How Christians Offend God

Prayer posture

The Bible clearly tells us that all sin is an offense to God (Romans 8:8). But so often, Christians act as if some of the sins they commit are somehow either more acceptable to God today or that He understands our human weakness and lets them slide, so to speak.  But that is far from the truth of God’s Word. God detests all sin.  God is Holy and Just, and every sin we commit separates us from Him.  Nothing is hidden from Him. Every sin must be punished!  But God loves us so much, He sent His only Son, Jesus, to go to the cross so that He would be punished instead of us for our sins. So when Christians fail to recognize their own sinfulness, God is deeply offended, and Jesus’ death on the cross is trivialized.

In our American culture today, I believe that some Christians think some things they do are not sinful anymore and so they are not offensive to God.  In some cases they may not even realize they are offending God. It may either be a result of their lack of Biblical knowledge or the influence of our secular culture. Whatever the reason, they are not repentant nor do they consider that God is offended by what they do.  This could be a tragic mistake, because Jesus warns us in Matthew 7:21 that “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of heaven.” 

So knowing and understanding what behavior is sinful is extremely important for Christians. The Bible tells us what is sinful, not the culture and not other people, even pastors. Christians must read their Bible to know what sin is and what offends God.  Then we must repent and seek His forgiveness for our sinful behavior in order to be forgiven and reconciled to Him.

Here are 10 things that some Christians do today that culturally may be acceptable but I believe deeply offend God:

1.  Fornication.  Fornication is defined as sex between non-married individuals. Today, many young Christians live together, have sexual intercourse, and consider it to be normal behavior.  They often have no shame nor believe they are offending God. The Bible clearly calls this sin. (Hebrews 13:4“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”)

2. Homosexuality.  Homosexuality is defined as sex between members of the same gender. Today, our culture is tolerant of homosexual behavior and some churches and denominations even endorse it. The Bible clearly calls this sin as well. (Leviticus 18:22“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”)

3. Abortion. Abortion is the termination of a life that has begun. It is murder. Today, many Christians are pro-choice and believe it is a woman’s right to chose an abortion. But God’s Word is very clear that we do not have the right to terminate a life. (Exodus 20:13“You shall not murder.”)

4. Pride. This is about being proud of ourselves and placing ourselves above God.  God is our Creator and is offended whenever we take credit for what He has done. Some Christians today are eager to pat themselves on the back while rarely giving credit to God for the blessings in their lives. (Proverbs 8:13“To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”)

5. Selfishness. This is about placing ourselves above others. Today, some Christians are more concerned about themselves than others. They focus more on their needs and what they desire but fail to consider the needs of those less fortunate. (Philippians 2:3“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”)

6. Retaliation. Some Christians believe it is okay to take an eye for an eye, and to retaliate against those who have hurt them. We sometimes see people taking justice into their own hands and justifying it, some of whom claim to be Christians. But Jesus clearly says that we are not to retaliate when others hurt us. (Matthew 5:39 “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.  If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”)

7. Unforgiveness. Some Christians want others to forgive them but sometimes they refuse to forgive others. God’s Word often refers to this as having a “hardened heart.” Scripture clearly tells us that if we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us. (Matthew 6:15“But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”)

8. Divorce. Many Christians today believe that divorce is acceptable for any reason and a legitimate way to end a marriage.  But God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and Jesus spoke against it, except in the case of infidelity. (Matthew 19:6“What God has joined together, let not man separate.”)

9. Idolatry. Idolatry takes many forms today, including career, family, fame or money.  But these are all false gods and God is offended when Christians seek something else instead of Him. (Exodus 20:3“You shall have no other gods before me.”)

10. Bad Language. In America today profanity is commonly acceptable, even among Christians, whether in conversation, movies, on television, or in Facebook postings. But God is still offended when people take His name in vain, swear or use filthy language. (Colossians 3:8“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”)


These are just some of the ways Christians offend God knowingly or unknowingly, and this list is by no means comprehensive. We know according to Scripture that we are sinful by nature.  But that is not the issue here. The issue is whether or not we recognize our sin and repent of it.  1 John 1:10 says, “If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His Word has no place in our lives.”  So , if we do not recognize our behavior as sin we tell God He is wrong and that deeply offends Him.

