Sin

Sin

Scripture: Romans 5:18, 1 John 3:4, Romans 7:21-24
Date: 05/09/2009  Lesson: 6
Sin affects everyone on Earth, but Jesus provided a mean to escape for everyone.
NOTE: If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate. Please be civil to one another.


Good morning and a very, very Happy Sabbath. I'd like to welcome you to another "central study hour" coming to you from Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. I'd like to welcome those of you who are joining us this morning live on the internet at saccentral.org, watching on various television networks or listening on the radio. We don't want to forget about those of you who listen each week. I'd like to welcome you.

And as you see, we have a choir with us this morning. It's the Sacramento central church choir, joined by some of the chico adventist church choir members. And they're gonna be singing for us this morning, throughout the day. And it's gonna be a real blessing for those of us here. And if you're watching online, you get to join in too.

Those of you who aren't here and you watch on the television networks, that means you have to come here if you want to hear the choir. So come and visit us. We would love to have you. We get lots of visitors here at central, which is a very nice thing. So we welcome you.

Come and visit with us. We're gonna sing a couple songs this morning that have come in from our viewers. The first one is 590, "trust and obey." This is from emily and adrian in australia, al and mary in bahamas, pamela in Georgia, kwame in granada, herb in Hawaii, stella marie in italy, milton in jamaica, tina in Montana, joyann and anita in New York, heidi in Pennsylvania, chris and amy in peru. And they sent in a message. And they said that they just moved to the east peruvian jungle to support ongoing Bible work and medical outreach in the amazon.

And they're so grateful that they can download our Sabbath school programs. And they feel a part of this "central study hour." And so we're glad that you're joining us this morning in peru. And then sandra in the Philippines, sam in thailand and bruce and Esther in Vermont. Sing loudly. We want to hear you at home.

, "Trust and obey," st, 3rd and 5th verse... [Music] Oh, that was beautiful. I heard you at home. Or maybe it was the choir behind me. If you have a favorite song that you would like to sing, we will do our best to sing that for you as soon as possible on an upcoming Sabbath.

Go to our website at saccentral.org, click on the "contact us" link, and send them in. And we will do our best to sing those. Our next song is 508, "anywhere with Jesus," 508. This is from Michael in armenia. This is our first request from armenia, so that is very exciting.

Pino, pulotu, tamara, farai, alice and frank in australia, anne marie in bahamas, dario in barbados, rollie in California, alison in Canada, becky, jim, dianne, jamie and buffy in florida, kwabena in ghana, jessie in indonesia, jerry in Minnesota, nepuna in ireland, elsa in peru, habimana in rwanda, and chiemela in saudi arabia, tito and alma in South Dakota, gideon in south korea and dennis in Texas, , all 3 verses... [Music] Father in Heaven, we praise you and we thank you this morning that we do have that assurance that with you, we have nothing to be afraid of. We have the assurance that you are taking care of us. And wherever we go, whatever our situation right now at this very moment, with you by our side, you will take care of us, and we have nothing to fear. We thank you so much for that.

We also thank you so much for the Sabbath you have blessed us with again, for bringing us here this morning to worship you in your house. I pray that you'll be with each one that is joining with us this morning, that we will all receive a blessing from worshipping together. Be with our speaker as well as he brings us the lesson study. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time, our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at Sacramento central church, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Morning. That's nice having the residence of a choir singing along with us. Welcome to our friends, our class, both here at Sacramento central, and our class of friends who are watching from all different corners of the world. It's fun to hear about some of the online students that are doing mission work in the amazon. And we've got friends that are out in the northwest territory of Canada and they watch this through satellite.

And so we've got members all over the place of central church and of this class. And if you'd like to know more about how you can be part and be connected with the church even though you're remote, if you can either get on the internet-- a lot of people do that now via satellite--or if you are watching on one of these satellite channels, then just go to saccentral.org. And we'll adopt you. Best thing is if you can go to a neighborhood church, but if you can't do that, we want you to be connected. Go to saccentral.

org, and we have a clearing process that we take everybody through. And we'll have you be one of our online members of central church. Love to have you. I want to get an audience shot, 'cause I'm gonna ask for a show of hands. How many of you did not have a computer 10 years ago? Let's see your hands.

Okay. How many don't have a computer today? Okay, don't feel bad. That's alright. Do you have electric lights? Just checking. I wonder.

How many are now online and you've got the internet? Let me see your hands. Everybody who's on the internet or you're online, you're connected. This is for my own personal curiosity. How many of you still have dial-up as opposed to high-speed? We'll pray for you. Alright, now the reason I say that is our world has changed, the way we communicate has changed.

