Now that we have examined what sin is and where it came from, I want to spend a few weeks looking at the results of sin. This week I want to examine the most obvious one, sin results in rejection by God.
Sinners have always been rejected by God. Sin is simply incompatible with the holiness of God and so sinful man cannot stand in his presence. As soon as Adam and Eve sinned they were forced to leave the Garden of Eden and God’s presence: ‘So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life’ (Genesis 3:23-24). The Israelites later recognise this rejection when they ask the question: ‘Who can stand in the presence of the LORD, this holy God?’ (1 Samuel 6:20).
Yet this rejection has not taken place completely. While we are sinners on earth we are not completely rejected by God. God continues to seek us and continues to give us blessings, such as sunshine and rain: ‘He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous’ (Matthew 5:45). But this won’t last forever. Eventually sinners will be completely rejected by God. This will take place on the coming day of judgement: ‘He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes…’ (2 Thessalonians 1:8-10).
But if everyone is a sinner and is completely sinful with nothing good in them, how will anyone be able to experience acceptance by God? Surely everyone will be rejected? This is true. Except that God in his mercy sent his Son into the world to be rejected by God the Father at the cross as a ‘rejection substitute’ for those who believe. This means that those who put their faith in Jesus will never be rejected because Jesus was rejected on their behalf. On judgement day instead of being eternally rejected, they will be eternally accepted into the presence of God: ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God’ (Revelation 21:3).
Are you a sinner rejected by God? Or are you a sinner who is accepted by God because of Christ?