CONVICTION OF SIN
For whatever reason, many pastors and leaders don’t warn of the consequences of sin or call the people to repentance. We have made a BIG mistake only teaching and preaching about God’s love and grace.
Have you heard the expression, “You want your cake and eat it, too”? You can’t keep your nicely decorated cake and also eat it. Unfortunately, many Christians want to be a Christian and go to church, but they also want to be able to keep some of their sins; it doesn’t work like that. You can’t continue to disobey God and think He doesn’t care just because you go to church and say a few prayers. You certainly don’t want these things to keep you out of heaven. Or should I mention hell?
Do you know that true conviction of sin is all about Truth? Throughout the years we make excuses and deceive ourselves. Many of our sins are buried under the debris of our self-deception. Then comes the light of TRUTH! The Holy Spirit, through preaching (or sovereignly) shines His light into the depths of your soul and self-deception is exposed to that light. You finally see what you have done, or left undone – the selfish, unkind words and actions, the times you did something God told you not to do, and the many times you didn’t do something you should have done. Pressure builds, and you may feel emotional pain and weep as you see yourself in the light of truth.
At this point, some will truly repent, turning away from their sins. Peace is restored, with great joy! Nevertheless, some will refuse to repent, loving the darkness. Their hearts then become harder and they are in danger of eternal separation from God. “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 4:7). “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19).
For whatever reason, many pastors and leaders don’t warn of the consequences of sin or call the people to repentance. We have made a BIG mistake only teaching and preaching about God’s love and grace. Society is now reaping the fruit of this error. How tragic to say “peace and prosperity” when God is saying “REPENT!”
“God expects you to obey Him”. If you can’t wholeheartedly agree with this statement, you have been deceived and don’t know the ways of God. He requires your obedience and there will be consequences if you do not obey Him. You must stop trying to compartmentalize your sin. You can’t keep your favorite sin, believing it is covered by grace. You must choose to either walk with Jesus or walk in the flesh. If you continue to submit to your carnal desires, you will never learn to walk in the Spirit. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5-6).
What is grace? The classic answer: the unmerited favor of God; this means you didn’t earn or deserve His favor – He freely gave it. In regards to salvation, God sent His Son to suffer and die for your sins. He paid the price of death so that those who would believe (and continue to believe) in Him wouldn’t have to. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, it is no longer necessary to perform the 613 laws and ordinances of the Old Testament to be righteous before God; to obtain eternal life in heaven. Grace is also Divine help, freely provided, to accomplish God’s purpose and to resist temptation – that is a snapshot of what “grace” means.
Now, let me tell what it is not. Grace is not a covering for your sins. The blood of Jesus is. Grace does not mean you can sin without consequences. God will discipline you, sometimes severely. Grace does not mean Christians will go to heaven no matter what they do, and it doesn’t mean, “My sins are already forgiven; I don’t need to repent.” It does not eliminate the biblical mandates for walking in holiness, obedience to scriptural commands, and learning to be led by the Spirit, including dying to self, laying down your rights, and taking up your cross daily to follow Jesus. I hope you understand.
God’s grace is amazing, His love abounding, but He is holy, a consuming fire; He must be obeyed. Please do not use “grace” as a covering or excuse for sinning. It is possible to completely miss your God given purpose, lose your rewards, and eventually lose your salvation. Don’t play around with grace; cherish your salvation! And with a grateful heart, for the rest of your life, serve the One who purchased you with His precious blood.
Do you believe all of your sins are covered by grace – past, present, and future? Beloved, this statement is only partially true. For certain, if you have repented of your sins and accepted Christ as Savior, your sins are completely forgiven, and you are washed clean by the precious blood of Jesus. Nevertheless, this did not include your future sins; this is found nowhere in the Scriptures.
If you sin after receiving salvation, you must confess your sin to God and ask forgiveness (agree with God that you disobeyed Him) and repent (turn away from that sin). Our God is merciful and forgiving – He will surely forgive you, but you must truly repent.
Why did Jesus tell the Christians in Asia Minor to repent if repentance was no longer necessary? He used the word “repent” eight times in just 2 chapters! (Revelation 3:19). Apostle John is writing to Christians: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9).
