Let Us ABHOR What Is Wicked
JEHOVAH is a holy God. In ancient times he was "the Holy One of Israel," and as such he demanded that Israel be clean, unsullied. (Psalm 89:18) He told his chosen people: "You must prove yourselves holy, because I am holy." (Leviticus 11:45) Anyone who wanted to "ascend into the mountain of Jehovah" had to be "innocent in his hands and clean in heart." (Psalm 24:3, 4) That meant more than merely avoiding sinful acts. It meant "the hating of bad."—Proverbs 8:13.
Lovingly, Jehovah laid down detailed laws so that the nation of Israel could identify and avoid wrongdoing. (Romans 7:7, 12) These laws included strict guidelines on morality. Adultery, homosexual acts, incestuous relationships, and bestiality were all identified as unholy spiritual pollutants. (Leviticus 18:23; 20:10-17) Those guilty of such degraded acts were cut off from the nation of Israel.
When the congregation of anointed Christians became "the Israel of God," similar moral standards were laid down for them. (Galatians 6:16) Christians too were to "abhor what is wicked." (Romans 12:9) Jehovah's words to Israel also applied to them: "You must be holy, because I am holy." (1 Peter 1:15, 16) Such unholy practices as fornication, adultery, homosexual acts, bestiality, and incest were not to corrupt the Christian congregation. Those refusing to stop engaging in such things would be excluded from God's Kingdom. (Romans 1:26, 27; 2:22; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Hebrews 13:4) In these "last days," the same standards apply to the "other sheep." (2 Timothy 3:1; John 10:16) As a result, anointed Christians and other sheep make up a clean and wholesome people, able to carry the name of their God as Jehovah's Witnesses.—Isaiah 43:10.
Keeping the Congregation Clean
In contrast, the world condones all kinds of immorality. Although true Christians are different, they should not forget that many who now serve Jehovah were once in the world. There are many who, before they knew our holy God, saw no reason not to indulge the desires and fantasies of their fallen flesh, wallowing in a "low sink of debauchery." (1 Peter 4:4) The apostle Paul, after describing the disgusting practices of degraded people of the nations, said: "That is what some of you were." Still, he went on to say: "But you have been washed clean, but you have been sanctified, but you have been declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God."—1 Corinthians 6:11.
What a comforting statement that is! Whatever a person did earlier in life, he changes when the glorious good news about the Christ has an effect on his heart. He exercises faith and dedicates himself to Jehovah God. From then on he lives a morally pure life, washed clean in God's eyes. (Hebrews 9:14) The sins that he committed previously are pardoned, and he can 'stretch forward to the things ahead.'*—Philippians 3:13, 14; Romans 4:7, 8.
Jehovah forgave repentant David for murder and adultery, and He forgave repentant Manasseh for immoral idolatry and much bloodshed. (2 Samuel 12:9, 13; 2 Chronicles 33:2-6, 10-13) We can be truly grateful that he is prepared to forgive us too if we repent and approach him in sincerity and humility. Still, despite Jehovah's forgiving David and Manasseh, these two men—and Israel with them—had to live with the consequences of their sinful acts. (2 Samuel 12:11, 12; Jeremiah 15:3-5) In a similar way, while Jehovah forgives repentant sinners, there may be consequences of their actions that cannot be avoided.
· 10 years ago