Imagine walking into an expensive restaurant and seeing an old friend, already enjoying his dinner. When you see the half-eaten feast on your friend’s table, you think to yourself, “Wow! He’s really pigging out tonight. That’s going to be huge bill.” You wave to your friend and he waves back. When you finish your dinner the waiter brings your check. To your surprise, the waiter has added someone else’s meal to your ticket. “What’s the meaning of this,” you ask the waiter. The waiter replies, “Your friend said you wouldn’t mind picking up the tab, so we put his meal on your bill.”
Personally, I would be outraged with such a person and I would no longer consider that man a “friend.” But are we doing the same thing to God?
Are we being presumptuous about God’s grace? Do we say things like, “Well, if it is wrong, God’s grace will cover it”? In other words, “I’m going to pig out and expect God to take care of the consequences. I believe that is the grossest form of arrogance alive in the religious world today!
A Watered-Down Gospel
The gospel has become so watered-down and perverted that we have a generation of people who have a completely warped understanding of Christ, Christianity, and the grace of God. The true gospel of Jesus Christ brings about repentance in those who understand it and respond to it (Titus 2:11-12), but many have abandoned Jesus’ message of, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Instead, we teach that Jesus just wants you to enjoy yourself, and He’ll pick up the tab.
How can you read the words of Christ and think Jesus takes sin so lightly? How can you think He is alright with you continuing to live like the world? Jesus taught radical repentance! He said, “And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire” (Matthew 18:8-9).
The horror of the cross should teach us about the love of Christ, but also about the destructive and damnable nature of sin. If you think wearing a cross around your neck or calling yourself a “Christian” gives you a license to continue in a sensual and profligate lifestyle, you don’t understand the Good News!
A Hodgepodge Religion
This live-however-I-want-and-assume-God-will-forgive-me religion is anything but Christianity. Christianity embraces God’s love, forgiveness, and mercy but does not take it for granted! Sure, you can find many verses about God’s mercy and forgiveness in Scripture, but how do you ignore all the verses concerning repentance and righteous living?
Please understand the truth, you cannot save yourself by living a sin-free life, but you also cannot be saved by Christ while continuing to presumptuously live in sin!
None of us are perfect. We all have sin and struggles. John wrote, “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:10). But he also went on to write, “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning…” (1 John 3:4-8a).
If we understand the gospel, we will do our best NOT to sin (1 John 2:1). If we understand the gospel, we will not become sinfully-presumptuous about God’s grace!
- Please do not, “pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” (Jude 4).
- Please do not, “presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance” (Romans 2:4).
- Please do not, “go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth,” because if you do, “there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27).
I hope this gives you something to think about. I hope you’ll think twice before presumptuously charging a sin to Christ’s account! You’ll never be able to pay Him back – so please don’t try – but stop assuming He doesn’t mind you continuing to do that which sent Him to the cross!
I love you and God loves you,