It's Not My Fault
"I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody's house.
There's no one whoever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr. Nobody."
-- Children's Poem
"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman." (Genesis 3: 4)
Nothing ever is anyone's fault anymore.
We have no-fault auto insurance and no-fault divorce.
Drunkards are not to blame for their drunkenness is the view of some.
They would say that the alcohol, like a measles' germ, somehow floated into their bloodstream.
When a worker has an accident on the job, it is never his fault.
In this self-esteem world, cardinal sin is to imply that the disasters that happened to us could be
the direct or indirect result of our own sinful or foolish behavior.
This, "It's not my fault," attitude is an attempt to pretend that God doesn't exist,
and it denies one of the basic facts of life: God punishes sin.
Remember how Satan tempted Adam and Eve with the notion that God was being unfair to them.
Once that seed was planted, Satan immediately began to water it.
Even if God were unfair (which He never is!), Adam and Eve would have feared to disobey Him.
So Satan passed off this smooth lie -- "You can disobey what God has said,
and you will not surely die."
Satan must blunt our fear of God's anger before he can successfully get us to turn against Him.
As long as Adam and Eve feared death more than they desired the fruit, they wouldn't eat the fruit.
So Satan passed on the doctrine of no-fault sin.
"Go ahead and sin.
Nothing is going to happen to you.
You have nothing to worry about."
What the devil said was a bald-face lie, and Adam and Eve knew it.
But once Satan had concentrated their attention on the forbidden tree and started them thinking
that maybe God was unfair to forbid it, Adam and Eve were ready to consider that God might have lied to them.
They were ready to hear what the devil would say next.
Men have repeated the no-fault sin lie all through history.
The Israelites said the same thing just before the destruction of Jerusalem.
Jeremiah writes, "They have lied about the Lord; they said, ' He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine.
The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them.' "
But God enabled the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem.
The apostle Peter about the same kind of people when he writes, "First of all, you must understand
that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
They will say, ' Where is this coming He promised?
Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.'
But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's Word the heavens existed and the earth was formed
out of water and by water.
By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment
and destruction of ungodly men."
Could it be that the modern church has bought the same lie?
How often do we hear sermons about God's judgment?
In the view of many today God is seen as just existing to bless us, and to help us and to make us feel better.
This view would teach that God totally accepts us the way we are, and merely wrings His hands mournfully
when we go astray.
God does love us, but God also is a God who hates and punishes sin.
The Old Testament preaches the love of God in the same verse that reminds us that He also punishes sin.
Exodus 34: 6-7: "And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ' The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate
and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands,
and forgiving wickednesses, rebellion, and sin.
Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin
of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.' "
And as for eternal punishment for sin for being only an Old Testament ideal, most of what we know
about Hell and the lake of fire came from the mouth of Jesus Christ, the loving Son of God Himself.
See Matthew 25:31-46; 8:11; 13:40-42, 47-50; 22: 13-14; 24: 50-51; 25:28-30; Luke 13: 23-30;
Matthew 5:22; 18: 8-9; Mark 9: 42-48; Luke 16:19-24; and John 15: 5-6.
The Bible calls Jesus' sacrifice on the cross the highest expression of God's love.
But if God does not punish sins, then how did God show His love by throwing Jesus' life away as He did?
Jesus' sacrificial death was cruel and unnecessary if God could have forgiven us without punishing our sins.
Both Old and New Testaments teach that our God is loving and righteous.
The God "who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2: 4)
is also the God who hates "the wicked and those who love violence." (Psalm 11: 5)
Right and wrong, heaven and hell, and God's judgment have never been popular doctrines.
Jeremiah was thrown into a muddy cistern for preaching them. (Jeremiah 38)
David was ridiculed. (Psalm 69: 6-12)
"Fools mocked at making amends for sin," states Proverbs 14:9.
Satan takes great pains to eradicate the teaching of responsibility for our own sins now as always,
labeling it antiquated, naive, unloving, and dozens of other names.
Instead, he leads people to believe that salvation has no power to change a sinner's heart, attitudes or behavior.
When a Christian claims to be struggling with sins that he never seems to conquer, it is because
he cannot quit embracing them long enough to push them away.
As Christians, we are supposed to deal with sin at the point of a sword, not to "struggle" with it.
Eve "struggled" with Satan in the Garden of Eden.
She didn't just jump right in and eat the fruit the minute snake appeared.
Satan had to entice her with tempting suggestions before she ate the fruit.
This kind of struggling is just a coy way of giving in to sin.
This kind of struggling is just to put up the appearance of a fight and to fool onlookers into thinking
that you are a good person who is trying to do his best, when you never really intended to reject that sin
in the first place.
In the musical, My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle's father is a reprobate who has lived with Eliza's mother
for years without marrying her.
He is also all a habitual drunkard and loafer who lives by begging loans from his friends rather than by working.
His philosophy of sin is summed up in his song:
"The Lord above made liquor for temptation to see if man can turn away from sin.
The Lord above made liquor for temptation, but...
With a little bit of luck
With a little bit of luck
When temptation comes, you'll give right in!"
By endorsing the idea of struggles without victory, the church is perilessly close
to adopting Mr. Doolittle's position.
By expecting nothing at all from the "poor sinners," we actually encourage them
to keep on sinning.
This kind of "understanding" amounts to Satan's lie, "You shall not surely die."
In other words just go on an sin... it's no big deal...God will overlook it.
Sin is addicting.
The Bible teaches that people can become slaves to sin.
But the Bible also says that you and I are responsible for our slavery to sin.
Rather than excusing ourselves, it is a reason to fear and dread that sin enough to flee to the blood
of Jesus' for deliverance.
The Bible says that Christians are not slaves to sin.
Paul wrote in Romans 6:16-18: "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone
to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one who you obey -- whether you are slaves to sin,
which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness?
But thanks be to God that though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form
of teaching to which you were entrusted.
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness."
Note that there are two distinct groups mentioned: those who are slaves to sin, and those who are
slaves to righteousness.
Each group has chosen its own master.
Sin's slaves are headed for death.
Since Christians are headed for life, not death, Christians are not slaves to sin.
We used to be slaves to sin, but we have been set free.
We are now slaves to righteousness.
Satan knew he could do nothing with Adam and Eve as long as they were content with God and His gifts.
So he tempted them with a false need for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Once our first parents became discontented with what God had given them, they were vulnerable
to more of Satan's lies.
Still, they wouldn't cross the line and actually eat the fruit as long as they were afraid they would die.
By denying that they had anything to fear from God, Satan had been straddling the line.
Straddling the fence doesn't work -- Galatians 6: 9.
We will reap what we sow.
When you sin, you are to blame!
When I sin, I am to blame!
"It's not my brother, nor my sister, but it's me, O Lord,
standing in the need of prayer."
Standing in the need of forgiveness!
God still punishes sin!
Turn from sin and turn to God for forgiveness.
That is when we will find peace of heart and new beginnings.
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at hleewhite@AOL.com