There's a very powerful means of doing evangelism now, and it's called the internet. And it's not only, you know, Amazing Facts does a lot on the internet. We have probably--i bet we have over 120 different registered domains, not only the Amazing Facts website, but we've got a website just dedicated to what happens when you die. It's called truthaboutdeath. We've got helltruth, very popular website actually.

Sabbathtruth is one of the most popular websites on studying the Sabbath. And--but what you can do as a member is when you e-mail people you can put a link in your e-mail so that you--you know e-mail your letters. And you have a link, and it connects with either a ministry like Amazing Facts--and there's a lot of other good ministries that we could mention. Even these satellite stations that are broadcasting this program have websites. And just by putting up a website, sometimes it peaks a person's curiosity.

And they go, "hmm, wonder what that is?" Click. And all the sudden they discover Christian programming. And so I want to encourage you; something you can do if there's an evangelistic meeting in your area. When the Amazing Facts evangelists do meetings, we all have sort of a generic evangelistic website that they can go to. We did an experiment this week.

I'm just trying to give you some ideas of things you can do. This is kind of exciting. One day we were doing some taping at the Amazing Facts office, and I had read at the Bible answer program a script--i had read an amazing fact about the number 666. And it struck me as very interesting. I said, "boy, I ought to tape that, put a few graphics in with it.

And we'll put it on youtube. It's only 4 minutes. See if we can generate some interest. It's kind of a volatile number, you know. You go to the store and cash register rings up $6.

66. And everyone goes, "ooh!" And you say, "yeah, why?" And they don't know. They just know that's that number, you know. And so we did this thing called "666." It was a 4-minute video. We put it on youtube, because that's where the world is kind of all watching these little clips.

And you gotta be careful leaving--you know, the internet's a double-edged sword. You know what I mean. But we put it on Thursday afternoon. We invited our friends to send it to their friends. In 2 days, 12,000 people.

That was of this morning; I checked it. Of course, I was 7,000 of those 12,000. I kept clicking on it. No, that's not true. But I kept wanting to check.

Twelve thousand people went there. And so it's a very powerful way. Some of you have like personal, you know, a Facebook page or myplace or some--do any of you have those? You know what I'm talking about? People put links there of their favorite studies. Put a ministry there. Put the Bible studies.

You can put the discover Bible studies. You can put the Amazing Facts Bible studies. And someone just might, out of curiosity, click and start studying the word, just because you're advertising in a very minimal way there. And so you can use the internet to share your faith. Anyway, we're trying to give you different things that you can do.

That used to be part of Sabbath school. You remember? We always talked about witnessing opportunities. Alright. Getting into our lesson. I think--oh, we have a free offer.

I always forget. The offer today, and it goes along with our study, "can a saved man choose to be lost?" It's offer number 112, "can a saved man choose to be lost?" We'll send it to you. If you ask, it's free. Amazing Facts just does this by faith. It's 866 is the phone number to make the request, 866-788-3966, an easy acronym is -study-more.

And ask for offer number 112. That's our offer, our gift for today. Getting into our lesson today on sin. When was the last time you heard a good message on something so bad? You know we should, from time to time, hear a good sermon on sin. It sounds like a paradox, but you really need to.

Because in order to appreciate salvation, you need to know what is it we're being saved from? Why did Jesus come? "He will call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from," not in, not with, "from their sins." God wants to save us from our sin. Sin is the problem. And you've got to understand what the problem is if you're going to be able to deal with it. So I've got a friend that he got a very scary doctor's report. And he called me up and he told me right after so I could pray with him.

And he said, "doug, I don't even have any idea what this is. I've never heard of it before." And so--and he didn't have the internet. And so he said, "I need to know something about it. I need to know about this problem I've got." And so I did some research and printed up just pages and pages of information, which he came over and he read on, because he thought, "if I'm gonna fight this thing, I need to know what it is." Does that make sense? And so he wanted to understand it. Now we've all got this disease called sin.

It's important that from time to time we talk about what the problem is so we can better understand what the solution is. We've got a lot of verses we're gonna consider. Of course there's our memory verse. And the memory verse is Romans 5:18, Romans 5:18. I'll be reading it from the new king James version if you wanted to follow along.

Are you ready, Romans 5:18, help me out. "Therefore as through one man's offense, judgment came to all men resulting in condemnation, even so through one man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life." Through the sin of adam, we all inherited this sinful nature. Now we'll talk a little later about what original sin is and what it is not. But we do know that through adam we've all inherited a problem. I like to simplify it by saying, prior to sin, in his unfallen condition, adam was motivated by love.

After sin, the wires got crossed. And instead of adam being motivated by love for God and love for his fellow man, the compass needle spun around and it pointed to self. The selfish heart is motivated by self-interest. To be converted means that our hearts are changed, where now we think about God first. Love for God is supreme, and love for others, and then love for yourself.

And so until a person has the new heart, they're gonna be selfish. And even selfish people can do loving things. A grizzly bear, you know, will lay down its life to protect its cubs. It doesn't mean it's nice. You know what I'm saying? So what we need is new hearts that are motivated by love.

You've all heard about president calvin coolidge. And he was famous. The one thing he was famous for--it's interested as history goes by what people remember about presidents. It's often not their political achievements or their international relations. Sometimes it's their idiosyncrasies.

And coolidge is remembered as being a man of exceptionally few words. You wonder how someone can get elected like that. So how do you campaign when you're so short and pithy in your comments. Now sometimes we wish politicians were more that way, right? But I remember one time he went to this political dinner. And some socialite was told, if you sit--she said, "I'm sitting next to the president.

" And they said, "well, you won't get three words out of him." And she said, "oh, I bet I will." She said, "I bet you won't." And so she sat down next to the president. And she jabbered and jabbered and talked and talked. And he just politely nodded and listened, didn't say anything. And finally she said, exasperated, "well, mr. President, a friend bet me that I wouldn't get three words out of you.

" He said, "you lose." He came home from church one day, a famous conversation that his wife related, and she couldn't join him. And she said, "well, how was church?" He said, "fine." "What did the pastor talk about?" "Sin." "Well, what did he say?" "He's against it." Someone said one time. "Sin will--" this is a good quote-- "sin will take you farther than you want to go. It'll keep you longer than you plan to stay. And it'll cost you more than you're willing to pay.

" That's the way it works. You know, I was clicking around on youtube the other day. And I had looked up the word "evangelists." I was trying to find something on billy graham and I found billy Sunday. And I was surprised to see they actually had a very rare black and white--oh, it must have been just a few years after thomas edison invented it--but a brief video clip of this famous evangelist billy Sunday. How many of you know who I'm talking about? I actually know one old gent; I think he's passed away.

He told me he went to a billy Sunday evangelistic sermon when he was young. They didn't even have p.a. Back then. And he was a very--well, baseball player that was converted, a very dramatic preacher. He was very animated.

He'd talk about Nebuchadnezzar going crazy. He'd get down on all fours on the stage. He just couldn't stand still when he preached. And they had this brief video clip. And he was preaching against alcohol.

And boy, it's very entertaining to watch. But billy Sunday said, "I'll kick sin as long as I've got a foot. And I'll fight it as long as I've got a fist. And I'll butt it as long as I've got a head. And I'll bite it as long as I've got a tooth.

And when I'm old and fistless and footless and toothless, I'll gum it 'til I go home to glory and it goes to perdition." That's the way he used to preach, just loud-- no loud speaker back then. And he'd have thousands of people. And if anybody made a--if babies started crying, he'd stop. If any disturbance, he'd just stop. When they'd settle down, he'd continue again.

He just pick right up. But it was very interesting, famous preacher. There are different definitions for sin. If we're gonna talk about sin, we need to find out how does the Bible define sin. Now we'll start with the most famous definition that we often use.

It's 1 John 3:4. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." Thank you. And thank you for correcting my reference. It's 1 John 3:4. "Sin is the," what? "Transgression of the law.

" How many of you have heard that before? That's a good definition. Sounds like a dictionary definition. That means whenever you break God's law, it's sin. But you sort of all knew that. Is that the only definition? No, it's not.

There's other definitions that expand it. Because sin is not just an action. If Jesus taught us anything about sin, sin can also be an attitude. Because it's something in the heart. You may not actually murder your brother, but you can be a murderer because you've got murder in your heart.

You may not actually commit adultery, but adultery begins in the heart. And you may not be a liar, but if your yea is more than yea and your nay is more than nay you could be bearing false witness. And so Jesus expanded the definition. So by that we realize it's not just an action, it's an attitude. Alright, what was next.

You have got the next microphone? What's--take the microphone away from you. Alright, go ahead. Read 1 John 5:17 right here. "All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death." Alright, so sin is the transgression of the law, which means when you do something wrong, it's sin. Righteous is the opposite of wrongeous.

And so all unrighteousness is sin. Anything you do that is unrighteous is sin. Then we had James 4:17. You have that, richard, over here? "Therefore to him who knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin." So sin is not only an action of doing something wrong; here we're learning that sin is not just doing the wrong thing. Sin is neglecting to do the right thing.

We often hear this referred to as sins of commission, is when you commit a sin. Sins of omission, they're when you neglect to do something right. So I may not beat a person up and steal their money and leave them in the gutter, but I could be sinning by walking by that person who has been beat up and left in the gutter. I didn't do it; I just neglected to help them. In the story of the good samaritan, you've got two people that are guilty of sins of omission that they didn't beat up the man that fell among thieves.