Why would he say this if all future sin was already covered and forgiven? You can see that any teaching that implies there is no need for Christians to repent is false doctrine. (I will say more about this later.) Be careful; this heresy could be fatal. “I hate this false grace doctrine, says the Lord. I will no longer tolerate these lies. You must repent of your sins.”
The Lord wants me to make it very clear that He understands your weaknesses. He has watched people falter and fail ever since Adam and Eve. This is why He gave His son, Jesus, to suffer and die as a sacrifice for our sins, demonstrating His mercy and amazing grace. However, He does expect us to obey Him, and He has given His Holy Spirit to help us. Let me say it again: God understands your weakness but He does expect you to get it right and to overcome.
Sadly, for the past few decades, instead of calling us up higher to obedience and holiness (not legalism) many Church leaders have tried to make people feel comfortable in their sinfulness. They say, “God loves you; no one is perfect; God’s grace covers you. No one can change; just give it all to the Lord.”
Make no mistake; something is required of YOU! Don’t throw your hands in the air and say it’s too difficult. Have you experienced true conviction of sin? When the Holy Spirit brings conviction, you will see things as they are. The weight of this knowledge will crush you, and sometimes the fear of God will overwhelm you. You may weep uncontrollably. Genuine repentance is the only remedy. Please continue to pray that conviction of sin will fall upon the Church.
In this hour, the Lord is speaking to His children. He is revealing the things we have not repented of, even from years ago. These things were blamed on others or you just blew them off as insignificant. He doesn’t remind you of sins that you have truly repented of, and He isn’t about condemnation. This is about confession (agreeing that you have sinned), repentance (turning away from sin), and greater freedom, healing, and peace.
Some of these forgotten things have been hindering your spiritual growth and even causing physical and emotional issues. This is the season to pray like David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24).
Remember, when He shows you, don’t try to justify yourself or make excuses. Quickly agree that you have sinned, ask forgiveness, and if you are still doing these things, turn away from them now. Don’t believe the lie that you have gone too far and won’t be forgiven; this is not true. Sadly, the enemy has used the following scripture to bring discouragement and hopelessness to backslidden Christians:
“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:26-27).
As you may know, the book of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers. Some of them were beginning to turn from the faith, wondering if they made a mistake by following Jesus. They are being exhorted not to turn back. The “sacrifice” mentioned in the above scripture is not referring to the blood of Jesus; it is referring to the temple sacrifice – read the entire chapter. If they turned away from Christ and returned to the Old Testament sin offerings, this sacrifice would no longer cover their sins. I hope you understand.
There are many Christians who have backslidden or sinned willfully after knowing the Lord. Nevertheless, after genuine repentance, God has forgiven us and washed away our sins. He has restored our relationship with Him and He will do the same for you. Turn from your sins now and come home.
Remember, when conviction of sin comes to us, we can truly repent, or we can feel guilty, make excuses and blame others. Nonetheless, something is happening that you should be aware of. God is now speaking to backslidden Christians and the unsaved, convicting them of their sins. At this point, some are repenting, but many others are not. Instead, they feel guilty and are stuffing it inside.
Guilt is a strong, unpleasant feeling, but anger is even stronger. Anger, and sometimes hatred, will arise and overtake the guilt, making them feel better about themselves because the guilt has been suppressed by their anger. This is one of the reasons why we see so many “activists” coming against the ones who lovingly remind them of the consequences of sin; it makes them feel justified. Be aware. As the conviction of sin increases in our society, there will be those who repent, and there will be those filled with anger and hatred—they may even become violent; this is already happening, but it will become much worse. I hope you are praying.
Some prophetic insight: God has been at work in the world, allowing people to finally come to the end of themselves. There has been an increase in violence, drinking, drugs, sex, perversion, gambling, materialism, occult practices, etc. However, some are now beginning to realize that they’re not happy or fulfilled with these things. They keep looking for the next “high” or new thing, but that doesn’t satisfy either. Many are becoming miserable (especially backsliders) and this is a good thing. Their need for God will increase, preparing them to receive the truth of the gospel.
