J Sykes said, “This is a formula for social gridlock: the irresistible search for someone or something to blame colliding with the unmovable unwillingness to accept responsibility.”

 

Once upon a time, when society affirmed the concept of personal responsibility, citizens were expected to contribute to society. They were encouraged to ask not what their country could do for them but what they could do for their country.

 

Now that everyone is a victim, however, people think they have every right to demand society’s benevolence without giving anything in return. I don’t want to ever work, but I demand that you give me income, rent help, free medical and so on!

 

Psalms 32:5 (ESV Strong's)

I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity;

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

 

Here’s the thing… while ever you are trying to shift the responsibility for your sin you will always be a victim! You cannot receive forgiveness for, something you don’t even recognise!

 

Our nation needs honesty and integrity, not more and more victims dependent on drugs and therapy with recently made up diagnoses! I believe that we, followers of Jesus, can bring a voice of integrity and courage to the twisted, politically correct but morally bereft landscape, but we must do this in love, not as self righteous, legalistic Pharisees!

HOW CAN WE START TO BRING CHANGE IN OUR SOCIETY?

 

I said right at the beginning, you cannot change people’s hearts by passing legislation or political correctness. Equating their sin with a disease will also not solve the problem, just entrench the issue in their lives!

 

So how can we start to see change in our nation, and how can we dislodge the victim mentality and political correctness?

 

1.      RECOGNISE IT STARTS WITH US

 

Like it or not, we have to lead the way here. If we swallow the whole disease diagnosis, if we constantly shift the blame and see ourselves as victims, we will be part of the problem, and we cannot lead our nation towards the solution… which is Jesus Christ!

 

1 Peter 4:17 (ESV Strong's)

For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

 

2.      EXAMINE YOURSELF

 

One of the greatest impedances you face to growing in Christ is failing to carefully and properly examine yourself. That’s why David wrote,

 

Psalms 139:23-24 (ESV Strong's)

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!

And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

 

Until you stop glossing over or dressing up our sin, you will never be forgiven.  The first step to any truly effective remedy for all mental and emotional afflictions is an honest assessment of one’s own sin and the acceptance of complete responsibility for one’s own moral failings.

 

3.      ACKNOWLEDGE GUILT AND STOP SHIFTING THE BLAME

 

We as the people of God need to shine our light throughout our society, and if we are to shine we need to stop shifting the blame, and not be afraid of guilt..

 

John MacArthur said, “Guilt functions in the spiritual realm like pain in the material realm. Pain tells us there is a physical problem that must be dealt with or the body will suffer harm. Guilt is a spiritual pain in the soul that tells us something is evil and needs to be confronted and cleansed.”

 

I understand, guilt is not fun and it does hurt and it does produce grief, but for the believer it goes on to produce repentance and salvation and leaves no regret

 

2 Corinthians 7:10 (ESV Strong's)

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

 

So don’t be afraid to look at yourself properly and actually acknowledge that you’ve sinned.

 

4.      CONFESS YOUR SIN

 

Proverbs 28:13 (ESV Strong's)

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

 

Let me say it again, until you recognise sin as sin, as that which separates you from God, you cannot be forgiven. Don’t cover up your sin… confess it, and let the blood of Jesus cover it over! You and I sin, it’s a fact, and until we see that as an affront to a holy God, it will bring us death.

 

1 John 1:8-9 (ESV Strong's)

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

So we, the people of God, need to lead the way for our nation and our people.  Let’s not deceive ourselves and put our actions and thoughts down to upbringing, down to some kind of mental illness or some kind or cultural influence. I’m calling the church to lead the way and just call sin sin!

 

Now please understand, I am not saying that mental illness doesn’t exist! It certainly does exist, and our counsellors and psychologists care for those people well. There are some people I know who have a mental illness for sure, and I believe that Jesus can heal mental illness just like He can heal physical illness! We need to pray for those with genuine mental illness and believe for healing.

 

But today I want us as a Church to pray for forgiveness of our sins, great and small. I’m asking you to commit yourself to honest, open, even painful examination of your life, and heartfelt confession of your sin. You may or may not have some kind of diagnosis, but I’m asking you to examine yourself.

 

It’s time we as the people of God to call sin what it is… it’s sin! As Christians, we cannot be salt and light in the world if we cherish our own sin, so today I want to challenge all of us to repent of our sin, whatever it is, and get right with God.