Lord, We Have Sinned Against You!

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Turn AroundWhatever is currently unfolding in America, politically and/or spiritually, it has something to do with sin. And yet, it seems that the awareness of that word has vanished from the Nation...even in the Church world. Even though our Nation stands at some sort of crossroads for the future with this Presidential election, few seem to connect where we are to sin or any specific behaviors that need to change. Somehow everybody is doing "OK" and if there is something wrong, it is being done by someone else. Everyone else is to blame...We are doing fine. That is the thinking of many.

Now the entire Bible is set up around two basic, foundational principles that have vanished from our public life. Those principles are repentance and redemption. People need to realize they have done something wrong, have sinned or broken the Lord's laws and need to turn back or repent to the Lord for His redeeming love and forgiveness. It sounds fairly simple, but it is not. The reason that acknowledging our sin is seemingly impossible for many is because when we do it brings us to an awareness we are under the Lord's judgment for our behavior and in need of grace. As a result, most people ignore sin and hope it goes away.....But it never does.

If you want to see how serious this problem is just go to any local church and count how many times you hear the word "sin" in the service or how many times you hear the word "salvation" or "redemption". In the last few years, many of our churches have tended to move away from people being saved or finding a Savior to feeling better about themselves and achieving "spiritual wellbeing". This party explains why the Church doesn't understand the basic message of the Gospel. The Gospel means "good news", but that presupposes that there is bad news. That bad news is that the Lord must judge our sin and people will "perish" (John 3:16) without a Savior. But if the Lord doesn't really do that stuff anymore and judgment doesn't exist, then the Gospel message isn't really needed. And if people don't see themselves as sinners facing judgment for sin and in need of saving grace, then what is the real purpose of the Church? Is the Church just a social club for nice people that believe in God? And if that is the case, did Jesus really need to die on the cross? Aren't we basically "good people" that can work things out on our own with a little help from God now and then?  Those are the questions of the hour.

Now when the Lord Jesus Christ began His public ministry, it is instructive that the very first words our of His mouth were about "repentance".  In Mark 1:15 our Lord says,
"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!"
This passage marked the turning point in history when the Lord of the world, in the fullness of time, explained the entire purpose of His ministry and reason for coming into the world. Our Lord came to call people to turn to Him or repent and receive His forgiving grace, the good news of the Gospel. Without that simple turning to Him for repentance we would all perish in our sins. Our Lord continued this same call to repentance throughout His ministry in places like Luke 13:1-5 where we hear about this most basic need to repent or turn to the Lord for forgiveness because all of us have sinned.
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. "Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
Our current political chaos is an important barometer that the sins of the nation have reached a crisis point that threatens the entire future of America. The idea that the Lord is not going to do anything about our sin on any level is delusional. Such thinking entirely ignores reality, our own criminal justice system, the history of the Bible and what the Lord did to Israel. And while talking about the judgment of the Lord is not ever going to be popular, it is happening now before our eyes. How can we miss it? Our nation is crumbling from within because of our sin. We have pushed the Lord out of our national life, we can't talk about God in our schools,  we are trillions of dollars in debt that can never be paid back, we have aborted untold millions of our citizens, we have destroyed the Biblical concept of family, tried to eliminate male and female, entered into rioting and violence that have started to become common place in our streets, and turned against one another in a way that has completely divided the nation. Such sin cannot go on forever. God must act soon... and He will!

Most Christians today have largely forgotten what the Lord did to His own people Israel during similar times of national sin and apostasy. The Lord sent prophets to warn the people over and over to turn back to Him. The Lord called Israel back to Himself with love and mercy for years. But when the majority of people refused to repent, judgment fell on them through the destruction of the nation from within and by outsiders such as the Assyrians, Babylonians and Romans. Our Lord Jesus warned about this coming judgment from the Romans that finally came after most of them would not turn to Him. As our Lord headed to the cross, He made this prophecy about their future in Luke 23:26-30,

When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus. And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. But Jesus turning to them said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. "For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' "Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'fall on us,' and to the hills, 'cover us.'

Our Lord's prophecy of coming judgment to Israel for rejecting Him came 40 years later during the Jewish Wars with the Roman Empire.  At that time, from 66-73 A.D.,  Israel fought against the mighty Roman Empire for 8 bloody years. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, who was an eyewitness to everything,  the war with Rome led to over 1 million deaths and countless suffering and chaos. Things got so bad in the City of Jerusalem during the Roman seige that Jews turned to cannibalism because of their starvation and suffering was so severe. Their glorious Temple was burned to the ground and all of their national treasures were looted.  Those that survived the horrific seige were sold as slaves and sent to Rome and all over the Empire under the worst possible conditions. All of this horror and terror had been prophesied by  our Savior, who had called them to turn to Him and live.

Sadly, the very idea that the Lord is going to judge our national or personal sin seems like "science fiction" to many. Most believe it will never happen. It doesn't seem real. Such thinking seems too negative to a world, and even a church, that has not only lost the belief that sin exists, but that the Lord must do something about it or God wouldn't be God. After all, if sin is never dealt with or punished the Lord would be unjust. That is why in the fullness of time God did act and sent the Lord Jesus Christ to the cross. No sin was ever ignored by the Lord as the Apostle Paul reminds us about the cross in Romans 3:25-26 where he says,
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—He did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
And so, the Gospel story of history is that God punishes sin. People either receive God's mercy as they repent or turn to the Lord for mercy or deal with sin on their own terms and face the Lord's judgment. That same, exact pattern is underway tonight in America and around the world.

So, we can't simply blame politicians or anyone else in this hour for what is happening to our Nation. All of us must look at ourselves and realize we too have sinned in one way or another before the Lord. As the judgments of the Lord are beginning to fall on America, we must examine our lives and turn to the Lord for mercy. Daniel 9:4-19 contains one of the greatest prayers of repentance in the Bible. Daniel shared his broken heart over his sin and that of the nation in verses 4-6 as he realized that everyone has sinned,
I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, "O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. "Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.
This national spirit of repentance, displayed by Daniel, culminates in the personal story of the Prodigal Son, the most famous of our Lord's parables. In Luke 15:21-24 we hear,
'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' "But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate.
All of us are "prodigals". The Lord is calling everyone in America to repent while we can. We all have all sinned and fallen short of the Lord's glory (Romans 3:23). We all need to find our Lord as our wonderful Savior and celebrate with Him as the Prodigal Son did in Luke 15. The national chaos going on in America tonight is a loud "wake up" call from a loving Lord to come home. Whatever happens to our beloved Nation, we can be assured of a glorious future for ourselves with our Lord Jesus Christ and in His coming kingdom...if we turn to Him now. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). Pass it on.