To begin with, if you are not a Christian
(by that I mean, you have never committed your life to belief in the death, burial and resurrection
of Jesus Christ) this article is not for you. The reason I say that is, no matter whether
you sin or don't sin, you are going to hell where you will suffer forever in a burning
lake of fire; yes actual fire, forever! Sound harsh? It sure is! That's why it is so
important to understand how much God hates sin and why He paid such an immense price, the
death of His only son, so that we need not go to hell.
right, you don't need to go to Hell! God has offered us a pardon for our sins.
If we will simply accept His Free and unmerited pardon by believing in the death burial
and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can go to Heaven instead. Is that not incredible?
There is something you need to know though.
That word believe is not just a "believe with your mind" type belief. Let me
Suppose you were at the State Fair where
you live and were standing by a bungee jump tower, and someone were to ask you if you
believe that bungee cord could hold you and bring you safely to the ground. You might
reply, "Sure it would!". But that would only be mental belief. On the other
hand, if you were to climb that tower, hook yourself up with the harness and jump off of
the tower, that would be belief in the way God uses the word. In other words, you must
commit your entire life to belief in the death, burial and resurrection of our blessed
Lord Jesus. Nothing short of that will get you into heaven. My prayer is that everyone
reading this article has already made that decision. If you haven't, right there now where
you are, tell the Lord Jesus that you accept His free gift of pardon for your sins. and,
from that moment on, commit your life to believing that He died on that wretched cross for
your sin, was buried, rose again and lives today in Heaven where He is mediator between
you and God. Wow, what a God we have!
That Which is Against God
Assuming you have committed your life to
God in the way described above, the result is that the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ, who
is Spirit, have come to take up residence in your life, actually to live in your body.
That is why the Bible says our Bodies are Temples of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 12:1-2 (KJV) says,
"I beseech you therefore brethren, by
the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto
God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world, but be
ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and
acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
The sacrifice of God's son, His sinless
only son, for the wicked, rebellious likes of us, demands some positive results. The
obvious one is love, selfless love. God deserves our love irregardless of whether we ever
get one thing from the relationship. The second is that we selflessly love others as
ourselves. I will deal with that subject below.
Everything in the Christian's life should
be based on selfless love. God's love for us is beyond our ability to describe as proven
by His sacrifice on our behalf. Therefore our response to Him must be one of loving acts.
Because of His position as God, and as our
Creator (shall the clay say to the potter, why hast thou made me thus?), He has some
requirements on our lives. He said in John 14:15, "If
ye love me, keep my commandments". Therefore, you can see that we have some things to
I could tell
you that you are supposed to do this, that, and so on but I am not going to do that.
Rather I am going to endeavor to bring to your mind principles that God's Holy written
Will for humankind, the Bible, has provided for us.
principle is that Jesus is the example of how we should live our lives. We should rightly
ask ourselves relative to every decision we make, "What would Jesus do about
that?" Would He go to the theater to watch that show? Would He spend the time you
spend in front of the TV? Would He watch the shows that you watch? Would He allow his eyes
to see the commercials you allow your eyes to see? Would He do that which you do as a
habit? Would He use the words that you use (Do you use God's name in vain - Do you say,
"O God!" simply as an expression of surprise, etc.)? Would He go to the places
you go to. Would He choose the friends that you have chosen and do the things you and they
do? Would He do the kind of work that you do?
He work for a company like you work for that does this or that or which markets this or
that type of product?
The list of
questions is endless and it is my contention that the person who really loves the Lord
will delight in doing only those things that will make Him happy. Such a person will analyze
their every act on that basis. Nothing else is adequate because, if the Lord would not do
it, IT IS SIN!
And, God hates sin and will bring judgment on those who do not forsake it.
That Which is Against Others
In our relationships with others, again,
selfless love must guide us in everything. As described above, we must ask ourselves,
"What would Jesus do?" regarding every aspect of our relationships.
There is an important element of this part
of our lives however, that is most often not considered by Christians today. That is the
scriptural teaching regarding our responsibility to "our weaker brother (or
sister)". Romans chapter 14 gives us the principle that anything that we do that
would cause our weaker brother to fall into sin we should not do. In other words, if what
we do causes a weaker Christian to sin, we have sinned in doing that act, even though
normally it may not be wrong for us to do it. The Apostle Paul put it this way in verse
"It is good neither to eat meat, nor
to drink wine, nor anything by which thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made
weak." (I Corinthians 8:9-13 present the same message.)
And, in verse one of Chapter 15, he says:
"We, then, that are strong ought to
bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves."
So, you see, even
though doing something in particular may not be wrong for us, we need to ask
ourselves, "If someone knows I do that and they do it because they think by my
doing it, that makes it all right, is it possible that they might fall into sin
when they do it?" It's plain from these verses that, if that possibility exists,
we shouldn't do the thing in question.
Literally, we should gladly give it
God says that our commitment to pleasing
him must be so strong that we will give up anything we realize might cause someone else to
sin. Let me give you an illustration:
When I was in Bible College there was a
student there who in his previous life had nearly lived to dance because he enjoyed it so
much. I asked him, "You mean to tell me that you never had wrong thoughts or desires
when you held those girls in your arms, etc." His response was, "No,
never!" Well, it is not my business to judge his integrity on the subject. However, I
will respond that it is an unusual man who can hold a women in his arms and observes the
movements of the other women on the dance floor who will not have to struggle with wrong
thoughts and desires. God made men to respond physically to that type of stimuli and that
is the reason I firmly believe God's people should avoid any situation that is likely to
bring that kind of response in their lives. Having said that, every appearance was that my
friend was not bothered by those physical factors. But, again, what about his
responsibility to his weaker brothers, which in this case is nearly all of the men on the
earth. Remember what Job said about his eyes? That's how carefully we are to treat these
aspects of our lives.
We could discuss countless other things
that people in the Church world are doing today with no regard for weaker Christians.
However, the same Holy Spirit that reveals my sins can reveal yours so I will leave those
matters between you and Him. May we all love the Lord so much that we delight to please
Him in every aspect of our lives and will give no thought to giving up anything we sense
might cause someone else to fall into sin. Remember, "The Greatest of These is Love
All of the above brings to mind an
incredibly important question. "How do I know what Jesus would do?" The answer
to that is, "It is revealed in the Bible". Thus it is imperative that we spend
as much time as possible pouring over God's written Will so that we might learn as quickly
as possible how to please Him.
II Timothy 2:15 says, "Study
to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth."
Please note two things. First, God did not say,
"IF you have time, Study God's Word". Rather, He said, "Study God's
word". That statement is a command! This teaching is not an option! It is a
requirement! To disobey God in this is SIN!
The question may come to mind of how much
time a person should spend reading the Bible. Well, the Bible says that studying it and
prayer are spiritual food. So, may I ask, "How much time do you spend feeding your
physical body? Though, obviously I don't speak for God in this matter, I believe we should
spend at least as much time feeding our souls as we spend feeding our bodies. Since our
bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit we must take care of them. But think about it;
which is more important relative to eternity, your body or your soul? Giving the most
attention to our souls makes the most sense to me.
Second, God did not say, "Understand
My Word". You may have trouble understanding many things as you obey Him by
studying your Bible. However, be assured that no one understands everything in it. How can
we? Are we as God that we should know all that He knows? No! He does not require us to
understand everything. We simply must grasp that which the Holy Spirit will enable us to.
Then we must apply what we learn to the process of pleasing him in all that we do! May
He anoint us in that effort!