Every news media outlet carried numerous stories regarding the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
The stories were often personal and poignant involving survivors from the twin towers, or the relatives of those that did not survive. Each was emotionally gripping in its own way.
One that we saw that was interesting and insightful was an interview on Fox News that Neil Cavuto had with an Episcopal Priest, Dr. Russell Levenson from Houston, Texas.
Cavuto asked Levenson questions about bring people together and how to comfort those whose relatives and been murdered in the terrorist attacks.
Levenson offered some good advice about the importance of turning to faith in tough times. Quoting Paul Harvey, he reminded us that “there will be no peace on earth until there is peace within.”
Levenson was correct when he said that the societal ills “we’re facing now are far more spiritual than they are… economic or political.”
However, as he ended the interview Cavuto summed up his impression of Levenson’s approach by offering this observation.
“I think the secret to your success has been that you listen, and you don’t scold people. You don’t talk about them being sinners. You talk about them as being genuine human beings who the Lord loves, regardless of your faith, denomination.”
The attitude of our age is don’t scold people. Don’t call anyone a sinner. Don’t condemn sin. And by all means in the ecumenical spirit of our post-modern culture, embrace any religion. Any faith. And religious belief without any judgment.
While the Bible certainly reminds us to “encourage one another,” “comfort one another,” and “edify one another,” topics we’ve written about extensively on ThePreachersWord, it also addresses the seriousness of sin.
- Sin is unrighteousness (I Jn 5:7).
- Sin is a transgression of God’s law (I Jn. 3:5).
- Sin is a reproach to any people (Prov. 14:34).
- Sin evokes the anger of God. Every day. (Ps. 7:11).
- Sin deadens our spiritual senses (Eph. 2:1-2).
- Sin is directed by the Devil himself and makes the sinner like him (I Jn. 3:8).
- Sin separates us from God (Isa. 59:1-2).
- Sin’s wages are spiritual death and eternal punishment (Rom. 6:23).
Sin is serious. It sullies the soul. Sears the conscience. And soils the heart.
The only remedy for sin is cleansing by the blood of Jesus Christ (I Jn. 1:7; Rev. 1:5). Salvation is only found in and through Jesus (Ax. 4:12). Not Mohammad. Not Buddha. Not Brahman.
Jesus emphatically stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6).
We live in an age where people want to accept any religious belief no matter how far-fetched, or bizarre it may be.
The Bible records that Jesus, on more than one occasion, scolded those whose traditions had corrupted the Word of God with a scathing denunciation, calling them ‘hypocrites, “blind guides,” and “whitewashed tombs” (Matt. 23).
The golden text of the Bible reminds us that God loves us and desires that we be saved. That’s why He sent Jesus to earth to die for our sins.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (Jn. 3:16).
God’s love is universal. Salvation, however, is conditional. Based on our belief in, acceptance of, and obedience to Jesus Christ. Jesus plainly stated.
“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (Jn.. 8:24).
In His famous Mountain Message Jesus warns, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21).
Failing to condemn sin, teaching salvation has no conditions, and accepting every religious belief as equally valid does not harmonize with Biblical doctrine. Such acceptance will not accomplish salvation. But only eternal separation from God.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman