Tolerance of Sin
have no fellowship ‘ A nd with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”(Ephesians 5:11 KJV) In 1939 Rhett Butler uttered his famous ending words to Scarlett O’Hara in the film “Gone With the Wind,” which was the first time that a curse word was heard in cinema. The use of the curse word was objected by censors as it used a word prohibited by the 1930 Motion Picture Production Code. Fast-forward to 2013 and Martin Scorsese’s “Wolf of Wall Street,” a film that contains 828 expletives and is said to contain one particular word (which will not be referenced) an average of 2.8 times every minute of the 179 minutes of the film.
This is just one of many examples that can be taken to prove the point that society has become numb to sin.
We have reached a point that sin takes place around us on a daily basis and, at times, not so much as an eyebrow is raised.
This simply is not the way that God would have it to be. Paul writes to a congregation of Christians that was surrounded by sinful activity, and encourages them to “have no fellowship” with the things that were happening around them, and as America looks more and more like Ephesus of old, may we be encouraged to do the same.
In order for us not to have an attitude of tolerance toward sin, we must first turn from them. We are have no fellowship or “joint participation” with the sinful works of darkness. In order to not have fellowship with sin, we must repent of sin (Acts 17:30). The Scriptures remind us that “all have sinned” (Rom.
3:23; that is to say that all of an accountable age have sinned), and being that we sin God hides His face from us and has no fellowship with us (Isa. 59:2; 2 Cor.
6:14). In order for us to have our fellowship restored to God we must be cleansed by the blood of Christ (1 John 1:7). After having this fellowship restored to God we must continue to “walk in the light” or live as one who has been redeemed.
There is no excuse for a person that has put on Christ in baptism and continue in sinful activities. We are to put to death our sinful practices (Rom. 6:3ff; Col.
3:5), and being that the “old man of sin” has been put to death we must not attempt to resurrect it.
In order for us not to be tolerant toward sin, we must turn from the works of darkness and be willing to reprove them. This is something that will cause many to balk in their fight of faith. Many people today have lost their sense of militancy for Christ, for the church, and for the Word of God, but the Scriptures remind us time and time again that we are to fight, contend for the faith, put on the armor of God, and drive out sin, withstanding Satan in everything that we do. Sadly, many that claim to be Christians are not strong enough in the faith to reprove sin in the lives of others because they are tolerant of sin and may be guilty of sin also.
The child of God must be one that is unashamed of the Gospel, and unafraid to preach the Word in season and out of season, reproving of sin at any and all costs.
Satan has lulled many to sleep and has sent wolves in sheeps clothing to send chaos and confusion among the fold of Christ, but Christians must study the Word, and use it in order to do all we can to save those that are tolerant of sin and those that are continually committing sin.
The only thing that needs to take place for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing, but in order for change to take place and sin be driven out of the land it is going to take men and women to not be afraid to stand up and speak up and not stand for sinful practices to take place among us. We may not win a popularity contest, but if we do all we can to reprove of sin we will win a crown on the Day of Judgment.
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7–8 KJV)
Jeremy Thornton is Minister of Highway 77 Church of Christ in Marion.