In the most recent weeks, there has been a great amount of violence in this country which has prompted activists and politicians to make statements supporting agendas which they have been attempting to push for years. One says it is definitely a gun problem and another says it is a mental illness problem while others have their own opinion. I fall into the latter category; I believe it’s a sin problem.The world is heavily influenced by sin and yet it tries to deflect it’s own problem to something else. The world calls alcoholism a disease, drug addiction is a disease, pornography is a disease and any other dysfunctional activity or behavioral problem is a disease. I was an alcoholic for about 14 years and the one and only cure for this so called disease was Jesus. There wasn’t any 12 steps or 7 steps or any step program, it was one step, Jesus. The world has proclaimed that the only politically correct way to describe these problems, is to call them diseases and apply some kind of psycho counseling to cure the individual. But, the cure never comes; the world’s system doesn’t provide a cure because it can’t provide a cure for something that is not a disease. These programs will tell you that you must attend meeting after meeting and have a mentor to call if you feel like using at any time. (I can’t say these programs are wrong for those who are not save or are not Christians; I guess these programs have some effect on them.) Listen, the world is wrong! It is not a disease, it’s a sin problem. I am not saying there isn’t valid mental issues, I believe there are but those too are the result of original sin. The blood running through our veins is contaminated by the original sin we all were born with and that contaminated blood brings with it legitimate diseases such as cancer, heart disease, the common cold, HIV and so many other health problems. So, just as there are legitimate health problems, I believe there are also legitimate mental problems. But not all problems of the mental nature are legitimate mental issues, in my opinion. Am I a doctor or psychologists? No. Then you might ask why I think I know so much about something which I am not qualified to speak of. I do know the Bible and what it says and I know it speaks volumes about sin and the way people act. The Bible describes man, or all human kind, as sinful. The Bible tells us how sin entered the world after Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commandment (Gen 3). It is clear as to how sin would, and has, effect the world and everyone in it. In my opinion, I don’t have to be a doctor or a psychologist to recognize the sin in this world.The activities and tragedies we have seen in the past few weeks are the result of the sin in this world and to put it bluntly, it’s a sin problem!
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV www.biblegateway.com
A sinful heart is a deceitful, wicked heart. This is the heart of every human ever born; it is the heart of every sinful person in this world. Now, when we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell or live inside of us and when we yield our lives to Him, we give Him control of our lives and He can change our hearts. But, we will, on occasion, allow the flesh side of us to rise up and attempt to retake control.It is at these times we will exercise the wickedness of our sinful hearts. For those who are not saved or don’t know Jesus as their savior, their hearts are sinful, wicked, evil and the flesh is in full control.
It’s A Sin Problem, Not A Disease
I have already mentioned that many of the issues passed off as mental issues are really a result of the sinful heart and mind. Only God really knows the mind of a human being; even we don’t know the limitations or extent of our own minds. Man has declared he is smarter than God and he doesn’t need God. Man has stated that God doesn’t even exist and has invented ways of explaining away creation and His divine nature. This is going to be the downfall of man; if you are a Christian, you should know how the story ends. Satan and his army of fallen angels and those humans who choose to follow, they lose. It is all in the book of Revelation and sinful man cannot defeat God!
God has given mankind the wisdom and intelligence to find cures and treatments for specific diseases. When I was diagnosed with colon cancer, I was treated with radiation and chemotherapy after surgery. I now have been cancer free for over 5 years but cancer is still a disease which no cure has been found and it will continue to affect people. Sin has been defeated or cured at the cross. The treatment was the death of Jesus on the cross which paid the debt for our original sin. So, the sin problem we were born with was cured when Jesus died in our place on the cross, we just need to accept the treatment or the cure for our sin. There is no medication or any type of medical treatment which can cure our sin problem. Only Jesus can provide the cure; by accepting what He did for us on the cross and believing it by faith, can we be healed.
When I accepted Jesus into my life as my Lord and savior, I was a stone cold alcoholic. I had been on a drinking binge the day before and, as usual, had made a total fool of myself. My family was moving farther and farther away from me. They could not live around that type of dysfunction any longer. That was a Saturday and when I woke up on Sunday morning, I heard the Lord’s voice, loud and clear, as He asked me, “Are you ready to let me take control of this?” Of course, my answer was an immediate yes! There was no prescription for medication, no psycho counseling sessions, no doctor visits and I never had a desire to take another drink, to this very day. It was a sin problem that was plaguing my life, not a mental issue or disease. Jesus healed me spiritually and physically and turned my life around. I was not the only one who experienced this type of healing; I know so many people who have allowed Jesus to heal them of their sin problem and it didn’t always involve drugs and alcohol. People get saved every day and are healed from their sin problem; some are the best people you could meet but they had a sin problem. There is only one cure and that is Jesus.