A falling away is occurring, but the remnant Church is being prepared. The world is becoming more desperate and darkness is covering the earth. These are positive signs of the glorious things to come (Isaiah 60:1-2). Along with all of this, there is the hopeful expectation of eternity! “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1Corinthians 2:9). Be encouraged, beloved.
Repentance: Turning Away From Sin
There are some Christians who think that when they commit sin, these sins will be counterbalanced by the good things they do. “I give money to the poor, go to church and say my prayers; I do kind deeds once in a while.” They estimate that the good they do will surely outweigh the bad… so God will go easy on them. This is totally incorrect. Only the blood of Jesus covers your sin… as you truly repent. Repentance (Greek “metanoia”) means to change your mind and turn in the other direction. If you want your sins forgiven you must turn away from them. The good you do does not outweigh the bad.
“But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.” “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 18:24, 31).
As I’ve said many times, if you are living in and continuing in sin, you will suffer serious consequences, and often, the people nearest you will also suffer. Sin must be confessed and dealt with. Sin will destroy everything you have worked for. Continue sinning and it will eventually pull you away from God; this is why the Lord is now warning His people. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Galatians 6:7-8).
As I’ve already mentioned, grace was never meant to cover your sin. The indescribable torture of Jesus Christ and the shedding of His blood covers our sin. Will you continue to take His suffering and the shedding of His precious blood for granted? Or, perhaps you have said, “God is OK with my sin. He knows I can’t help it. I talk with the Lord every day. I love Him and He loves me.”
The Lord wants you to know that you are deceived. He did not tell you He is OK with your sin; He expects you to stop sinning. Does this statement upset you? Do excuses and reasons why this is not possible come to mind? This statement is true. You must be perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord (2 Corinthians 7:1). That is, a life completely set apart for the Lord, surrendered and obedient. Will it happen overnight? Probably not. Nevertheless, this is your goal.
It is very easy to deceive yourself, especially when you want to do something that you should not do. When that uncomfortable feeling of guilt and conviction comes, some begin to “hear” God say, “I understand; it’s okay.” This is not God, but likely your soul, or the devil. You must walk in the truth of Scripture – the Word of the Lord.
Many churches, during Sunday service, will say a little prayer asking God to forgive their sins, and the minister may even tell the people their sins are forgiven, but are they? Was there true repentance? Was there any remorse for sinning? Was there a decision made to do whatever is necessary to turn from their sins? These things are required for genuine repentance. Anything less is not acceptable to God.
As I’ve said, repentance (metanoia) is not only admitting you have sinned and saying, “Forgive me, God, I am sorry.” It requires a change of mind and a genuine decision to turn away from that sin. Turning away from sin requires an action on your part. If you have not done that, you have not repented of your sin. Over the years I have known a few people who were always quick to admit their fault and apologize, but then they continued to do the same hurtful things. There are people who are quick to admit their sins to God and tell Him they are sorry, but then they go back to sinning. I hope this is not you. God expects you to overcome your flesh (with His help) and live in the Spirit. Will you occasionally fail? Yes. But you are to press on, submitting to God, resisting the devil, and overcoming temptation.
How can you truly repent and find peace if you won’t admit you are wrong? Isn’t it time to admit the truth, ask forgiveness, and be healed? Sin will spoil your spiritual life, and your heart will eventually harden. You need help, beloved. God wants to set you free. Are you making excuses or will you truly repent and turn away from this sin? Jesus said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” (Matthew 5:29).
He says the same thing in Matthew 18:9. It is very rare to find the same words stated twice in the same book. Of course, Jesus is not saying to mutilate yourself, but Holy Spirit is trying to stress this point: You must take extreme measures to turn away from your besetting sins. By mentioning the right hand, instead of just “hand” the Lord is putting an exclamation point on this statement. Extreme measures could mean: break a sinful relationship now, cut your internet, confess your sin to another, become accountable to someone, get into a program.
Seek the Lord with all your heart. He loves you and will give you the help (grace) to overcome temptation. Nevertheless, He will not continue to tolerate willful sinning. Make no mistake, everyone is responsible for what they say and do, and will be accountable before God.
