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“These heroes will never be defaced. Their legacy will never, ever be destroyed. Their achievements will never be forgotten. And Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom.” – So said US President Donald Trump in a much-talked-about Independence Day speech in front of the iconic Mount Rushmore on 3 July 2020. At this time, I recalled a Bible truth about FREEDOM that warns hyper-grace cult embracing believers that we must not rush towards sin because we are ‘free’! At this juncture, I was reminded of a much-neglected truth about FREEDOM that needs to be re-hammered in this false-Grace-embracing age, found in the book which is the very Word of the living God, a book with words that will stand forever according to the Lord Jesus who said, “Heaven and earth will pass away; but my words will never pass-away!” (Luke 21:33)! And I put that truth I discovered in my personal devotion on this poster! Just in case you have never seen the two Bible verses I am quoting in this poster, here they are: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Gal. 5:13). “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Pet. 2:16). Here is how Eugene Peterson puts a part of I Pet. 2:16 – ‘Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules’ (MSG).
(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. This is a viewer-supported, reader-supported Indian ministry to the Google Generation. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. Write to Duke via firstname.lastname@example.org or via WhatsApp 918886040605).
ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION: “WILL GOD FORGIVE THE SIN I AM PLANNING TO COMMIT – THAT GOSSIP SESSION I PLAN TO HAVE, THAT FOUL-MOUTHED RANT I AM ABOUT TO EXPLODE WITH, THAT ADULTEROUS AFFAIR I AM ABOUT TO ENGAGE IN, THAT HOUR OF SECRET PORN SURFING THAT I AM ABOUT TO LAUNCH INTO, ETC?”
The book of Revelation makes wonderful reading. The lessons already taught in the first 65 books of the Bible are pictorially confirmed by it’s book no. 66 – the book of Revelation. “There is nothing new in Revelation which is not taught elsewhere clearly in the Bible!” – this I believe.
We are ‘given a white robe’, we read there (Rev 6:11). That’s a symbolic way of expressing POSITIONAL SANCTIFICATION. I call it ‘GIFTED SANCTIFICATION’. We come to Christ in repentance and faith just as we are, he makes us ‘white’ – holy and pure. But that’s just the start. Positional sanctification would and should translate into practical sanctification, if our repentance was genuine. By practical sanctification I mean a living a life of victory over sin in our day to day lives. John talks about practical sanctification this way: “No one who lives in Him makes a practice of sin” (I John 3:6).
The same book of Revelation talks about those ‘clothed in white’ in the very next chapter (7:13). The folks who wore white, deliberately chose to wear that color. We must make a choice to wear white clothes (spiritually speaking), that is, be pure, say ‘no’ to sin day in and day out, with God helping and we actively cooperating with him (quoting God’s Word, running away from temptation, praying to receive power at the hour of temptation, being accountable to a believer pal, etc). If we want only the privileges of positional sanctification without the responsibility of PRACTICAL SANCTIFICATION (‘GAURDED SANCTIFICATION’) we are like the man who walked into the wedding feast without wearing the ‘wedding garment’ already gifted to him before the wedding (Math 22:11). He had no excuse for not wearing the wedding garment (Math 22:12). We will have no excuse for living a practical holy life on the final day because God has given us everything we need to live that life – His Word, The Fellowship of the Church and opportunity to be accountable, The Holy Spirit, etc, etc (Eph 1:3). And the end of those who just want the privileges of ‘positional sanctification’ without the responsibilities of ‘practical sanctification’ will be same as that of that wedding guest whom Jesus talked about – being bound and bounced into eternal hell (Math 22:13). “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth (this part of the this verse is talking about PRIVILEGES); therefore I will punish you for all your sins (this part of this verse is talking about punishment sent by God for not combining the RESPONSIBILITY of living holy with God-given power with God-given PRIVILEGES!) – Amos 3:2.
So, my friend, let not anyone deceive saying, “Jesus has already forgiven the sin you are planning to commit.” The Bible declares that God will not forgive sin that we refuse to acknowledge, repent from, and ask Jesus forgiveness for. The Bible teaches that we only store up God’s wrath (we are on the road to hell, in other words) by refusing to repent (Rom 2:5). Another 2:5 – Revelation 2:5 I mean – warns of judgement of God which will come upon those CHURCH BELIEVERS who refuse to repent!
