Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Habakkuk 1:13
Since Azaiah died I have been changed, a lot for the better. I have always loved God. I have always had him somewhere on my heart, even in the days I refused to serve him. But now I love him because I know him. I love him for showing up for me every single day and minute of my life. He has walked so closely with me these past months that I cannot help but acknowledge him and praise him. I cannot wake without him on my heart. I cannot walk through a day without him on my mind. He is ever-present. He is more than real. He is my breath.
And now, since Azaiah, died I cannot help but pass on his words to others, all of them. I know what is at stake. Death used to be a distant possibility. Now it is a daily reality.
I used to be shy about the gospel. Truthfully, there was a time I was ashamed of it. I was eager to share the message of God’s love, but I was embarrassed to share the message of his wrath. Now I also know that you cannot have one with out the other.
Some people don’t like that I spoke against the lewdness of Miley Cyrus or her mother, who literally applauded her defiance to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I am sad that young girls behave that way, some one stage and some in the hallways of their junior high. My heart hurts because they sell their bodies and neglect their heart and their character. But most of all I am sad because they have lost the concept of holiness. They have forgotten the teaching, “be holy for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). And no matter how we got there, those deeds must be rebuked, not ignored, not excused and not written off to personal differences in judgement. They must be called what they are. Sin.
At this point in my faith and in my relationship with my Creator I just have to say what he puts on my heart. Some days I feel a little like Jeremiah:
But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it! Jer. 20:9
Jeremiah was a hard core prophet who warned about the punishment that was coming if God’s people didn’t repent. Jeremiah’s message mirrored a lot of other prophets from Samuel to Isaiah to Ezekiel. They delivered a message of repentance. Stop sinning or else.
The New Testament starts off with the same message. As John baptized with water he preached repentance (Mt. 3:11). He said,
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them. John 4:36
I know that message isn’t popular. In fact it is polarizing. We are a people of tolerance. We are a people of acceptance. We are a people who squirm at the notion of judgement of any kind. But I want to know, what ever happened to sin?
What happened to the message of the prophets? What happened to the message of John the Baptist that said, “who ever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them”?
What happened to the boldness of men like John who rather get their head served up on a platter than recant that message (Mt. 14)?
I don’t particularly like this message honestly. It is not an easy message. I am not entertained by it. I certainly don’t find personal satisfaction in it. But I believe it to be truth. We need to hear the word repent more often. We may have struggles. We may have strong holds. We may have weaknesses. But the truth is we also have sin. Plain old sin. Sin that we need to repent of. The words of the Savior say:
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” -Jesus the Christ