Vice is a monster of such frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We, first endure, then pity, then embrace.
(by Pope, "Essay on Man")
Jeremiah prophesied judgment against Israel because of Israel's participation in the abominations of the heathen among them. The sad part about the whole affair was that Israel could no longer even blush over her sins. Jeremiah lamented, "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush" (Jer. 6:15). The same lamentation is made in 8:12. Not only did sin not bother Israel anymore, but they even persecuted God's man for bringing the message of God to them. No wonder Jeremiah was called the "weeping prophet." He wept over the people because of their coming destruction. He wept because of their callousness toward sin. He wept because God's people no longer had any realization of the holiness of God. Lest we be surprised at the hardness of Israel, we should be reminded of the effect of sin upon man. "Exhort one another daily while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13). Written to Christians, the admonition is clear, "Be careful. Sin deceives. Sin hardens."
We have seen this same digression of sin in our country. There was a time when dirty magazines were scarce. To purchase such a magazine one had to go into a bookstore of ill reputation. The magazines were out of sight, behind the counter. Later, they became available on newstands. Then corner markets began to pick up the pornography trade. Now, with no shame left, the filth peddlers advertise their dirty books on television. As people have gotten used to the filth, the content has gotten blatantly worse. Originally, nudity was the main theme of the dirty magazines. Soon, sex scenes began to dominate their pages. From there, such magazines have unashamedly shown bestiality, homosexuality, teen porn, kiddie porn, and now (God help us) baby pornography.
At one time homosexuals were afraid to come out of the closet. Now they proudly proclaim their perversion on network TV and parade in our nation's streets seeking to be considered normal Before, abortion was a blight on society. Now it is socially acceptable. Now it is an intelligent alternative to having unwanted children. NO!!!!! A thousand times NO!!! It is still murder. The baby-butchers will stand before God with far more murders on their hands than Hitler, who murdered "only" 6,000,000 Jews. Our abortion mills have murdered over 16,000,000 babies since 1973. To coin a phrase, "We've come a long way, baby" - the wrong way.
Some would be quick to add, "But that's your opinion." The questions we must consider are: Is there such a thing as right and wrong? Who decides what is right and what is wrong? And, is there a set standard? If one man's opinion is as good as another, then truly, there is no absolute right or absolute wrong. If there is no set standard, then the homosexual's standard of right and wrong is as good as mine. If there is no set standard, then the abortion doctor's standard of right and wrong is as good as mine. If every man's opinion of right and wrong is as good as the next man's opinion, we have chaos.
For instance, I believe homosexuality is a filthy perversion. However, the homosexual believes it is normal. He believes it is right for him (or her). Who's to say?
According to Judges 17:6 and 21:25, Israel's main problem was that "every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Because what was right in their eyes was evil to God, God continually had them oppressed by others. If we were to ask the Israelites in Jeremiah's day about their lifestyle, obviously, from the context of the passage, they saw nothing wrong with their actions. But God called their actions "abominations."
Since the fall, man has been calling evil good. "The imaginations of man's heart are evil from their youth" (Gen. 8:21). "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 14:12). "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it" (Jer. 17:9). Man's sense of right and wrong is so warped by sin and the flesh, he cannot properly decided right and wrong. Man needs a standard.
God has given us a standard — the Word of God. Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth (John 17:17)." The Psalmist wrote, "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth forever (Ps. 119:160). Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth (Ps. 119:142). Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee (Ps. 119:11)." Happy (and smart) is the person who makes the same decision as the Psalmist, "Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way (Psalm 119:128)."
Israel had come a long way, the wrong way. Those things which were abominable to God were accepted by Israel. Looking at a few of the things God stated were an abomination to him, we find that we are traveling down the same road Israel trod.
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination" (Leviticus 18:22).
God had already made His thoughts about homosexuality known in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. He told Israel why men were not to have sex with men, "It is abomination." Later, in Leviticus 20:13, God pronounced the death penalty in Israel for any men caught committing such acts. The reason? "Both of them have committed an abomination...Their blood shall be upon them." In Leviticus 18:26 God stated, "Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations..." In other words, God was stating that other condemned practices of chapter 18 were also abominations to him. These included bestiality and nakedness among family members.