They just walked by him. One stopped and maybe said a prayer. That's all he did. You know it's interesting; in the judgment that Jesus describes in Matthew 25. The sheep and the goats, you all know what I'm talking about? And he declares to the lost, the goats, on his left hand.

I didn't mean to look on my left when I said that, sorry. I'll try not to look left or right. He says to them, "I was hungry and you didn't feed me. I was thirsty and you didn't give me drink. I was naked and you did not clothe me.

I was sick or in prison and you did not come to me. I was a stranger and you did not take me in." He lists six things. He never says they broke a commandment. All of the things he lists--these are things that are going to confine them to the lake of fire, 'cause he says to them, "depart from me cursed into the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels." What puts them there? He says, "what you neglected to do right. You neglected to love others.

" That's pretty scary. The criteria that Jesus uses in that parable, it's not the only criteria. But the criteria he uses there is, "you didn't care about anyone but yourself." And in neglecting to relieve the suffering of your fellow man, you neglected to love me." Now stay with me. This gets a little deep. We all believe that God is all powerful.

And God is all-knowing. And God is omnipresent. Part of being all-knowing is that God is what you would call omnipathic, meaning that God--pathos means to feel, when you have sympathy, right? Empathy. Pathos. It means you feel.

When you say something with pathos, you say it with feeling. God feels everything. Does the Lord know how you feel right now? He knows it better than you know. Because he knows all things, he knows when you're hungry. He knows when the sparrow's hungry.

Doesn't Jesus teach that? He knows when the polliwog is hungry. God feels that little polliwog tummy yearning for something to eat. He knows everything. Is that going too far? Does he really feel everything? So, is there a lot of happiness in the world today? Some. If you could coalesce it all into one lump, there'd be some.

Is there a lot of suffering in the world today? Does the Lord feel all that suffering? Suppose how you would feel if everybody in this church right now today made a deal with you, and they said, "look, I just don't want to feel bad for hours. And so anything bad I might feel or think, you're gonna take that for me. But you're not gonna just do it for me, you're gonna do it for everybody in this church today. And it'll begin tomorrow. Tomorrow you're gonna begin feeling all the aches and pains and heartache of everybody in this congregation for 24 hours.

" How many want to take that on? Just one little church. I mean the Bible says, "bear one another's burdens." Wouldn't you do that? Maybe for one person, not the whole church, right? How much pain does God feel every day? Not just the human pain. The whole creation groans and travails. Does the Lord feel all that? Does he really? So here's where this gets really interesting. Anything that you and I do during the day to relieve the suffering of any soul makes God feel better.

Is that right? So when Jesus says, "in as much as you've done to one of the least of these my brethren, you've done it to me." He wasn't just using metaphors and cliches and symbols and analogies. It's real. Anything you do to relieve the suffering of somebody, Christ feels that relief. Because he felt their pain. So any opportunity we pass up to relieve the suffering of somebody, we're passing up an opportunity to make God feel better.

Does that make sense? Is my theology straight? I'm not taking about pantheism here. This is just what the Bible teaches. So there's a lot of suffering in the world because of sin. You've got sins of commission. And a lot of people go to church every week, and they pat themselves on the backs, and they say, "I don't rob and I don't steal.

I don't smoke and I don't chew. And I don't go with girls that do." You've heard that before? And they feel real good about themselves. But the two people who passed up the man who fell among thieves in the parable of the good samaritan, both were church members. So there's a lot of people that go to church, and they say, "I'm not guilty of sin, these acts of sin." Sin is the transgression of the law, but God is saying it's more than that. There are sins of omission.

See? And so we've gotta be sensitive to that as well. Romans 14:23, "he who doubts if he eats, because he eats not from faith; for whatever is not of faith is sin." I especially want you to notice the last part of Romans 14:23, "whatever is not from faith is sin." It's like you pick up some change. You find a dollar bill on the ground as you're checking out at the store. And you look around and think somebody dropped this. And you pick it up and hope no one's looking, hope the video cameras don't notice.

You shove it in your pocket. You don't ask the cashier if he missed some change. You don't ask the person behind you or in front of you. You pick it up and you shove it in your pocket. Now turns out it was your dollar bill that came out of your pocket.

You dropped it. But you don't know that. You think it might be someone else's. You didn't steal, but you're not sure. So you just sinned.

You got that? You didn't steal anyone's money, but because of your lack of faith, you're not sure whether or not you did. Well, you've just had a sinful attitude. "Hope no one's looking. I'm gonna take this. Could be mine, maybe it's not.

