Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them (Proverbs 22:5).
On a recent stroll with my wife and our two youngest children, I was pushing the stroller and at one point moved too close to the edge of the sidewalk. Instantly the stroller tire closest to the edge of the sidewalk was punctured by about 20 goathead thorns from a vine that had grown over onto the sidewalk. If you do not have goatheads in the area you live, consider yourself very lucky. It is no surprise that these evil weeds are also known as devil’s thorn.
Proverbs 22:5 warns us to protect our souls by keeping far away from the thorns of the crooked and perverse. Like those dastardly goatheads, it only takes one small slip to have our souls punctured when we cross the line into the evil of this world. Unfortunately, so many professing Christians want to wander up as close to that line as possible. Whether it is spending too much time with a member of the opposite sex who is not your spouse, becoming too intimate outside of marriage, or spending too much time with people who revel in their sin and lies. If we stay far away from these types of things, our soul is less likely to be harmed by a minor lapse in judgment. If we mingle near these sins, all it takes is a momentary lapse for our souls to be punctured by these spiritual thorns. And, if we are choosing to mingle near the crooked and perverse, perhaps we are already sinning in our desires and actions.
Our path through this world is rife with opportunities to be led astray—by our sinful desires, by our sin-filled world, and by the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. So we must guard our souls by keeping as far from them as possible and by keeping our eyes focused on Jesus Christ. And when we fail, we must again turn to him in repentance and faith for there is salvation in no one else.
As our world, our nation, and our churches continue to celebrate sin, I am reminded again today of the fateful message that closes the book of Judges:
Everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25).
A large portion of the blame lies at our liberal churches and their lying prophets with their false message of peace:
They have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace (Ezekiel 13:10).
They preach peace with God when there is none. Their lying lips are an abomination. Their judgment may be delayed, but it is assured.
A man must feel himself in misery, before he will go about to find a remedy; be sick before he will seek a physician; be in prison before he will seek a pardon. A sinner must be weary of his former wicked ways before he will recourse to Jesus Christ for refreshing. He must be sensible of his spiritual poverty, beggary and slavery under the devil, before he thirst kindly for heavenly righteousness, and willingly take up Christ’s sweet and easy yoke. He must be cast down, confounded, condemned, cast away, and lost in himself before he will look about for a Savior (Robert Bolton, Instructions for a Right Comforting Afflicted Consciences, 1640).
Filed under Salvation, Sin
There are some passages of Scripture that seem to hit me right between the eyes almost every time I read them. One of these passages is Romans 5:6-8:
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Christianity is the only religion in the world that points to God as the only source of righteousness. Every other religion wants to include man’s righteousness through good works. Roman Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism, … All of these other religions are bankrupt because mankind has no righteousness of its own to bring to the table.
That Christ died for sinners like me is the only hope that I have. Or you have. We cannot look at our neighbor to decide if we have even a shred of righteousness. We can only look at God and see that we have none. In the words of Isaiah:
“Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5).
Isaiah saw God and realized he was lost. When we look at God, we too should recognize that we too are lost. Isaiah’s sin was atoned for by God, and God took away his guilt. Likewise, only God can take away ours through the atonement of Jesus’ blood on the cross.
Filed under Salvation, Sin
In a follow up to yesterday’s post, we have Jesus confirm that it is our hearts that are the problem:
And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person” (Mark 7:20-23).
Sure, we are able to prevent some of that from reaching the outside and being acted upon, but it still lurks inside of us. Jesus words are a reminder that we sin because we are sinners. It is our broken, fallen humanity (including our hearts) that is the problem. We cannot change our nature, but thankfully God can.
The “monster” Kermit Gosnell was recently convicted of murdering countless newborn babies. We can certainly be relieved by his conviction. Unfortunately, there are many other Kermit Gosnell’s free and working again today. The only difference between Gosnell and every other abortion provider is just a few centimeters. If Gosnell had been able to carry out these murders a few centimeters on the other side of the birth canal, he would never have been tried for murder of these children. If you are still a supporter of murdering unborn children, I would challenge to go read this article. If you can read articles like that and see those pictures and still be pro-death, may God have mercy on your sin-hardened soul and bring you to repentance before it is too late.
Filed under Abortion, Sin
I continue to be amazed by Christians who want to share Jesus but not talk about sin. This is ridiculous on so many levels. The obvious one is that if people do not know they are sinners, why would they desire to have Jesus as their Savior. Save them from what? The less obvious one is that simply by telling someone that they need Jesus you are telling them they are currently doing something wrong by not having him. Which, of course is sin. Which they did not want to talk about in the first place. As I said, ridiculous.