“Will Jesus forgive the sin I am planning to commit?” He will – provided you come to him in true repentance and ask him for forgiveness. But there is no guarantee that you will ever do that. Judas did not. He was saved. His name was written in heaven (Luke 10:20). But he also lived in sin even as he lived with Jesus. He used to, now and then, help himself with the moneybag of Jesus. He allowed greed to grip him, slowly but surely (John 12:6). The greed became a monstrous ball, and, before he knew it, Judas agreed to help the religious leaders of his day to arrest Jesus for the money he would pocket by doing so. He may have thought, “I will come back to Jesus after I am done and dusted with this sin!” (like we say, “I will ask Jesus forgiveness after I am done with this hour of porn-surfing!” or “I will ask Jesus forgiveness after I am done with this session of gossip with my close buddies!”). But he did not. Yes, Judas did not get back to Jesus after he committed wanton sin. He ended his life. He headed to hell (John 17:12). But Peter… Peter came back to Jesus after he committed sin. He repented genuinely. He took a U-turn. When he wept bitterly, Jesus did not ever say to him, “Don’t weep Peter. Don’t repent of your sin. I have already taken care of it!” (Math 26:75). Instead, Jesus allowed Peter to weep for his sin. Because doing so is good. It is better and wiser to weep over our sins now, in this period of grace when there is time, than to weep upon seeing Jesus return the second time to judge it when there will be no time given to repent (Rev 1:7). Jesus taught we must weep ourselves and our children (Luke 23:28). So, when we sin, we must feel for that sin and come back to Jesus in repentance (Luke 13:1-5).
We must consciously avoid deliberate sin. For when we keep committing deliberate sin without even repenting of it, there will come a point in our life, like it happened in the life of Judas, that we will, perhaps, commit a deliberate sin and never feel like coming back to Jesus in repentance. It’s then we come to a point in our life when ‘there will be no sacrifice for sins would be left but only a fearful expectation of judgement and of the raging fire that will consume the enemies of God’ as the Bible teaches (Heb 10:26,27).
So, let’s say with Paul, “I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave (‘wage war with sin with the power of God,’ in other words) so that after I have preached to others (‘after I have been a believer all my life and preached God’s Word too,’ in other words), I myself will not be disqualified for the prize!” (I Cor 9:27).
Also we must remember that there are consequences when God’s children commit wanton sin. Let’s look at the case of believers committing sexual sin deliberately.
From the Bible we read about the following lethal results when people have lapped up sexual sin: Firstly, the LORD will leave you and you won’t know it. Like it happened for Samson as he lay on Delilah’s lap (Jud 16 20). Secondly, you can never be a leader who will influence people for good. Joseph, one who was famous among a set of 12 brothers for beating sexual temptation was told under Divine Inspiration that he would be “prince among his brothers” while the one who slept with his father’s wife, Reuben, was told “you will be first no longer” (Gen. 49:4,26). David, the great leader of Israel who had an adulterous affair, had to go silent when his son raped his daughter (2 Sam13: 2l,22). Thirdly, violence could become commonplace in your family. David learnt this bitter truth when the lives of three of his Sons – Amnon, Absalom and Adonijah were cut short violently at the prime of their youth. Fourthly, you would have given birth to spiritual enemies who will battle against you for the rest of your life. The sons born to Lot’s daughters out of his incestuous relationship with them became ancestors for the Moabites and Ammonites – two of Israel’s most bitter enemies in their later years. Fifthly, the advantages you may have gotten through sexual sins will melt away. Remember, David’s love-child born as a result of his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba eventually died notwithstanding his plea that God would spare Him (2 Sam 12:14).Sixthly, God’s name will be blasphemed. “You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the gentiles because of you!'” wrote Paul (Rom 2: 22,24). Finally, when you persist stubbornly in sexual sin you’ll go to hell. The Bible doesn’t mince words when it says “the sexually immoral – their place will be the fiery lake of burning sulfur” (Rev 21:8). L-U-S-T is a four letter sin that will take you to a four-lettered place – H-E-L-L. Do these fatal figures concerning those who indulged in sexual sin make you shudder? It is meant to do just that. Reason? Shuddering can also be biblical way to beat sexual temptation! After proclaiming the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel (including the command, “You shall not commit adultery”) Moses told them, “The fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning!” (Ex 20:14,20). The next time when you think of yielding to sexual temptations, take time to count the cost of yielding to them and you will find that thought not so pleasurable.
The effects of yielding to sexual temptation or any temptation are deadly – even the secular world stories reveal this. It is said that Bill Clinton lost the privilege of his face being carved with the other great American Presidents at Mount Rushmore and a noble Prize because of his incredibly foolish sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky (Source of information – Asian Age, Bangalore edition, 21 September 1998). It is a fact that the great Australian leg-spinner, Shane Warne, lost the honour of leading the Australian Cricket Team because of the phone sex scandals that surrounded him. Tiger Woods lost his sponsorship deals with MNCs because of his sexual sins. This list is endless. Your name does not have to be in this list. Let’s live a victorious Christian life and win over the habit of committing deliberate, callous, sin, with God helping us and we actively cooperating with him.
(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is a fulltime preacher n writer who lives in Hyderabad. Duke founded the Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission in 2006. This is a reader supported Indian ministry. Watch Duke’s message videos at http://www.youtube.com/c/VisitDuke. WhatsApp Duke via +91-8886040605).