So, why does the sinful heart and mind make the evil decisions it does? Well, I don’t know but I am sure God does. I won’t even begin to try to say what was in the minds of the shooters in these recent events but I know it was evil and the result of a sinful heart which had not been cured by the blood of Jesus. The shooting in Pennsylvania, just days before Christmas, affected my family personally. My wife lost her sister in that senseless tragedy. Many referred to the school in the Connecticut shootings as a place which is supposed to be a safe haven. My sister-in-law was killed in a church, a supposed safe haven. Which is worse, the school or the church? Neither! They both should be a place where we can feel safe but when the sin problem is as dysfunctional as it was in both of these cases, there is only one safe place, the arms of Jesus. It was evident that the mind of the shooter who took the life of my sister-in-law was bothered by a media driven event based on a calender which would expire on December 21st 2012. This man had talked to friends about this and was convinced the world was going to end that day and for him and 3 others it did. With this belief and with some crazy interpretations from the book of Revelation, he decided he would take matters into his own hands. The day before the shootings, he came across the street to the church where another of my wife’s sisters was taking items from her van for the funeral of their pastor that day. His words to her were, “Do you think the world is going to end tomorrow?” She responded by telling him, “I don’t know but if it does, I am ready, are you?” It is apparent why he targeted the church the next morning. He started his shooting spree at the church when he saw her van there again. He must have thought, “She said she was ready so I will start with her.” She was spared through this bizarre event but lost her sister. I will spare you the details but the Lord had His hand on her and protected her. But, why would this man do such horrible things? Why would he then go back across the road and kill his neighbor? Why would he drive down the road and then ram his vehicle into another mans car and then shoot him? Why would he attempt to kill state police responding to the scene? We will never know what was going through his demented, sinful mind during this time but we can be sure it was more than a mental illness problem, it was a sin problem. It is amazing, at times, the way sin can effect our thinking. Even as Christians, it will attempt to rise up and take control of our thought process. What kind of person sets fire to his own house only to kill the first responders? The only answer I have is a man with a mind and heart saturated with sin. These cases are not cases of mental illness, it is not just a mental problem, it’s a sin problem. The world can and will attempt to white wash all these sinful activities with worldly controls and remedies but they cannot fix the problem, only Jesus can fix the problem and the remedy has already been provided. We who have received this remedy and have the Spirit dwelling inside of us need to step it up and tell others about it. We need to come out of hiding, get out of our comfort zones and spread the good news. The Church must do what it was called to do, spread the gospel message and tell the world about Jesus. But, here there is a problem also.
The Church and The World Partnership
When it comes to identifying the problems in situations as described above, the Church doesn’t always see them in a sense of a sin problem. I have spoken with many Christians who firmly believe that drug and alcohol abuse is a disease and not a sin problem. They have bought into the world’s belief that these issues can be dealt with from a psychological point of view. I have spoken to people in the Church who were attending AA (alcoholics anonymous) meetings or NA (narcotics anonymous) meetings but I could not sense their allegiance was to Jesus but more toward the worldly system or program which they were involved with. In speaking with them, I asked simple questions such as, “Do you believe Jesus is all you need to control this problem?” The answer I received most of the time was no. Some would reply, “Yes, but I need this too.” That is a contradiction of terms but I refrained from arguing the point and attempted to point out to them the superiority of Jesus. Many churches have AA meetings in the church building and others have their own programs based on the AA program with some kind of so-called Christian twist to it. What is wrong with using the Bible and teaching what it says about the sin problem. Here is a common response, “Well, the Bible doesn’t speak about these issues.” Well, you guessed it, I disagree.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 NKJV
If you are a Christian or if you are a pastor or a church leader of any kind, what is it about this verse that is not clear concerning the purpose of scripture? That the man of God can be complete; completed by the adherence of scripture is what it says. It is for the use of correction and this covers a broad base. It can correct the sin problems we deal with as Christians. Space does not permit me to begin to quote all the scripture which tells us how to correct our sin problems. Christians, study the Bible; don’t just carry it to church once a week! The answers to our problems are there and we need to stop running to the world to get bad advice. The world cannot solve its own problems let alone ours. When the Church turns to the world, which it has, to get answers for their sin problems, it had diminished the power of Jesus. Jesus’ power has not been diminished, but that is the message they are sending Him. “We don’t believe you have the answers to our sin problems!” That’s the message they are sending Jesus. Some churches use these programs to attract people to attend; they draw them in by offering the program and that is why they are there. Are they given the gospel message and taught from scripture how to give their problem to Jesus and allow Him to heal or are they content to let the person sit in the pew and attend the worldly counsel type meeting once a week. I don’t know the specifics but I know this happens in many churches! Our sin problems cannot be corrected by worldly programs brought into the church. The Church needs to toss the world’s remedies out of the Church and bring in those of the world who need to know about Jesus. Jesus is the only answer, the only cure for our sin problem. There is no worldly treatment or cure, only Jesus.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.
Isa. 53:4-6 NLT
So, when these terrible tragedies happen, don’t think about how the world needs more gun control laws or mental illness programs, think about the fact it’s a sin problem and only Jesus has the answer. If you are a Christian, you can seek peace in Jesus and the answers are in His word. If you are not a Christian, the answer is Jesus, He died for your sin problem and He can set you free from that sin problem. Accept Him today as your Lord and Savior and He will set you free, He did for me!