Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What Happens in Vegas . . .

The view from my hotel room
Part two of my business trip is Las Vegas. It's my first visit to "sin city," and for a Christian this place can be a tad bit uncomfortable. But before I start moralizing let me admit that, in a spiritual sense, I've been to "sin city" many times and felt quite at home there. It is remarkable to see the crowds of people pouring into Las Vegas. They come here looking for a thrill, some exciting and new experience that will cover the sadness and monotony of human life. And there obviously is a temporary pleasure in much that goes on here. Immorality, greed, and selfish hedonistic excess are worshipfully embraced while the living God is rejected categorically. I heard a story about a street preacher on the Las Vegas strip who was viciously punched in the face by a passerby a couple of days ago.

I remember a time in my life when I delighted to spend hours in selfishness, lust, and forgetfulness of God. I recall times when I tried in vain to numb the pain of my fallen humanity by thowing myself into wretched debauchery. I remember feeling a violent anger toward those who told me the truth and called me to account. In my flesh, this is all still present. But thanks be to God for His transforming grace! So, my trip to "sin city" has turned out to be a reminder of what I was - and in some ways still am - in my sinful self. But it is also an encouraging proof of the potency and availability of grace.

In the faces of those who come here to indulge in various vices, I can see myself. These faces bring thoughts of my depravity, but they also preach to me about mercy. For the One Who saved me can certainly save other sinners as well. He can change anyone. Blessed be His name.
That street preacher is probably rejoicing that he was able to suffer for the sake of Christ. Perhaps the one who attacked him is repenting today. Are we rejoicing and repenting, too - or just moralizing about the sins of others?

1 comment:

  1. Brother Ashton, This was a good post. Well thought out and timely. I believe that our Christianity has to be more than just concepts about right and wrong. Moralizing amongst ourselves doesn't bring persecution or repentance of sinners.



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