Telling someone in the twenty first century to “repent” is not taken kindly. The predictable reaction being: “Who are you to judge?”
Presently, what is counted as “Sin” is a considered a “matter of opinion,” and when an accusation of wrongdoing is made, it is not uncommon that an apology be demanded by the accused.
Thus, longstanding issues with the unrepentant sit unresolved in churches. This is not to suggest that there is always a cloud of unhappiness hanging over these churches, after all, “time heals all things.” But this is one thing that time doesn’t heal. For as much as you and I want to live at peace with the unrepentant, it is God’s peace that must be sought by all.
The old sermons condemning “Sin in the camp,” are relics of a bygone era. Preachers condemning congregations for tolerating sin in their midst are said to be “preaching a gospel inconsistent with the grace of God.” Words I first heard used in the early 1980s.
By the end of the twentieth century a new doctrine had taken hold. It was the belief that: “Since I have forgiven you, then God has too.” This seems to be a strange twist of the opposite belief that: “Since God has forgiven me, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t.”
The Pharisees got one thing right, “Only God forgives sin.” They, of course, despite the empirical evidence before them, refused to acknowledge that Jesus was God in the flesh. They, like all of us, preferred that they be consulted on who is a sinner, and who isn’t. Yes, God expects us to know what is and what isn’t sin, but only He is able to forgive the sin that stands between a man and God.
God has made a way back:“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).