dealing with sin

8 01 2013

Have you ever heard the view expressed that in a person’s last dying moments he accepts the Lord and he is saved?  This is told with great anticipation in that as we die we can ensure our spiritual future by accepting our Lord.

This is unfortunately faulty teaching. I am speaking to the believer now! If you have accepted the Lord as your Savior yet continue to sin (as many of us unfortunately do…) then I have some bad news for you.

Obadiah and Joel both warn the Israelites concerning their behaviour towards God. Joel continues with the theme from Obadiah of “the day of the Lord”. While Obadiah spoke to other nations Joel included Israel which was a bit of a shock for the Israelites who had the tendency to point fingers at those outside of them. The pointed finger at their own behaviour and belief was unexpected.Paul speaks of us criticizing the unbelievers yet reminds us that we too will not escape the wrath of God.

Rom 2:1  Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.

Rom 2:2  We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.

Rom 2:3  Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?

Rom 2:4  Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Rom 2:5  But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

You may recall that Elijah also spoke on this subject and challenged the Israelites on how they dealt with their sin. Believing they could continue to sin as all they need do was to offer the sacrifice for that sin and all is forgiven. It is not the action that saves but grace and mercy from our Lord. That grace and mercy is offered for a “contrite” heart that turns to repentance and a turning away from the sin.

As the people continued to sin Joel in chapter 1 from v13 calls for the people to have a national day or act of repentance. If not…terrible thing will happen he says.

We need investigate history in 1 and 2 Kings to trace what Joel was speaking about. About 900 years before Christ there was not a king on the throne but a woman(841-835BC) This brings into remembrance the promise of God to David that a son would always sit on the throne …as long as they kept  the statutes and commands of God. The Queen in question was Athalia who among other things murdered all her sons when the king died for her to inherit the throne.  You may also recall her infamous mother, Jezebel!

Fortunately or should we say by God’s grace, one son was saved to keep the prophecy and the royal line of David to Jesus.   Yet they did not repent. Now, don’t read this as a story or as something a nation only must do! Ask yourself what is this saying to me as the Word says that all is for your edification and growth. Is there something you are holding on to as your secret little pet sin? Only you can deal with it.

The end result of not dealing with this sin would be the same as Joel prophesied. He spoke of locusts…now you may say we have contained plagues of the biblical scourge of locusts…

Look more closely at this scripture and you will see he refers to locusts as men…as warriors resembling the devastation caused by locusts. Living in Africa I may have a better concept that my American or European friends as locusts can darken skies to resemble night and consume fields and trees of every green thing in minutes leaving an eerie changed environment with no food to support the largely rural tribes. This threat has a real meaning to those who have experienced the complete and utter devastation caused by locusts. But, Joel refers here to men as the locusts. May I remind you of the scorched earth policy of many invading army!

During the Boer war against the English the English used the scorched earth policy to drive the Boer farmers from the fields and the means of support.  The enormous concentration camps then erected to “house” the woman and children were a death trap as the food to feed them had been demolished and they died in their hundreds due to starvation.

Therefore I would like to encourage you in two areas. Firstly, examine yourself and your attitude to end times. Do not wait and believe that the last spin of the dice will suffice. We are expected to continually walk in His ways and not on a once off situation and many believe that all they need do is accept the Lord, be baptised and that is it…no! It is a continued relationship that makes the difference.

Secondly, if you are in the situation where you have secret sin please dear friend, repent. That means a turning away and ceasing the behaviour of sin. I would suggest you find a true trusted friend and repent before him or her. The purpose is not for them to be shocked or dismayed or whatever but to be there for you and to help you to fight this problem. How do they help. They start with prayer and real caring. Real caring is being available for those times of challenge and being there to encourage and assist in whatever way required.




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