And I'll get an extra dollar." So when you are living outside of your conscience--for him that--well, that goes on to the next one here. I don't want to read that. What did I say? John 16:9. I want to read that one next. Go ahead gene, why don't you read that? John 16:9.

"Of sin, because they do not believe in me." So is it a sin to not have faith in Jesus? That's what we're reading here. He says, "that which is not of faith is sin." And then Jesus said, "the Holy Spirit is coming to convict the world of sin because they believe not in me." It is a sin to not believe in Jesus. And then of course Romans 3:23, "for all have sinned and fallen--of the glory of God." I wanted to make sure you knew that. So falling short of the glory of God. What does that mean? We are originally made to bring glory to God.

If we are falling short of reflecting the glory of God in our lives, the image of God, or pointing to God, don't we often take the glory for ourselves? Knowing what to do and how to live for the glory of God, falling short of that is sin. So that's a pretty high standard. Does the Lord wants us to stop sinning? I mean isn't he satisfied if we cut back? Does the Lord want us to quit cold turkey or use the patch? Well, if you're not answering quickly, that's good. You should think. Can a person be experiencing sanctification and not lay off all their sins all at once? Is there a growing process in the life of victory? So it may take a while, some things.

You know the Bible says in Isaiah 1, "learn to do good." Is there a learning process? How many of you learn to do evil? If anyone does evil, you learn to do it. I mean most of us learn. No one is born smoking, I would hope. Right? Ya learn. And people learn to drink.

And the bad tempers, you say, "oh, I'm irish." No, you can't use that. You probably--well, you might have had irish parents that had a bad temper, but you learned it from them. It's not genetic. And so--well, I take that back. Some things, some characteristics are sort of genetic.

I do believe that. But I think that you learn to not have self-control like that. Or to not control it. So you can learn to do good too. There's a process of sanctification.

But how much sin does the Lord want us to give up? Why does God want us to give up all sin? Is God a perfectionist? Oh, let me add--let me ask, you know if you call someone a perfectionist today, is that a compliment or an insult? Oh it depends. If you're a brain surgeon and someone calls you a perfectionist, how many want a perfectionist for a brain surgeon? How many want to be married to a perfectionist? I saw a couple hands go up. That's probably 'cause you know you're married to an imperfectionist. If I'm going to see a brain surgeon, I want to say, "are you a perfectionist?" "Nah, I kind of go with the flow, you know. I'm a--i just, you know, go with the movement and the feelings right now.

You know, I'm not too critical." You want a brain surgeon that's a perfectionist, right? Because you don't want them to slip and say, "oh, those extra brain cells." Is God a perfectionist? He is. But you know, sometimes we act like being a perfectionist is an insult. Your only other alternative is to say that God is an imperfectionist. And God does nothing imperfectly. You might be thinking, "well, then what happened with lucifer?" God made lucifer perfect in all his ways until inequity was found in him.

God doesn't make mistakes. And so if Christ is God, and if our God is perfect, and if a Christian is a follower of Christ--you still with me? Then we have a perfect example. What should be the goal of every Christian? To be like Christ, who is perfect. Some people focus on the perfection part. And you know what? They have a miserable experience because what they do is they are focusing on the sin instead of the Savior.

And if you walk through the Christian life looking behind you at your own behavior, you're not gonna become like Christ, 'cause you take your eyes of him. The only way to get to your goal is to keep your eyes on the goal. And some people, they spend all their time studying counterfeits--now don't get upset with me, friends. I'm gonna get letters on this. But you know, even here at central church, we've got some saints, and they like to talk about all the conspiracies that are out there and all the hidden bogeymen in the church.

And you'll hear 'em talk about, "we're being infiltrated by the illuminati and the jesuits and all these secret societies. And there are little demons hiding behind every bush." And all the shapes and symbols of everything you see, there's something going on. And these dear souls get so preoccupied focusing on all the negative things that are going on out there and all the conspiracies. They take their eyes off Christ. And what do you become like? You are transformed by beholding.

You become like what you look at. We are to fix our eyes on Jesus, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our--you become like Christ when you set him before you as your goal. Alright, so Christ is perfect. If you keep your eyes on Jesus, you will become perfect and you may never know it. Watch out for people who think they're perfect.

Does that sound like I'm contradicting myself? We have a perfect Savior, and your goal is perfection. I'd be careful about people who are claiming it. The apostle Paul is gonna be in heaven. Do we all agree? By his own declaration he said, "I fought a good fight. I finished my course.

Henceforth there's laid up for me a crown of righteousness. I know who I have believed in and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." Paul had confidence he would be saved. Did Paul claim perfection? He says, "I do not count myself to be perfected. But I press on." You see. And so do you understand how that works? Now the reason this is important that you never fall for the trap of saying, "well, you know, nobody's perfect.

