1 John 2:2 - He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
We can all remember the childhood story of the boy who wrongly cried, "Wolf!" He got great pleasure out of watching his friends respond to his false alarms. Unfortunately, the lad did this so many times his fellow villagers stopped believing him. The last time he called for help, the people no longer were inclined to listen, and the lad ended up being supper for the wolf pack. That's a sad story.
Yes, we all know that story, but has anyone ever heard the counterpart, the opposite of that story? Has anyone ever heard about the boy who, when a wolf was present, didn't sound the alarm?
Actually, most of us have.
According to the timeline reported by ABC World News Tonight, the staff at the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Hotel didn't let the police know anything was wrong until after Stephen Paddock started shooting at the 20,000 concert-goers. No, they didn't cry "Wolf!" and they didn't cry "Shooter!"
• They didn't call out "Shooter!" when security guard Jesus Campos informed the hotel authorities he had been shot in the leg.
• Nor did they cry "Shooter!" when a maintenance engineer Stephen Schuck reported someone had taken a shot at him. Schuck said, "Call the police! Someone is firing a gun up here. Someone is firing a rifle on the 32nd floor down the hallway."
Those shots in the hotel took place a full six minutes before Paddock opened up on the concert. Although nobody can say what might have happened if the police had been given those six extra minutes, I'm willing to suggest things couldn't have gotten much worse.
Sadly, the same sort of thing is happening in the religious world. More and more pulpits are choosing to silence themselves and refusing to call wolf and warn people about the dangers of sin. In short, even though sin can kill eternally, these churches are not shouting any warnings.
High up on these pastors' reasons for not preaching about the dangers of sin is they say "Jesus accepted everybody just the way they were. And since Jesus told us not to judge, we would be overstepping our boundaries by pointing out people's flaws and failings."
In reply, pastors who are loyal to the Word, say, "It's true, Jesus did accept everyone the way they were, but He didn't leave them that way." More than once the Savior told people to go and "sin no more" (see John 8:11). If Jesus didn't believe in pointing out sin and calling people to repentance, why did He do so Himself? Matthew 4:17 says, "From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"
The truth is Jesus was born to save us from our sins, not let us sit and stew in them. John said it better than I when he wrote, "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that Your grace sent Your Son into this world to carry my sins and save my soul. Grant that pulpits may proclaim the wonders of Your love and the greatness of Jesus' sacrifice to save us from sin. In His Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one carried by RARE news on October 12, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries