Mark 3:23-25 And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
A house divided, that’s the principle. Abraham Lincoln applied this to the country, and the issue of slavery – but its broader than that. It is part of the fabric of life. Have we seen divisions? Sure! They happen every day. What are we going to do? Seems there are 2 choices, either we come to an agreement and do things together – or we each do our own thing and go our own way. Lately there has been rather a lot of this – chiefly because we are taught that we can make it on our own, that we just don’t need anyone.
What is it that really divides us? Sin! You see, Satan does not want families to get along, he does not want friends to get along, he does not want church to get along, he does not want communities to get along, because there is a lot of power in working together. How do we define sin? We can call them trespasses, offenses, transgressions – but whatever we call them, they separate us from God. That’s why temptations have to be attractive – it has to look better than what we would have if we remained with God. And the problem with sin is that while we can turn away from God, by ourselves we cannot return to God. Why? Because the unforgiven sin remains in the way, it is an obstacle, and one that we by ourselves cannot remove. I’m not talking about sins of other people – I’m talking about our own sins – those are the ones we cannot remove, as hard as we try, as much as we do – they remain.
And the sin so embarrasses us, that we hide. We may not hide in the bushes, or hide under the bed, in the closet – but we hide – we hide behind excuses. The problem is that the excuses are never big enough to really hide the sin. Everything would be fine, or so we tell ourselves, if God would just leave us alone. But God comes, he calls out – Where are you? And though we try one excuse after another, God sees through them all. And standing before God who sees our sins, there is nothing left to do, but confess.
And that is when the remarkable thing takes place, for not only has God found us, but now he forgives us. God removes the obstacle, our sin and guilt, and God carries us back to his green pastures. Once we were separated from God because of sin, but in Christ, the obstacles are removed, the sin is forgiven, and our relationship with God is restored. That is the Gospel, and it is such good news we want to share it with everyone.
Its not hard to see sin, and its not hard to see how sin separates – not only us from God, but how sin separates families, and friends, and churches, and communities. And by themselves all they can do is offer excuses, and that will never remove the obstacles or heal the divisions. But God has given us something that can heal, for he has given us the power on earth to forgive each other in Jesus Christ.