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In my small group the other night, a young woman posed a question. She asked, “With all the hatred and violence in the world today, do you think the Church should stop placing so much emphasis on sin and hell and instead just talk about God’s love, grace and forgiveness?”

As young professional twenty-somethings are prone to do, we discussed this topic at length. Some said that we must still emphasize sin and hell because those things are real, and to ignore God’s judgment and wrath would be foolish and misleading. Others argued with the scripture that says it is God’s kindness that leads to repentance, and emphasizing sin isn’t necessary because to know and love God is to turn away from our sin.

While I don’t disagree with either side of the debate, as I thought about my own story as well as the women I serve at Scarlet Hope, I realized that if we don’t place emphasis on sin and hell, what’s the point of emphasizing God’s love, grace and forgiveness?

What makes the gospel such incredibly good news is that it follows really really bad news. The bad news is that apart from Christ I am a filthy, broken, hell bound sinner who can do nothing to save myself. This is certainly not a popular message in our culture, and it won’t be a crowd pleaser. But without this news, we completely water down the second part of the gospel, the good news of the gospel: that though we are helpless sinners, through Jesus Christ we are forgiven and made right with God!

We just can’t deny all the darkness in our world; it is everywhere. It is confusing, frustrating, and tragic. It leaves us feeling overwhelmed, angry, and hopeless. But as you are forced to stare into the face of the darkness we are living in, remember where your hope lies. We have a savior and He is called the Light of the world. He meets us in the midst of our sin and brokenness and He adopts us as His children. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

Scarlet Hope

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