For those who still think that God’s amazing grace allows them to be a Christian, but continue in sexual sin: This was written by Paul, the apostle who taught us a lot about grace: “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner – not even to eat with such a person.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-11).
This scriptural directive is very clear. However, it is important to note that the Lord will surely send godly Christians to the backslider, seeking to bring them to repentance. And Paul is not speaking about those who occasionally fail in weakness but are truly repenting, doing whatever is necessary to turn from their sin. This message is about Christians who continue to disobey God, those who make excuses and think that because God loves them, it’s okay to keep sinning.
Father God is loving, merciful, and kind. Nevertheless, He is Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe. You must obey Him by obeying His Word. You can’t make up your own rules and concoct your brand of Christianity to accommodate the lusts of your flesh. The New Testament has been the standard of truth and morality for two thousand years. Why would you think God has now changed His mind about fornication and sexual perversion? This is the great deception of our time.
When it comes to morality, the Scriptures are very clear about what is good and evil. How can you have fellowship with individuals or churches who call evil, good? These have fallen away from the truth of God’s Word and are now apostate. Sin should separate or divide us from those who are impenitent or unrepentant. Of course, as I just said, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to bring them to repentance.
If you think this is too strong, please consider what Paul said about those who were contaminating the Church with the false teaching that Gentiles must be circumcised if they are to be saved. He said he wished they would castrate themselves! (Galatians 5:12). Paul also said, “As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9). Accursed (anathema) means: “cursed, doomed to be separated from Christ.” Be careful and be wise. Sometimes division is good and necessary.
Every church or denomination that does not believe and obey the Word of God has no right to be called a church; they are apostate. Jesus prayed that we would be one (John 17:21), but you can be sure Jesus didn’t mean for us to walk in unity with those who encourage or do the things that God says are evil. The Lord is now calling forth a remnant Church, those who will truly love and obey Him. “Churches” that promote sin are void of the presence of God…Ichabod!
Read your Bible, beloved. Obedience, humility, self-sacrifice, self-denial are very prominent qualities in the Word of God. Sadly, they are seldom preached or practiced in the current lukewarm Church. If the truth be told, many present-day Christians wonder what they can get away with and still be saved. They disregard authority and demand their rights; this is not biblical Christianity.
What about us loving God (obedience) and laying down our lives to serve the Lord and others (self-sacrifice and humility)? How about doing what you say you will do and sticking to it even if it’s not convenient (commitment)? Somehow teaching these things is now called legalism.
In the Old Testament, the Lord destroyed entire cities and nations, killing men, women, and children. He severely punished Israel many times, sending them into captivity, even destroying Jerusalem. This may seem harsh to you, but everything God does is absolutely correct and perfectly just. Almighty God means what He says, and He expects obedience. He will surely discipline His children and cast sinners into hell.
Life is tough and sometimes it’s difficult to obey God so “Let’s create a god that allows us to sin without consequences. Let’s forget all the scriptures that speak of walking in holiness, and denying self. We will only teach about God’s love and grace, not about accountability and judgment. We should be positive and encourage the people, never correct them.” I’m not sure what you want to call this religion, but it’s NOT Christianity.
What brand of Christianity are you following? Are you following the real Jesus? For sure, He loved us so much that He suffered and died, but He said many things that are seldom, if ever, taught. Jesus told us the gate is narrow that leads to life – few find it (Matthew 7:14), and that you must deny yourself, and take up your cross. (Matthew 16:24). He told His disciples to fear God (Matthew 10:28) and expects you to take extreme measures to turn away from sin. (Mark 9:47). Jesus also warned about being complacent and lukewarm. (Revelation 3:16). You can’t be a nominal Christian, beloved – He will vomit you out. He said if you don’t abide in Him, you will be cast out, thrown into the fire, and burned. (John 15:6). He said many more things like this!
I hope you will seriously consider what Jesus is saying. Many who say they are Christians will be very disappointed to hear, “I never knew you; depart from Me” (Matthew 7:23). It is very foolish to think that none of these verses matter anymore because of grace – a huge mistake that could cost you everything.
