The area where Christ was crucified was not originally inside the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem. But as the city grew, was attacked, destroyed & rebuilt, the walls expanded. This is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the area identified as the site where Christ was Crucified & buried. The care of the church is handled by 6 denominations: Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Roman Catholic , Coptic, Ethiopian and Syriac Orthodox churches.
But if you are Christian, there is only one Church, and Christ is the Head (Colossians 1:18).
We are many denominations (and non-denominations) because God expresses Himself in a myriad of glorious ways. But, we are one Body: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.“1 Corinthians 12:5-7
God Bless you all
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So many people think that God is vengeful & mean, just sitting on His throne in heaven waiting to zap us with a thunder-bolt every time we do something wrong.
For starters, that image is more appropriate to a pagan God, like Zeus or Odin.
When I speak of God, I am speaking of the One True Living God. God the Creator. Jehovah, El Shaddai. The God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. God the Father, the One who sent His only Begotten Son, Jesus, who is also God, and the Holy Spirit. The divine Trinity.
I make this distinction for a reason. God, little “g”, represents many different things to different people. When someone says they believe in god, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they believe in the Judeo/Christian God, or Jesus, who is the only one who gives us access to the real, true living God, big “G”:
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ~ John 14:6
Now that I have laid that foundation, back to the reason for this post: God hates sin. No ifs, ands or buts. Anyone who says differently is trying to sell you something…or deceive you…and is deceived themselves.
Sin is anything that God says is sin, or sinful. Sin is not subject to trends or societal mores. There are no acceptable & unacceptable sins in God’s eyes. That’s a human construct. That is, if the human in question even considers the reality of sin. Many people don’t and are highly offended by the use of the word. Here is one thing the Lord says in regard to sin and sinners:
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!” ~ Isaiah 5:20-21
Good is also whatever God says is good, just so we’re clear. There are many good things that our western society calls bad: monogamy, integrity, obedience to authority, truth, freedom, purity, forgiveness, mercy, etc.
Since I am a parent, a mom, I’m going to share with you what God has shown me in regards to hating sin, from a parent’s perspective. I think anyone, though, who truly loves someone else can relate to the example I’m going to use.
As a parent, I hate anything that has the potential to hurt or destroy my child. Let’s use addiction as an example for this post. What my child may see as good or desirable or harmless, like say drugs or alcohol, I see as a threat to my child’s health & well-being. Just because something is legal or natural does not exempt it from being dangerous. While liquor is legal for adults over 21, how many people’s lives have been destroyed because of someone’s misuse or overuse of beer, wine or distilled beverages? The same applies with drugs, dangerous sexual activity, gambling, food, spending money…whatever. The addicted person is no longer in control of that thing. Instead, the thing is now controlling them.
I am not saying it’s a sin if you drink alcohol. Just please consider what I am saying. As a parent, no matter how young or old your child is, it hurts to see the one you love enslaved to an addiction of any kind. Marriages are destroyed because of addictions. Families break apart, children are scared, scarred & abused because someone in their world is under the control of something stronger than they are. The reality of an alcohol addiction is not the breezy, beachy Corona scene of commercials:
It more often looks like this:
If your child or loved one is under the control of alcohol, do you have warm, fuzzy thoughts when you see them drunk? Are you happy to see that six-pack enter your house? Is it a pleasant surprise when you find liquor bottles hidden in a closet or stashed under a bed? My guess is you would hate the thing that is contributing toward the destruction of your child, spouse or friend. I know I would.
After a period time you may start to resent and hate the person too, if you’re not careful. After all, they are causing you a lot of emotional pain, possibly physical pain as well.
You hate the thing that is destroying your child. God hates sin, because it destroys the ones He loves…us. And here’s the thing: everyone has sin. Not one person is exempt from the condition or consequences of sin because we are born with it:
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3:23
“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.” 1 John 1:8
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12
Now, as a parent, spouse or friend of someone who is addicted to (*fill in the blank), wouldn’t you do anything to see them set free, healthy & whole?
God has already done something. Sin does not have to hold you in bondage any longer. You’ve heard it before, but hear it again:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17
God is giving you an escape, a way out of the sin that you were born with and can never be rid of on your own.
“Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.…” John 3:18
Just like an addicted person who thinks they can handle their (*fill in the blank) and doesn’t need any help from anyone, we can never do enough good works or be “good enough” in and of ourselves to satisfy the righteous standard of a Holy God.
God punished sin when Jesus, His sinless Son, willing went to the cross & took the sin of the world upon Himself… past, present & future…suffering a punishment we all deserve but are spared when we accept His sacrifice on our behalf.
Haven’t their been instances when someone you love is suffering, and you think, “Oh please Lord, let it be me and not them!” This is what Jesus has done for you. He suffered in your place. He took our sin, and the punishment our sin deserves, because of His unfailing love:
“Greater love has no one than this, that one should lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Jesus laid down His life for you. Receive the mercy, cleansing & love He paid such a high price to give to you and be free.