Before I begin…
Allow me to share this greeting to you from Paul’s letter to Ephesus:
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Messiah, that the God of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the holy ones, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might which he worked in Messiah, when he raised him from the dead and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, authority, power, dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. He put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things for the assembly, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.’ ~ Ephesians 1:3,17-23
Let me start with a question.
When considering yourself, which of the following statements would you say applies?
- I’ve told a lie, even a small one and justified it
- I gossip and eavesdrop on others and justify it
- I’ve stolen something, even a small, insignificant item and justified it
- I cheat on taxes, tests, or even games and justify it
- I’ve had sex without marriage or even looked at a person with lust and justified it
- I’m engage in pornography and justify it
- I’ve hated a person and wished them harm or death and justified it
- I’ve used profanity with the word “God” or “Jesus” meaninglessly and justified it
- I “church” on Sunday (or not at all) instead of on the Sabbath and justify it
- I worship Jesus on Christmas and Easter instead of God’s Holy days and justify it
- I’ve disrespected my parents and justified it
- I actively desire more than I have or that of others and justify it
- I’m an angry, impatient, selfish, or violent person and justify it
- I consume drugs, smoke, or drink alcohol to feel good and justify it
If you relate to any one of these, the Bible says:
‘Or don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortionists, will inherit God’s Kingdom.’ ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
‘Now the deeds of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.’ ~ Galatians 5:19-21
The Bible says you are a willful sinner or intentionally immoral. What would make this worse is if you truly consider yourself a Christian.
The Bible says there is a place for those who live unrighteously:
‘But for the cowardly, unbelieving, sinners, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”’ ~ Revelation 21:8
‘The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth…So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked from among the righteous, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.”’ ~ Matthew 13:41-42,49-50
But you say, “I’m a Christian, and this does not apply to me, I’m under grace”
The Bible says:
“As for you, O my flock, the Lord GOD says: ‘Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, the rams and the male goats. ~ Ezekiel 34:17
‘Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; Then he will say also to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; These will go away into everlasting destruction, but the righteous into everlasting life.”‘ ~ Matthew 25:32-34,41,46
‘ “Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. Those who were foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold! The bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘What if there isn’t enough for us and you? You go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ While they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Most certainly I tell you, I don’t know you.’‘ ~ Matthew 25:1-12
‘ “For it is like a man, going into another country, who called his own servants, and entrusted his goods to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey. “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ “He also who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you didn’t sow, and gathering where you didn’t scatter. I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow, and gather where I didn’t scatter. You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest. Take away therefore the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away. Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’’~ Matthew 25:14-15,21,24-30
I ask you, are you sure of what you believe? Do you really want to take that chance? Is it worth your soul to stand in pride and justify what you’ve done by what you believe?
If it’s possible that what you believe could be wrong then let me ask you this:
Do you consider yourself to be a Bible-believing, God-fearing Christian?
Have you indeed been born-again of YHWH (GOD)?
Then the Bible says you have been given a new nature. And that comes with new desires so that you do not keep on sinning, willfully, intentionally, purposefully.
As an earthy way to think about this, you might imagine some vomit on the ground. We who have a “new nature” do not simply follow a list of “rules” written on stone to keep us from eating it.
Because we find it disgusting.
Now, a dog (Proverbs 26:11 and 2 Peter 2:22) has a totally different nature, with different desires. A dog would find that vomit as appetizing as we find it disgusting.
The Spirit of YHWH changes us, by giving us a new heart, a circumcised heart. This new heart has the desire for YHWH in it so that you no longer desire dishonesty and hatefulness and immorality like you used to. You avoid them because these things start to make you sick.
Of course, this does not mean that you become perfect, or that you no longer struggle with sin (breaking YHWH’s “rules” ~ 1 John 3:4). Instead, as you read YHWH’s Word (the Bible), you eagerly begin to practice obedience to YHWH’s will. You cannot love God and love the things that grieve him. You cannot have a mouth that sings praise to Yeshua (Jesus) with a life that openly crucifies him.
It is not your mouth that best reflects your love for YHWH (GOD); it is your life (works).
However, when you are tempted back toward your sin—which we all have!—Yeshua protects you and renews you when you repent of it. In fact, one of the signs that your salvation is genuine is that even though you will fall, you never permanently fall away. God brings you back, again…and again.
As Proverbs says, “The righteous man falls seven times, and rises again” (Proverbs 24:16).
Your new nature is not demonstrated by never falling, but by what you do when you fall. Salvation does not mean sinless perfection, but it does mean a new direction.
Therefore, if you truly desire to worship YHWH in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24) then please…