Sadly, there’s a school of thought now being expressed that hopes to remove guilt and make people feel good about themselves. “If someone feels guilty, tell them their sin is not that bad.” “God understands; everyone does it. Grace will cover it.” “We shouldn’t talk about sin or hell; that makes people uncomfortable.” I read about a pastor who says it’s not wrong to view pornography. She doesn’t want people to feel guilty for something that everyone does. What? Anyone that makes you feel comfortable in your sin is not from God.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, God’s amazing grace has been poured out on all who will trust in Him. God’s love and mercy was demonstrated in such an awesome way! But God has not changed. He is the same as He was in the Old Testament. He is holy; He is a consuming fire. He hates sin; He hates prideful rebellion and will not be mocked. He is a loving Father who will crush all who oppose Him. His wrath will soon be poured out on this world; He is about to allow great tribulation and will eventually destroy the earth by fire. He is not a nice grandfather who will let you do whatever you want without consequence; millions of people will spend eternity in hell.
And why do you always need to see Jesus as a nice, gentle guy? I mean, He certainly is loving and kind, but He is so much more than that. Perhaps you like the idea that you can talk to Him once in a while, go to church when you feel like it, and then pretty much do whatever you want. As I already said, Jesus told the church at Sardis they have a reputation for being alive, but they are dead. He tells them to be watchful and to strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die. (Revelation 3:1-2). This could apply to many churches today. These ministries began with a love for God, heartfelt enthusiasm, and genuine commitment. Sadly, all of this has now been reduced to a mere religious ceremony – the same routine week after week with little or no community outreach. God is not pleased.
Nevertheless, what Jesus went on to say is even more revealing. Only a few of the members had not defiled themselves with sin. These would be rewarded by walking with Jesus in white garments. Those who overcome (temptation and persecution) will be clothed in white and Jesus will confess them before the Father and His angels. Their names will not be blotted out of the Book of Life (Revelation 3:5). What about those who do not overcome? Let me say this again. Their names will be blotted out! This is the word of the Lord, Church! Repent and strengthen the things that are ready to die.
Do you realize how many dead and dying churches there are? Many are hanging by a thread as they go through the motions of their traditional service and the attendance dwindles. Sadly, there are also churches full of people, but they are also dying. Why? Before we blame all of this on the devil or society, let’s take a good look at ourselves. God has been faithful to pour out His Spirit in marvelous ways throughout the 20th century. Nevertheless, most of the denominations ignored what God was doing; they even spoke against it. Many of these denominations are now dying and many have become apostate, embracing the things that God considers to be evil. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth is no longer with them.
Sadly, there are many clergy in these denominations who lead religious services with prayers and singing, even Communion, but twist the Scriptures and teach the people that perversion and abortion are okay. In so doing, they are leading their congregations to hell. Don’t be deceived by this kind of religion! Remember, there is a huge difference between practicing religion and having a personal relationship with God, obediently following His son Jesus.
Everyone must make a personal decision to turn away from sin and accept the Sacrifice that was made for their sins. They must surrender their life to Jesus Christ, the One who suffered and died in their place, and then obediently follow the Savior, obeying His Word, denying themselves, and taking up their cross daily. (Luke 9:23). Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Have you surrendered your life to Him? Are you obeying His Word? It’s not about your religious practices. It’s all about a loving relationship with Jesus, your Lord.
But what about the Spirit-filled churches? They have enjoyed the presence of the Holy Spirit and have operated in His spiritual gifts for decades, but instead of using this power to evangelize, many of these churches just keep ministering to one another. They may have great music, but there is little true worship, prayer, or outreach to the community. And when a new church opens, most of the people are not new converts, they come from other churches. And what about making disciples?
Instead, sexual sin abounds, especially pornography, and the leadership never mentions it. The consequences of sin are seldom if ever mentioned, and a call to repentance is never given. Now, many of these churches have become compromised by false teachings, others are lukewarm and have lost their first love.
Do you understand? The church is weak and impotent because of its sins. Repentance and the call to holiness must be preached and taught in our churches. Deliverance ministries, support groups, and counseling must be offered to those caught in the snare of the enemy. We must also speak about sin and its consequences.