So let us look to God’s Word for what behavior offends Him, repent of it, and seek His forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

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22 Responses to How Christians Offend God

  1. Dolly Orprecio says:

    God bless you richly for these truths that we all need to remember and repent of. This is great and I believe this is very timely because Jesus is coming very soon. We need to be bold and redeem the time. God bless you brother.

  2. Bryana says:

    Good article, however you forgot one sin. Many christians forget about judgement. You do not have the authority to judge any one else. Let them go in front of The Lord themselves and he will judge them. You judge Homosexuals. They were BORN that way, can you explain what sin they committed? Or people who get divorced? Thats not your job. The Bible is a book written by MAN, remember that. Don’t take it completely literal. Just know The Lord, and keep your heart on Him. HE knows your heart and every thought you have ever had. He knows.

    • joze says:

      Homosexual is sin according to Bible and punshed by capital penalty.No place for homosexuality in Christianity who accept it he/she can’t be christian any more.Wsetern culture is against Gods commendmet and this is reason why happen many evil in the world.

    • John Olsovsky says:

      God commands us with words that He wrote through man to exercise good judgment and to discern between right and wrong, to be able to correctly identify what sin is. You, like me — we are born sinners and thrive when other Christians confront us with our sin in a loving, non-judgmental manner. If I practice any sin, homosexuality included, and call myself a Christian, I very much need a brother to tell me the truth of my error and encourge me to repent.

    • Jacqyeline says:

      You are lost and must find yourself, what you are saying is wrong. I think you have issues that have convicted your heart and now you are confused. God’s word does not come back in vain and he loves you!!! Seek his face and word in everything you do and HE will lead and guide you… God Bless You!!!

      • Barry says:

        If you disagree with my posting please show me my error with Scripture. I’m not sure what you mean by saying I am lost and confused. My Scriptural arguments are very clear.

        • Love says:

          I love this. Thank you so much. Praise God for you! Praise God for His Word! God’s truth is the lamp to our feet. It brings us to the right path. Amen.
          As brothers and sisters of the same faith, we are called to encourage one another and we need to sharpen each other. And the only way to do that is to share His Truth. God bless you all!

    • Nikodemus Siregar says:

      He is not judging. He is telling the truth. Don’t you know that a true believer will not let his/her brothers/ sisters living in their sins? He still sins too, but God looks his heart.

    • jim says:

      if you read the bible it clearly states in Roman’s 1 and 1 corinthians 6:9-10 that those who are homosexual will not inherit the kingdom of God meaning they will go to Hell. Jesus pointed out their sins and the Bible is the inspired word of God. God breathed. men wrote it as they were led by the Holy Spirit. u need to check your salvation to see if you are in the faith. it’s not only believing in Jesus. but Jesus said in Mark 1:15 you must “repent and believe”

    • John says:

      It’s not a sin to judge, for judgement is to use discernment. The scripture in full is this “do not judge, for in the manner that you judge, so shall you also be judged”

      And I believe that to mean not only before God will you be judged in the way you judged others, but that it’s relevant to this day we are alive. That others watching how you judge will judge you acccordingly. For instance if you judge a group of people by stereotypes and exaggerations, you may well look like a hypocrite to the person truly neutral to the conversation.
      God will judge on your sincerity and maybe even ask you (in that place where lies cannot exist) for your honesty of did you do everything you could for were you letting your body move you and making excuses by playing with the rules and finding loopholes and in turn judging unfairly to those that didn’t agree with you?

    • Anthony says:

      Some people believe that homosexuals were born that way. Others, myself included, do not believe that. Nobody is born gay. The Bible is the word of God. It must be adhered to and not seen as a catalogue that one can pick and choose the bits one likes from.