Although most fundamentalists would still consider bestiality and homosexuality abominations in the sight of God, many see nothing wrong with family members, dressed in only underclothes or scanty night clothes, walking around one another in the home situation. Many see nothing wrong with mixed swimming if practiced only among close friends or family. How many cases of incest in "Christian" homes have taken place because of uncontrolled passions fanned by immodesty among family members? How many boys and girls have grown up in homes where immodest dress among members led them to lives of promiscuity? Like Israel of old, that which was an abomination to God is no longer an abomination to us.
"The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God."
Idolatry and idolatrous practices are abominations to God. And yet, how many Christians carry a rabbit's foot for good luck? How many believers have statues of Buddha in their home? How many women have hung "kitchen witches" in their kitchens for good luck? Many Christians still play with the Ouija board. Many still read their daily horoscopes. Notice that the term God uses to describe His hatred of idolatry is the same that describes His hatred for homosexuality — it is an "abomination."
Lest we think idolatry is limited to statues and occultic items, we need to be reminded of Paul's statement in Ephesians 5:5, "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolator, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." Covetous people are the ones who must always have something else. They must have the latest fashions, the latest appliances, the latest cars. That person who cannot be content with what he has is an idolater.
Madison Avenue's job is to make American's unhappy with what they have and make them desire what Madison Avenue's accounts are selling. This philosophy has crept into the Church. Many Christians are saddled with payments for items they bought on credit, after swallowing the advertiser's line, and now, they have no financial freedom. God cannot direct them in how to give for the work of Christ because their money is spent before they receive the paycheck. Someone has said, "America is the only place where people buy things they don't want, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't like." The worst part of it all is that, just like Israel, we no longer blush at our abominations.
"For the froward is abomination to the Lord" (Proverbs 3:32)
"They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the Lord…" (Proverbs 11:20)
According to Strong's Concordance the froward are the perverse, the deceitful, the crooked. Those who deceive are an abomination to the Lord. Try to find a modern television hero who doesn't use deceit to get what he is after. We and our children see this, and it becomes a part of our lives. So what if a man cheats on his income tax? So what if a man lies a little to get ahead in his job? Our churches have many who find these acceptable practices. Like Israel, we are not ashamed when we commit abomination.
"These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: "A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, "An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift to running to mischief, "A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." (Proverbs 6:16-19)
Truly, all sin is sin. And yet, God makes a distinction in these verses about His feelings concerning certain sins. The first six listed are sins which He hates. The seventh has the added distinction of being an abomination to Him. From the context of the passage we could conclude that worse than a lying tongue is he who sows discord among the brethren. Worse than feet which run to mischief is he who sows discord among brethren. Worse than hands that shed innocent blood is he who sows discord among brethren. God clearly set forth the evil of those who sow discord among the brethren, but just let a preacher preach against a popular practice of many of the church folks and watch how quick some use their phones to sow discord. Amazingly, this group of individuals gathers around them a following that keeps division constant in the local church. They hinder the work of God and grieve the Holy Spirit. Considered "pillars" of the church and good people, they make the preaching of the Word of God of none effect. God calls them an abomination.
God spoke concerning this group in other places as well. In I Corinthians 3:3 He called them carnal. In Romans 16:17, God told the church to "mark those which cause divisions...and avoid them."
Why does this group feel they have to tell others they disagree with the preacher? Many times they stop new believers from getting anything from the preacher's messages. They have taught the new believer (and their own children) that when they disagree with the preaching, they don't have to obey. Seldom does this crowd ever dig into the Scripture with an open heart, bathed in prayer, willing to obey if they find the preacher is right. They often say, "Well, that's his interpretation." Of course, they don't have one of their own, for they have never studied the Scripture to see what it is saying. They just know they don't agree. It's almost as if they had never read Hebrews 13:7 and 17:
"Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: Whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
"Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it for joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."
