A POSSIBLE YOU
FINDING GOD’S DESTINY FOR YOUR LIFE
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN?
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are “buried” with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so should we walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6: 1-4)
What are the consequences of sin? Some might say this is a crazy question because we should know that God hates sin – and does not want anyone to sin. I am reminded of the insurance commercial that says, “Everybody knows that” but I believe (even in the Christian faith) there is much confusion about this topic. The above verse says that we should walk in “newness” of life which we all can agree this means to be holy like He is holy, but what about when Christians choose to hold on to the old sins? I am not talking about mistakes or stumbles but rather intentional pet sins that we love and have no plans to be delivered from. My question is; can we live in direct disobedience to His will and still lead a happy, peaceful life in His presence? “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:14) When trying to learn more about what God expects and what our responsibilities are concerning sanctification and personal holiness, it is important to know what is true so that we can become all that He has called us to be. I have been around long enough to finally realize that humans are very sneaky and conniving creatures that take advantage of their superior brains which in turn gives them the ability to act one way while secretly thinking and living the opposite. When Jesus mentioned how that we as adults need to become more like “little children” I know He was referring to returning to the state of innocence but I can also see a common attribute in children where they can think of everything in the world to manipulate and justify their schemes in order to get what they want. This standard feature of being able to deceive unfortunately many times does not change but actually becomes more sophisticated as we grow older. The sad truth about this life of game playing is how humans are very convinced that they can outsmart and trick God with all of this. It is almost like when a child watches their parents out of the corner of their eye and attempts to take another piece of chocolate candy without them seeing. How many people live their daily lives believing that they can say, think and do whatever they want with every intention of getting away with it? Allow me to ask a question; do you think that since Jesus died on the cross and paid for our sins, that we can now sin all we want and not worry about it? Do you believe there are times when God shrugs His shoulders or just looks the other way when it comes to our sin? Let us continue and take a closer look at how God feels about our behavior.
I know about a situation that happened several years ago where a young woman committed a huge mistake and it ended up costing her job and her husband. When trying to reach out for counseling and possible reconciliation, a pastor said that her husband should divorce her because they were un-equally yoked together. The young woman wanted to know the meaning of this statement and the pastor replied that it was “impossible” for a Christian to commit such a sin and that obviously she was lost and did not know God. This story causes me to ponder about just how far a Christian can “cross the line” but then I remember King David was a man after God’s heart yet made a huge error in his life that brought much pain and damage. I believe we can say that the dark nature of humans can still be “activated” within the Christian if they allow their thoughts to take control. Yes, we are supposed to be focused on Christ but our free-will is always present and ready to cooperate with our flesh. We also know that if we do fall into a terrible sin and even if we end up in prison, God’s mercy and grace can forgive us if we have a broken and contrite heart and in repentance ask Him to forgive us. This still does not answer my original question about how or if a Christian can continue living in premeditated sin their entire life while still enjoying the blessings and fullness of the glory of God. We know the origin of sin came from Adam and Eve but where does sin originate in our personal life? You guessed it! Our mind. Every sin that is committed comes from a thought and deeds that we have been called to do that we DO NOT do, comes from the absence of thinking. If you have ever grown weary of me or anyone else constantly talking about how our mind needs to be renewed, this is one of the big reasons for the emphasis. It only makes sense that the more we can harness our thoughts – the more holy we can become. Of course we need to DESIRE to live holy or all of this talk just becomes blah – blah – blah. It bothers me that myself and probably many more people like me would rather listen to messages that are filled with the promises of blessings. I realize the subject of sin is something most people are trying to avoid. The “seeker sensitive” idea for many churches today uses a strategy of avoiding the topic of sin because it is feared that it would make individuals uncomfortable. Their plan is to play rock music and talk about psychology instead of telling the truth and allowing the Holy Spirit to do God’s work. For those who do recognize the need for mental discipline as a foundation for sanctification, we can base our energy and vision on the solid rock of His Word. “Casting down IMAGINATIONS, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity EVERY THOUGHT to the obedience of Christ. And having in a readiness to revenge (avenge) all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” (II Corinthians 10:5-6) Have we as Christians forgotten that it is our responsibility to govern and rule our mind so that God can rule our heart? Do we believe that since our sins have been forgiven that we do not need to worry about being holy? I hope not.
I had a lengthy conversation with a Christian the other day about a certain topic in which they were entangled (which was about a specific sin) and they finally admitted that they knew it was a sin against God. They went on to say that occasionally they felt dirty inside however, they were also quick to point out that according to their view of life the whole world sins every day and that sin was sin. In their justification of this lifestyle they had measured the good and bad and felt confident that not only God would understand but that He would lovingly welcome them into His heaven when they pass from this life. The concept behind this theology is that God loves sinners and has mercy on our weaknesses. I listened for a while and finally said this is true within the context of our knowledge and His sovereignty but followed with saying this particular sin that we were talking about is a willful, INTENTIONAL lifestyle choice that is offensive to His holiness. It was like an arrow had been shot into their heart and the conversation changed directions into something completely different. I realized the Holy Spirit had provided the conviction but the rebellion was standing its ground. The little child was stomping its feet and having a tantrum while screaming “I don’t care if it’s wrong – I want it! When they left it dawned on me – are we all not the same way? I wondered if this was a divine appointment of if I should have maybe went even further but I could definitely sense this was a tender area that did not want to be touched. Don’t we all justify what we love and are we all not guilty of protecting our sinful thoughts? I thought we were supposed to be casting them down. I believe in order to become a “more improved” follower of Christ; we need to not only examine the truth about sin but also do some intense cleaning within the hidden chambers, attics, basements and secret places within our heart. These are messages that need to be spoken but many times the speaker is too embarrassed to expose their own problems and weaknesses.
I realize that we usually sin everyday but I also not proclaiming that we “must” continually sin by always complaining how the devil made us do it because sadly, we are quite capable of committing our fair share of trespasses completely on our own. I also am not trying to be negative by implying that we will probably not attain to a level where we do not sin, but if we could ever develop an awareness of His presence, we could certainly improve from where we are. The Nazarene denomination is a group of Christians that are convinced that it is possible for an individual to reach a level of perfection or sinlessness. It is called, “entire sanctification” and comes from the teachings and doctrines of John Wesley. I have heard Bible teachers Present the idea that sin is not something “we must do” because they believe that most of our trespasses can be avoided and can be traced back to the willing choices that we make. The question that needs to be asked is not whether our sins are covered under the blood of Jesus but what about explaining the fine details and small print clauses that reveal just how this process works and what it includes. We know that if we confess our sins and repent with Godly sorrow that He listens and responds by forgiving us. However, what happens when someone is involved with a sin and does not ask for forgiveness neither do they even worry about it because they are convinced that the sins of a Christian are “automatically” washed away? Will there be any type of judgment for unrepentant sin in this believer’s life? I want to continue with these thoughts in the next message, but in closing I just want remind us that we are to hate sin. We are not to view sin as exciting, thrilling, interesting or entertaining. Sin makes God sick and angry and He is very offended when we allow it to dominate our life. It always comes back to the importance of developing an awareness of what we are thinking which directly effects our walk with God. The closer we are in our love relationship with Him the further away from sin we should run. To hold onto sin with one hand and hold God’s hand with the other is living in deception. Selah.