" Don't minimize the deadly nature of sin. Don't rationalize or justify or excuse sin. Sin will kill you. It is deadly. It killed Jesus many times over.

And when you say, "well nobody can really stop sinning." Don't ever say that. Don't claim perfection, but don't ever say, "nobody can stop sinning." Because what you do-- who tempts us to sin? Satan. How many agree the devil can tempt us to sin? Show of hands. How many believe Jesus can keep you from sin? If you start making excuses and say, "well, we all know that the devil can tempt us through sin, but nobody can really stop sinning, what you are in effect saying is your faith in the devil's ability to tempt you to sin is stronger than your faith in Jesus' ability to keep you from sin. Now am I twisting the logic or does this make sense? The devil has a very carefully orchestrated list of excuses for sin so Christians can rationalize their bad behavior.

But Jesus wants you to stop sinning. When the woman was caught in the act of sin, and he forgave her, praise God for his mercy, right? He did not come to condemn us. Praise God for the grace. But then when she got up to go away, he said, "go. Neither do I condemn you, and sin" a little less.

Is that what he said? And try to cut back on that adultery. If you're married to somebody, and you find out they've been unfaithful, but you're gonna reconcile and try to restore your marriage, would you want them to say to you, "honey, I'm gonna try and cut down." How many would accept that? Or if they said, "I'll see what I can do. I'm just gonna do my best." Wouldn't you want to hear them say, "I'm done with that other person." You want them to have the victory over that. You parents that have children might be struggling with drugs, maybe for years, or alcohol. And you've heard them say before, "you know, I'm cutting down.

" Has that ever made you feel real good? "Well, I'm glad you're not drinking as much." They're alcoholics. "I'm not drinking as much." What do you long to hear? "I'm through with it. I'm free." It's like the story you heard before about the man who ran a stop sign. And the policeman quickly pulled up behind him, jumped out. And the man's in his convertible.

And you know, he was just really irritated. He's one of these kind of ornery citizens that felt that the policeman had no right to pull him over. And the policeman came over and he said, "this is ridiculous." He says, "why don't you chasing real criminals out there." He said, "I stopped for that stop sign." He said, "you didn't stop. You slowed down." He said, "stop. Slow down.

Big deal." He said, "it's no difference." And policeman got so tired of this. They took his billy club and he started to whomp the fellow on the head with his billy club. Bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop! Policeman said, "do you want me to stop or slow down?" Is there a difference? Well, I'm not getting into the lesson. That was my introduction. We've been talking about the definition of sin.

Sin is rebellion. We're under that heading at this point. How many of you remember when king Saul was told to kill the amalekites? Killed most of 'em. He was told to execute the animals. Many of 'em were diseased.

But they said, "we'll keep the healthy ones." And he comes back, he said, "well, I've obeyed mostly." And what did Samuel say to them? He says, "you know, I kept some of the sheep to sacrifice. That's why I didn't kill 'em all." By the way, it's not much of a sacrifice when you steal something from someone else and say it's an offering to the Lord rather than offering your own. They were supposed to be killed. So they said, "well, if we don't kill them, we can say it's our offering." And Samuel says to Saul, "has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offering and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice. And to heed than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft." When we rebel against the Word of God it's as bad as just rank occult witchcraft. "And stubbornness is as inequity and idolatry." Disobedience: God calls it rebellion, witchcraft, idolatry. "Because you've rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord has rejected you from being king." When we reject the commands of God, we are rejected from our crown. Does the Lord have a crown for us? Yeah. And if you want to keep it, you must be willing to obey.

And okay, we're gonna read about the fall of lucifer now. Go ahead, rich. What are we reading again? Isaiah 14:12-14, "how you are fallen from heaven, o lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the most high.'" There was a mutiny in heaven. There was a rebellion in paradise. You know when I read this, I get kind of excited.

Some of you know we've been working on a project for 2 years called the "cosmic conflict." I think more than 2 years. And we can see it's--oh, I watched a big segment of it that's just about done now. It's so exciting. It's been pushed back a couple times. But it deals with the fall of lucifer and how perfect he was and this rebellion.

That's what it was. It was rebellion against God. And when he tempted adam and eve to sin, he tempted them to rebel against the Word of God. And it's kind of piracy. We've been hearing about piracy a lot lately where someone seizes another person's ship.

And the devil has basically kidnapped this planet like a pirate. And Jesus has offered himself as the sacrifice. It kind of makes us think about the story last week. But unfortunately by the time this is broadcast in 3 weeks there'll be some other headlines and people will have forgotten already about the captain that on "the maersk" who kind of offered himself to save the crew. And this is what Jesus did, because there was a rebellion in heaven.