"But," someone objects, "the preacher is wrong." What makes you think you have to tell everyone in the Church? Don't we have a "prayer hearing" and "prayer answering" God who can change the heart (and understanding) of the preacher? It's strange that this complaining crowd is so spiritual that they are sure the preacher is wrong, but they are not spiritual enough to get through to God and let Him handle the situation. He that sows discord is an abomination, no matter what position he holds in the church. Haven't we become more like Israel of old?
"He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination." (Proverbs 28:9)
The person who makes a conscious choice not to attend or hear the preaching of the Word of God really wastes his time praying. God calls that person's prayer an abomination.
How spiritual the "sometime attenders" can sound. These Sunday morning Christians, who attend when they feel like it, think they get in touch with God whenever they pray. Little do they realize that their prayer is an abomination to God Almighty.
The truth is, we need to hear His Word far more than He needs to hear ours. His Word is the eternal Word of God. It is the Bread of Life. It is the milk we need to grow spiritually.
Basically, God said, "The person who thinks so lightly of what I have to say by choosing to do something else when he could be hearing My Word, has nothing to say to Me that is worth hearing. His prayer is an abomination."
In a recent survey, taken from 300 registered voters in Nashville, Tennessee, only 52 percent felt skipping church was wrong. Today's Christian would call it a little thing. God states that even the prayer of one who skips the preaching of the Word of God is an abomination.
By justifying our sinful practices, we have made the Word of God of none effect. Modern Christians have decided they are the standard for right and wrong. What is your standard?
Jesus warned the Pharisees, "ye have made the commandment of God of none effect...in vain do they worship me" (Matt. 15:6,9). They had taken the Word of God and used religious customs to circumvent it. For instance, they had been commanded to take care of their parents, but they released themselves of that obligation by saying they had dedicated all their possessions to God, so they could not use them on their parents.
Today's Christians have taken statements which sound spiritual ("I'm not convicted about it yet;" "I'm not a legalist; I have liberty in Christ;" "I only worry about the essentials;") and have explained away their obligation to obey the Word of God.
Harry Ironside, in his book Daniel, referred to Christians who make such arguments.
I have heard Christians refer to certain precepts in the Scriptures as non-essentials. But we may rest assured there are no non-essentials in our Bibles. "The words of the Lord are pure words, as silver tried in the fire, purified seven times." When people talk of non-essentials in regard to anything concerning which God has revealed His mind, it is well to ask, "Essential or non-essential to what?" If it be a question of the soul's salvation, undoubtedly the one great essential is faith in His blessed Son, whose finished work alone avails to put away sin and procure peace with God. But if it be a question of what is essential to the enjoyment of communion with God — essential to obtaining the Lord's approval at the judgment-seat of Christ — Then it is well to remember that in everything the believer is sanctified to the obedience of Christ.
Ironside repeated his strong warning to the church of his day, 1911, a few paragraphs later:
"It is of grave importance that we bear this principle in mind in these Laodicean times. We live in days when everything that once was deemed important is looked upon as a matter of indifference; when truth for which myriads of martyrs shed their blood is considered hardly worthy of being contended for — days when the claims of God as set forth in His faithful Word are openly set aside even by those who "call themselves by the name of the Lord," and profess to owe everything to the cross on which the Lord Jesus died. Latitudinarianism is the prevailing order, and few ask, with intention to obey, "What saith the Scripture?"
Ironside went on to explain the dangers of allowing practices in our lives which are contrary to the Word of God.
Allow one thing in your life unjudged that you know to be contrary to the word of God, or that you fear is not in line with God's will for you, and you will soon find your spiritual eyes become darkened, your spiritual susceptibilities deadened, and no real progress made in your soul, but rather a steady decline. But where there is faithfulness in separation from that which is opposed to the mind of God; where His word is allowed to sit in judgment on all your ways, you will learn that "the path of the just is as a shining light, which shineth brighter and brighter unto the perfect Other objections are answered in the following chapters, but remember the words of Scripture concerning both the Father and the Son: "For I am the Lord, I change not... (Mal. 3:6)" and "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)" Since God has not changed, what was an abomination to Him 2000, 3000, or 4000 years ago, is still an abomination to Him today.
"Let God be true, and every man a liar" (Romans 3:4)