No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3 ESV)
Today’s postmodern culture is awash in moral relativism. No one is allowed to say something is wrong, evil or immoral because that is viewed as being intolerant or unloving. This attitude has crept into the church too as the preaching of sin and hell and holiness has been muted or replaced with the preaching of self-improvement, love and inclusion. Take for example this recent situation over same sex marriage (SSM); most of the culture is for it whereas most Christians are afraid to say anything for fear of appearing intolerant and unloving. Those few brave souls who have taken a Biblically principled stand on the issue are lambasted as unloving, homophobic bigots (and we’re the intolerant ones?).
Where this postmodern worldview breaks down is in its redefinition of love. Love, to them, is a feeling or an emotion, and if I love you, then I should be tolerant and accepting of any and everything you do. I’m sorry, but that’s a five year old’s conception of love; and postmodernism is basically seeing the world through the eyes of a child. If you truly love someone, you will be looking out for what’s in their best interests, and sometimes the loving thing to say is “No, you’re wrong, you can’t do that, that’s bad for you.”
Sin, in all its forms, is harmful and destructive. It will not only lead to ruination and death in this lifetime, but will lead to eternal destruction in the life to come. Jesus’ words here in Luke 13 are startling. When confronted with the tragedy of Pilate’s slaughter of some Jews who were worshipping, Jesus’ response was not expected. Some may even say his words were cruel, callous and unloving: “Unless you all repent, you will all likewise perish.” Why would Jesus say this? Because it was the loving thing to say. We’re all in the same boat.
Human beings are born in sin, and unless we repent of our sin and throw ourselves on the mercy of God for salvation, we have no hope! It ultimately matters not if we die in a temple slaughter, in a tower disaster, or quietly in our sleep; if we do not repent, we will all likewise perish (i.e., suffer eternal judgment in hell). Death is the great equalizer, it affects young and old, rich and poor, free and slave, male and female; no one escapes death. The question for us is are we prepared to face what awaits us after we die (Hebrews 9:27)? The loving thing to do is to call people to repentance and tell them the road they’re on leads to destruction. Doing so may appear to be intolerant and uncaring, but it is the only loving thing to do!
Soli Deo Gloria!