And so that's what sin is. It's a rebellion. God says to adam and eve, now to cover your sin, I've introduced a sacrificial system. That's why he covered their nakedness with robes. Cain and abel were told this.

Cain rebelled. He said, "ah, you know, it doesn't matter if I do it exactly the way God says. And offering is an offering as long as I offer to the same God and it's from something that I provide. I'll offer my fruits and vegetables instead of a lamb. God said, "no, without the shedding of blood, there's no sacrifice.

" Cain said, "oh, that's messy. I'm gonna do it my way." That's rebellion. Disobedience is rebellion. And that's what happened there. Sin is "missing the Mark.

" Now that's one of the definitions. And actually the word "sin" that we use in english, it comes from an archery term. If someone shot an arrow at a target and they missed the target, they would pronounce "sin." Now there's different kinds of sin. You've got the kind of sin that's sort of the high handed sin where a person knows what the Lord wants and they deliberately disobey. You know, I have people ask me periodically, "Pastor Doug, if I sin deliberately can God forgive me?" Is there a difference between deliberate sin and accidental sin? When eve ate the forbidden fruit, was that a presumptuous deliberate sin or was it accidental? Well, did the serpent hold her down and force the fruit in her mouth or did she choose? Did she know what God said? Matter of fact, when the serpent challenged what the Lord said, she repeated what God said back to 'em.

She knew exactly what God wanted. So she went into that with her eyes open so to speak. Could she be forgiven? Adam and eve both, they knew what they were doing. You know what's dangerous about presumptuous sin is there's a lot of people who are professed Christians. And we sin.

And in the back of our minds, we say, "well, I know this is wrong. But I want to do it. And I know God is merciful and he's forgiven me so many times. I'll presume that he'll forgive me again." And so we deliberately go into sin and we presume on God's grace. And then afterword maybe we do feel bad.

And we are sorry. And we want that peace again. We pray. We repent. God forgives us.

We feel much better. And we say, "hey, that wasn't so bad. Maybe I can presume to sin again and repent again. And we get into this cycle of deliberately sinning and then just going through the ritual of asking forgiveness. And it's almost like we schedule it until pretty soon you've got what they have in some churches where you just, you know, you do your daily or your weekly confessional and then you kind of walk away and it's like you've purchased an indulgence to sin for another week.

That's not what repentance is about. Repentance is supposed to be a turning away from sin, a sorrow for sin. The danger of deliberate sin and presuming on God's mercy, it's not that God runs out of forgiveness. Every time we deliberately sin, we start to destroy our capacity to genuinely repent for that sin. You know, when you go through that first heart-felt repentance and you're so thankful for the forgiveness and the peace that comes when that guilt is taken away, for you go back and to resume that burden of guilt is dangerous.

You can get to the place where you lose the sense of conviction. And that's, see, that's where you start to run into that scary word, the unpardonable sin. That's where you get to the place, not that God won't forgive you, but you lose your capacity to be convicted for sin. You lose your capacity to repent, 'cause you can't repent for your sins if you have no conviction about it. If someone was to take a 20-pound weight and put it on your chest while you're laying down, how many of you think you'd feel that? But if someone was to take a 500-pound weight and put it on a corpse, would the corpse feel it? Does the dead person feel the weight of sin? Can you lose that sense of conviction? Are there people out there in the world right now that are on their way to destruction and have no idea that they're living with this burden? They just--until the Holy Spirit gives them life and wakens their conscience, they're not even aware of their sin.

Are we living in a culture that is losing conviction for sin? I saw something on the news last night. Actually, it was before Sabbath, yesterday afternoon, where somebody was defending gay marriage, and this is just on a mainline news station, I think it was cnn, and lambasting Christians, and saying Christians need to stop because they're putting this guilt on people. And I think they were talking about some boy in school who committed suicide because he struggled with homosexual tendencies. And they were blaming the church and said, "the church needs to stop preaching that homosexual lifestyle is a sin." And they're trying to reverse the arrows, the direction. And boy, I'll tell ya, our culture is in big trouble.

Pretty soon, you watch, you preach about sin, whatever it is. And it's gonna be called a hate crime. Matter of fact, that's already happened. I heard in sweden, pastor was in prison, 'cause he told his congregation exactly what the Bible said about homosexuality. He got reported, and they put him in jail.

Sweden. You can see the day--and that happens in Canada too. But I think it starts with fines. You can see the day coming where you preach certain doctrines, and I'm not even talking about the moral doctrines. I'm talking about prophetic doctrines that might talk about certain belief systems that you think are unbiblical.

