the taboo subjects sin and hell
As Christians we have to grapple with some very difficult issues. Many of these issues are front and center with us in the culture. We have issues of gender and sexuality. We look at our world and we ask what is our proper stance on immigration. We deal with a very heated political climate. Those of us who are part of the Christian family must engage and deal with these issues within the greater culture, however; we also have issues that are uniquely Christian . these are issues that we have to address with in our faith. These issues are things that are uncomfortable but nevertheless things that must be addressed. Two major issues within our faith that are extremely uncomfortable and thus not often addressed are the issues of sin and Hell. On numerous occasions in the Old and New Testament Hell is addressed. In terms of Sin the Bible informs us that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Nobody likes to have their shortcomings placed front and center. nobody likes to look in the mirror and see the imperfections, but the Christian faith must be a faith of self reflection. For us truly to understand our faith we must understand that we are indeed sinners. It is a central tenet of our faith to understand that the price for sin is Hell. Now some may ask why are these two subjects so important? With all we have going on in the world today why is it important for Christian to address Sin and Hell? The answer to that question is actually quite simple. By understanding that we are all sinners , and by understanding the price of that sin is hell, it helps us to better understand God’s mercy and grace. Mercy is God choosing not to give us what we deserve, Grace is God blessing us with what we do not deserve, and cannot earn. The Bible tells us that God loves us so much that he gave his only Son so that all who believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. if we are to truly understand the gift that God has given to us we need to understand the punishment that we would endure had we not receive that gift. We cannot truly understand and appreciate the gift of the Son if we do not truly understand the penalty that we should pay, but the Son paid for us. In other words we cannot truly understand and appreciate the grace and mercy of God without accepting that we are indeed sinners and that the price for that sin would have been Hell had it not been for the gift Of Jesus Christ.
It is important to note that although we must address the issue of Sin and Hell, these issues cannot be our sole focus. When Sin and hell become the sole focus we can fall into a legalistic works righteousness way of thinking and this is not healthy. The preaching and teaching about Sin and Hell must always be balanced by the fact that we are given mercy and grace by God. When we speak about the coming judgment of God we must also address the fact that God loved us so much that he has withheld judgment so that many may have the opportunity to come to him. I think one of the most important lessons that we learn when we accept the fact then we are sinners and that the price of sin is Hell, is that we come to understand that through the grace of God and the blood of Christ we are saved; We can see the grace of God and hopefully that will help us to be more gracious, we can see the forgiveness that we have received and be more forgiving, we can see the mercy that has been given to us and we can be more merciful.