There is a dangerous belief among God’s people today. While it is not new, it continues to hinder the spiritual growth of God’s people and vilifies our faith throughout the world. If we continue to regard this threat lightly, it will continue to turn many people away from God, including us.
We can describe this insidious threat in the following paraphrase: “God’s people believe that they can have their sin and their salvation, too.” Many of them believe that they can indulge their sins, even until the day of the Lord, and still be delivered from them. On that great day, many of God’s people believe that they will simply leave behind their gambling, their alcohol, and their perverse desires and enter the courts of heaven with impunity. “Piece of cake”, they believe. This false belief not only threatens their salvation, but the salvation of those whom God seeks to deliver.
Particularly, this dangerous belief leads God’s people to underestimate the power of sin. They give no regard to the many anonymous groups that have been formed to help people overcome the sinful habits they’ve become addicted to. They have been habituated to the many portrayals of sex, crime, and recreational drug use. They take up the modern forms of idol worship and incorporate them into their lives, as if it were a light thing to do.
This not only weakens their faith in the One who died to free them from these things, it gives Satan greater control over their minds. With his many devices, he hardens the hearts of many of God’s people against receiving Bible truth, especially Bible prophecy. It is no small wonder that many of our churches today focus on entertaining God’s people instead of enlightening them with the teachings of the Bible.
This belief not only dulls the believer’s mind to sin, but it also hinders the gospel from going to all the world. All the world beholds those who profess Christ indulging the same sins as they and they are disgusted with the hypocrisy rampant among us. The many communities out there (atheist, Jewish, LGBT, Muslim, etc.) marvel at our giving the call to repent and be baptized while we frequent bars, brothels, and other places of ill repute. They behold our fellow “believers” caught in one scandal after another and contemplate how such a walk is better than theirs.
Because we cherish this accursed belief, the world hardens its hearts against the gospel and against those who strive to live up to the truth that they know. This pandemic error closes the hearts of many to our own destruction, not theirs. The time is coming when God’s prophets will rise up and they will finish up the work that many have put down. They and all who are living in the faith will reach the world before the day of the Lord.
But what will those who cherish this error do? They will seek refuge in the excuse that is prevalent among those who live in this spiritual duplicity: “We’re not perfect.” While no one is perfect, we serve a risen Savior who died to perfect us. He died so we could overcome sin. His very name is a testament to His mission to set us apart from sin. When you continue to indulge a sin after you committed your life to the Lord, praying for victory but never taking steps to remove the idol from your home and your life, did you really commit yourself to Him?
Do you believe that you can profess belief, live as an unbeliever, and still be saved? Grace cannot be imparted to a life course that runs contrary to what it was given to man to do and to be.
Consider our dietary habits. Many people will not change their diets to improve or save their lives; all because they enjoy those unhealthy foods too much. If we hold onto these foods to the detriment of their own heath, how many of us will refuse to put away sin from our spiritual diet because we enjoy it too much? Even though doing so will save their lives, billions of people will refuse to put their sins down.
God’s people cannot have their sin and their salvation, too. Jesus died to save us from our sins, not with our sins. We, who call ourselves by His name, have done ourselves and the world a great disservice by doing this. Many of them have hardened their hearts against the faith because many of us do not practice what we preach.
If we truly desire to deliver the people in the world, and ourselves, we must renew our commitment to the Lord and cast out this accursed belief from among us. Many have died cursing God because of the hypocrisy of those who profess to serve Him. Many more will join them unless we pray and act in the strength the Lord gives to all who believe. Our time is short, but our walk must be certain. It will not be a piece of cake to overcome our sins, but the reward for doing so will be better than any dessert man has ever created.