We have failed to preach and teach the complete truth of God’s word. We have failed to walk in holiness, and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, using His gifts. We have failed to train our children in the ways of the Lord. We have failed to reach out to a world that so desperately needs the Savior. Most Christians don’t worship God in spirit and truth; they simply engage in religious ceremonies. They have also erected many idols in their life (i.e. sensual pleasure, materialism, etc.) I exhort churches everywhere to have a solemn assembly, a day of repentance, a time to acknowledge and repent of these failures, and personal sins. Let it be a time of prayer and mourning and repentance, allowing the Holy Spirit room to convict of sin, and bring forth true repentance. The Church of Jesus Christ must be cleansed now. If not, the Lord will come with judgment.
Don’t you know these things are sinful? Deep within, doesn’t your conscience tell you they are? If not, you aren’t born of the Spirit-Christ is not in you. You aren’t saved. Surely the Holy Spirit would tell you the truth. Or you have silenced your conscience so many times that it is now callused. Your heart has now become hardened to the truth. “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified.” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Something important: The Lord doesn’t want you always thinking about your sins, or worrying about sinning in the future. He wants you focused on Him and the assignments He gives you. Of course, you shouldn’t sin, but preoccupation with concerns about sinning is not coming from God; this is bondage. He loves you and wants you to be free. Many Christians suffer from guilt and condemnation. It is difficult for them to listen to strong messages about sin and hell. Feeling guilty about everything is not from God; this is usually not conviction of sin, but it could be caused by a spirit of condemnation. You must know this so you can be healed and set free. Some Christians beat themselves needlessly.
The Lord wants you to be free from this and live in peace. “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things.” (1John 3:20). The Lord loves you and wants you to learn of His amazing grace and the power of His blood to wash away your sin. If you are trying, with God’s help, to turn away from sin, know that you are forgiven.
Submit to God and resist the devil. Humble yourself before God and obey Him. If you will do this, you are completely free in Christ, free to love Him above all things, and to love and serve others. Remember, obedience to God is your highest form of worship, an expression of your love. It must never become legalistic.
“And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:4-6).
The Lord is calling His people to choose Him above the things of this world. He loves you and has good plans for you, but so many are choosing the carnal things of this world. “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4).
No Excuses: All humanity, since the time of Adam, is born with a carnal nature, and God has given each of us a personality. Any parent can tell you that even as an infant, each child is different from their other children. Now add parental influence (good or bad), and the influence of family, friends, and teachers. For those who were raised in a church, also add the influence of pastors and doctrines. Your IQ and physiological makeup are also involved, including your responses to adversity and temptation.
All of these things have played a role in making you the unique man or woman you are today. Our God is so amazing! But before you use any one of these factors as an excuse for your sins, you should remember that everyone has to overcome obstacles. Everyone is accountable for their own words, actions, and lingering thoughts – you will never find an excuse for sinning in the Bible.
If a sheep won’t follow the shepherd, you know there will surely be trouble. They could fall in a pit, get stuck in the underbrush or be devoured by a wild animal. Jesus told us He is the Good Shepherd. He will leave the 99 to seek after the lost one. What a faithful God! But what if the sheep keeps choosing his own way?
In the story of the prodigal son, the Father does not go after the lost son. He allows him to come to the end of himself. He eventually wastes all of his money on sinful living and is now left alone, hungry, and feeding pigs, and longing to eat the pig’s food. To a Jew, this was the lowest, filthiest thing. Jesus was saying this son had hit rock bottom. He finally came to his senses, repented, and returned home. Make no mistake, many prodigals have lost everything.
There are some wandering sheep who have been devoured. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter4:8). It’s time to come home. If not, things may soon get much worse for you. Please heed this warning!
The Church is in serious condition! Heresy and sin have corrupted the Church. The Word of God has been minimized to a “nice book with some good ideas.” Many Christians are in danger of serious judgment. Will you pray for them? Will you warn them? We are compromised and lukewarm, riffed with false teachings, and corrupted by sexual sin. We must awake from our slumber now, repent of our sins, and return to the Lord. “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God…” (1 Peter 4:17).