Do you really want saved from your sins or are you just merely looking to be saved from the punishment of your sins?
Sadly, I think I know how the majority would answer. We don’t want to go to hell, but, man, we sure do love our sins. We say we want Jesus, but what we really want is to keep doing what we are doing but not go to hell for it. And churches today are accommodating this mentality.
With the death and resurrection of Christ we were freed from the power of sin, not just the penalty of our sin.
6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Yes, this post is directed at church people. Why? Sin is running rampant in the church. People who call themselves Christians are waking up each day, saying I’m a sinner, there’s nothing I can do about it, and God loves me anyway…who cares. God cares.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Friends we need to wake up! It is not just the “world” that will be surprised. There are currently people sitting next to you in the pews who think they are saved and they are not! Yes, we can expect those who do not know Christ to live their lives any which way they want without judgment because they do not have the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul clearly explains this to us in 1 Corinthians 5:12-13
12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges.
We have Holy Spirit. There is no excuse to live your life in continuous sin without repentance. Unrepentance is the key phrase today. Even Christians who love God and are faithful sin. The problem truly begins when we don’t repent when we fail to live up to God’s standards. We should come to the point that we hate sin and feel remorseful when we do, seek forgiveness, and then try to live better. Two times in the last month I have been brought to tears for sin in my life. Just yesterday during prayer time I was brought to tears over the pride I have in my heart.
Yes, I know the trend today is that Christians should not judge anyone…ever. Now, not only is this not biblical (as we can see from 1 Corinthians 5; Matthew 18), but it is just plain ridiculous. Imagine going to the polling place this November and try casting your vote without judging either candidate. It has been taken completely out of context, and we are using “thou shall not judge” as an excuse to keep on sinning.
Church discipline is now almost obsolete. Sadly most people view church discipline as holy police. “Oh, it is so legalistic.” No, in reality..it is biblical. What about Matthew 7:1 where it says, judge not, lest you be judged?
All right, let us turn to Matthew 7, starting with vs. 1
7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Friends, this is not telling us not to judge at all unless we are perfect. No, it is saying make sure you have dealt with your sin. Make sure you are doing what you should be doing and repent when you fail, therefore removing your sin. Then help your brothers remove their sin.
I don’t know about you, but I mess up a lot and sometimes I don’t even know it. That is why I am grateful for other Christians who are willing to be honest with me and hold me accountable. One of the other great lines in Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love :
So, I am telling you now, if you see me walking into sin, do not use some super-spiritual jargon as an excuse not to help. For heaven’s sake, pull me back.
One of the best examples of church discipline can be found in 1 Corinthians 5:
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named[a] among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.[b]
6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened.
This man was removed, for a time, from the church in order to bring him to repentance.
Did you catch the fact that the church was held accountable for the man’s sins? Certainly they were not held accountable for the man’s sexual immorality, but they were held accountable for not addressing it.
Why is this important?
We, the church, must be different. If we want to truly make disciples for Christ, we must be living in obedience to the Word of God. We must look different and be different from the world. We must allow them to see Christ in us so that they will want what we have. Furthermore, we must stop trying to go directly to point Z from A. People who don’t know Christ should not be held to the same standard as Christians (by Christians…God will deal with them), so speak to them about the Gospel in a manner fit for their spiritual age and live in obedience to the Word of God.
Be better; sin less; repent by the power of the Holy Spirit!