As I look at my life, and try to honor God in how I live, and in how I treat others, I recognize that on the subject of broken human nature, all sin has consequences. I also recognize that we're called to repent from those sins. This is a choice we are given. Once we acknowledge our sin, we are to turn from it, and reconcile those choices with God, and with anyone our sins may have injured. Born with a fallen nature, we are given new life in Christ. Where on one hand we are saved by His grace, on another hand we are given a choice how to respond to God, and whether we allow ourselves to go on sinning. We can humble ourselves, which often times is the hard road, asking God for our forgiveness—or we can neatly package our sin as not sin at all, and blame others for our bad choices.
I had a conversation with a friend recently on this subject of sin. Not the sin we recognize in ourselves, that we confess to and turn from, rather the sin one enters into before it is committed, fully aware that it is sin.
We discussed how in certain cases, after repeated sin, God will turn from and abandon this individual, and allow them to continue their sinful desires to their heart's content. The idea of being abandoned by God is frightening. How at some point in someone's life, or lineage, God will turn His back on them. Abandon them. And yet they will be living their life with the false sense that they are in God's grace. They will be enjoying the pleasures of the world, and, as Charlie SHeen would say..."Winning! Duh!"
But what did God say about those who go on sinning? Those who profess a faith and acknowledge their Savior Christ, but refuse to turn from these sins, repent, and reconcile these poor choices? Worse still, what about those those who knowingly enter into sin exclaiming Christ's grace is sufficient to relinquish them from judgement, because He is love, and because he forgives sin?
Can one be in the light and in the dark at the same time?
It's clear that when you make a decision to lie and deceive, and to dishonor promises you made to God, you separate yourself from the light. In fact, God speaks of His anger at such sin in Romans 1:24, where he says...
24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired.
The idea of being abandoned by God is sobering. It's never great to sense that you might be experiencing God's discipline in your life, but it is something to be grateful for, just as children whose parents don't discipline them often crave it in their adult life, sensing their parents didn't love them. Like their parents had abandoned them. But the idea of having God turn His back on you? That's a frightening thought.
After all...God is love. Right? He will not judge people for their sins? Once saved, always saved, right? Even those with cursory level faith acknowledge He is the embodiment of Love. He modeled it for us in Christ. Christ understands our trials, temptations, and the injustices we face in the world, while being blameless and holy Himself, Christ saw the world from our human and sinful perspective. So then–why not go on sinning, and let everyone know that God will forgive you?
God's word is clear on this. And while His word is intolerant to many, it's quite clear on how God feels about sin and broken promises.