  3. Barry Voss says:

    Bryana, being homosexual is not a sin but having homosexual thoughts and actions are. All of us will be judged by God for our actions. I am not judging them, but merely pointing out the behavior that God calls sin that they will one day have to account for, just as we will have to account for our sins. Do not misunderstand the distinction. The Bible was written by men but they were inspired by the Holy Spirit and at His direction. We cannot pick and choose which verses we agree with or not. We can only believe that it is God’s Word to man and we need to take it at face value – it says what it says and it doesn’t say what it doesn’t say. God’s Word is very clear on some points, especially homosexuality and other forms of sexual sin.

  4. dian says:

    very true, brother

  5. Ezeugo says:

    This article has really satisfied my quest on how not to offend God. I sincerely wish that Christians all over the world will have this understanding and act in ways that pleases God.

  6. Edward Hara says:

    Really? I just looked up Romans 8:8 and it says absolutely nothing about offending God. In fact, I used Blue Letter Bible online to do a word search and the whole concept of offending God is not found in Scripture.

    Just a point. If you are going to try to teach something or be a teacher, you need to work on precision in using words.

    • Barry says:

      Edward, the definition of offend is “to cause (a person or group) to feel hurt, angry, or upset by something said or done”. Romans 8:8 says that we cannot please God by our sin and therefore that hurts Him or in other words, offends Him. The entire Old Testament also refers to the many ways God’s people turned their back on Him, angered Him, hurt Him, and thus offended Him. Just because the Bible does not use a specific word does not change the meaning or context (for example, the Bible never mentions the word Trinity and yet that is one of the core beliefs we have from the Bible.)

    • Mo says:

      You are right.
      I believe in trying to pull people away from sin, they have used the wrong motive and words. Hebrews 10:1-2 tells us not to have a sin conscious mind. The fact that those who do not believe in Jesus according to Romans 10:9-10 will earn eternal hell, does not say anything about God being angry or offended. God hates sin but He is not offended by sinners, He wouldn’t have sent his son to come and open our eyes to see God’s true nature, love. Love hates evil but is never offended and doesnot offend anyone. Jesus taught about let us not be offended. He couldn’t be something He’s asking us not to be. Sin was meant to offend God but God was not offended. He became sin and put away sin (that which prevented man from recognising the goodness of God).
      No man is BORN Homoxesual otherwise we would have hear atleast of twin in their mothers womb doing the act. We have been talked into lies by society and religion and God wants to change that thought pattern by revealing to us his goodness, despite our sin(s). According to Romans 2:4 it is the goodness of God that leads man to repent. Believe in God’s goodness and grace and you will not love to sin anymore. How does God hates sin? By doing away with it once for all (Hebrews 8, 9 & 10. 1 Corinthians 15, Romans 6, 2 Timothy 1etc) and not making it an issue as men do even after the sin problem has been solved. What a shame that we can’t believe God on this matter. You neither repent nor ask forgiveness to be saved, but you believe.
      Blessed be our good God.

  7. But Fornication Is Common Among The Youth

    • John says:

      Common doesn’t mean right. Heroin use is epidemic and common.
      Sex isn’t a sin necessarily, but the fact people use it to determine the level of love based on the heightened bodily experience can lead to sin. It of itself can be an addiction that like anything else addictive, the more you do it the more you need it. If it’s promiscuity then that leads to a whole group of other potential problems

      Common shouldn’t define acceptability. It could define problems as well.

  8. EMMANUEL says:


  9. Love says:

    I love this. Thank you so much. Praise God for you! Praise God for His Word! God’s truth is the lamp to our feet. It brings us to the right path. Amen.
    As brothers and sisters of the same faith, we are called to encourage one another and we need to sharpen each other. And the only way to do that is to share His Truth. God bless you all!

  10. Sam says:

    Go was offended with man in Gen 6:6, we are told not to grieve Him in Ephe 4:30. You are right on brother. Our culture can not tolerate taking God’s word at face value. You are right when you say it trivializes the cross. This is the fallout of a church that will not preach against sin, it cannot praise the cross either.

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