You start identifying the beast of Revelation; they're gonna call it a hate crime. So we cannot get to the place we're afraid to call sin, sin. That's what the devil wants to happen. He wants to anesthetize us so we lose all sensation of what it is. One of the best things that can happen is for us to be convicted of our sin.

You know before-- sin is a form of slavery. All through the Bible, sin is communicated as bondage. Why does God want to save us from our sins? 'Cause he wants to take away all our happiness? Or because sin is what hurts us? The children of Israel, when he delivered them from their slavery, and the Bible goes into great detail to impress upon us. It was hard labor. They served with rigor.

There was no rest. It was brutal. It was a drudgery. They languished. Their existence was misery.

And Moses says, "let my people go!" He comes to deliver them, to give them freedom, their own nation, to live under their own vine and fig tree, live in their own house, drink from their own well, be free people. And he's gonna take them from the slavery to the freedom. Moses comes like Jesus, said, "let my people go!" Devil doesn't want to let go. And he says, "you know, they're really much happier here. They won't be happy in the wilderness.

They won't be--something could happen to them." It's amazing, the pharaoh, the way he acts like he cares about them. "I've got your best interest in mind." It's slavery! Sin is slavery. And Jesus wants to set you free. Even after Moses delivered the children of Israel from Egypt, and they're in the wilderness, how many times did they say, "wasn't it better back in Egypt?" Didn't they say that? Does that ever happen to us? We forget that sin is slavery. And that God wants to save us from it.

And the devil starts to say, "man, you know, before I lived this Christian life, and I just did whatever I felt like doing, seems like it was easier back then." Are there struggles on the way to the promised land? Sure there are. But how much better is it to be in the wilderness on your way to the promised land with the Lord, to be free, than to be back in Egypt? Everybody serves somebody. You'll either serve the devil or you'll serve the Lord. There's no two-- there's no third option. "Whoever you obey," Paul says in Romans 6, "that's whose servant you are.

" And if we sin, we're obeying the devil; we become servants of the devil. So the Lord wants to save us from that slavery. Proverbs 5:22, "his own inequities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught with the cords of his sin." Paul speaking in acts 8:23, or actually this is Peter, "for I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity." It's a bondage. And God wants us--to set us free from that. How do we obtain forgiveness for sin? Now I know I've diverged from the lesson a little bit, but I'm running out of time.

And I just want to mix in the solution with the problem here. The Bible says first of all we need to have conviction. We need to confess our sins. Proverbs 28:13, "he who covers his sin will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy." And the Bible speaks about there is a corporate sin. You know, Daniel says, "while I was confessing my sin and the sin of my people," in Daniel 9:20.

We need to confess our sin. If we are praying in the Lord's prayer, "forgive us our debts." It's not just my sin I want forgiven; I want you to be forgiven of your sin, right? And repent. Repent of our sins, confess our sins, and then it says, "and turn from their sins." God wants us to not only be sorry for our sin, but he wants us to make a u-turn. Amen? And live a new life. Can we do that? Only one way.

You need a new heart. Listen to this. And I'll close with this verse. Ezekiel 36:26, "I will give you a new heart and I will put a new spirit within you; I will take away your heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh," a heart that feels. "I will put my spirit within you," listen: how do we live a holy life? "And cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will keep my judgments and do them.

" Only by having a new heart and his spirit within us can we live a new kind of life. If we're trying to live a new life with the old heart, you're attempting an impossibility. It's only through love for God that you-- "if you love me, keep my commandments." It's only if we love him. "Showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments." We gotta love him. It says, "then you will dwell in the land that I gave your fathers; and you will be my people, and I will be your God.

And I will deliver you from all your uncleanness." It's the new heart that we need to be saved from sin. And you get that through the new birth, which comes from coming to Jesus just like you are, friends. And I hope you do that. I want to remind our friends that are watching, we have a free offer if you missed it at the beginning of the program. I hope you send for it.

It's called, "can a saved man choose to be lost?" Call the number: 866-788-3966. We'll send it to you. And ask for offer number 112. God bless you, friends. I'm sorry we've run out of time.

We got a lot of lesson left, but I think we got something edifying in our study together. Until next Sabbath. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our website at amazingfacts.org. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs including "Amazing Facts presents." One location, so many possibilities, amazingfacts.org. Hello, friends.

I'm supposing that you know that Amazing Facts is % viewer supported. If you've appreciated these programs, if it's been a source of encouragement for you and if it's blessed your life, we'd love to hear from you. The only way we can stay on this network and these stations is because viewers just like you contact us and let us know. Why don't you drop us a line or even go to the website, amazingfacts.org, and send us a note of encouragement and support so we can stay on the air.

Name:

Email:

Prayer Request:


Share a Prayer Request
Name:

Email:

Bible Question:


Ask a Bible Question