Dec 23, 2020, 12:12 PM
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world -- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2: 15-17)
The system by which the kingdom of God operates is diametrically opposed to the way the world system functions. They are like day and night. Like water and oil, they cannot mix. To be candid, they have nothing in common. When darkness covered the face of the earth, God could not tolerate it; and the brilliance of His light chased darkness away. And it became day.
Why is it that people love darkness? We find the answer in the Book of Jeremiah. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (17:9) Jesus sums it up thus: “But men loved darkness instead of light.” (John 3:19) People are fond of sin because it offers them a temporary relief from their hang-ups, stress, frustrations and deceptions derived from the challenges of everyday life. Sin takes hold of us, the more we indulge in it. Yet, it is merely a passing sensation that in itself does not bring real satisfaction.
In spite of sin’s fleeting nature, we end up getting ‘hooked,’ constantly yearning for more; the end result being enslavement. As it worsens, it culminates in death. Somehow down the road, our bodies develop an insatiable craving for sin to the point where we need the touch of our Saviour Jesus for imminent release. Jesus has the power of ridding us the weight of sin no matter what form it manifests itself in.
Apostle Paul enumerated the myriad of sins: “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like.” Then he admonishes: “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
The world system has its set ways, prone to open defiance of the Word of God. Satan, the prince of this world, is on the rampage blindfolding its victims to espouse a path of disobedience to God and His Word – to lure them from the right path. The devil, God’s archenemy, is seeking whom to devour. All his efforts are directed at stealing, killing and destroying. Nothing about Satan’s intentions is holy or pure. To be ignorant of this is tantamount to being in the self-destruct mode; for nothing good can come from the devil. He has resolved to push his agenda of deception and enslavement of God’s elect - to deny them their rightful place in heaven.
The Bible teaches that we are in the world but we are not part of the world. Our final destination is heaven. If we allow ourselves to be lured into thinking that we are in the world to experiment and exhaust its pleasures, then this write-up is addressed to you. Hell was not created for humankind but for the devil and his followers. We need to repent and turn away from sin while it is yet time. God’s mercy will run out when His Son returns in a cloud to rescue His own – the Rapture.
Sin must not be our master. We cannot deliberately live in the way of the world and expect to be exonerated outside of repentance. We ought to repent now as tomorrow can be too late.
“Do you not know that the wicked will not enter the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters not adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexuals offenders nor thieves nor the greed nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) There is a timeframe, a limit to which we can live as we deem fit. Jesus is coming soon to take His bride, the Church, away with Him. Nothing that is polluted will enter heaven.
Four lepers, outside Israel’s city gates were beginning to feel the impact of a severe famine -- the result of a siege by the Syrian army. The lepers were tossed between the lion and the deep blue sea. If they did nothing about their situation they would die. The only option was to take action by knocking at Israel’s doors. But then because of the nature of their disease, they could longer have access. They then decided to take their courage in both hands and venture into the enemy’s camp at their own risk and peril of being slaughtered.
However, contrary to all expectations, the previous night God had caused the enemy to flee in a hurry. They left behind all their belongings and the lepers had a field day. They cleared as much of the booties as they could and hid them. They would have continued pillaging, but the conscience of one of the four was pricked that what they were doing was improper. “We are not doing right; this is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.” (2 Kings 7:9) So they decided to go and report the happening to the authorities so that all could benefit from the spoils.
They had a change of heart and you could too. You can decide to break that habit of sin and live a life of righteousness in Christ Jesus. He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Jesus promises eternal life – for all who are ready to turn their backs on sin.
In retrospect, we realise that most of us have been down that road. When we repented, God has been gracious to us. Apostle Paul confirms this sentiment thus: “That is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11) A change is possible in the mighty name of Jesus – the God of the impossible.
In this New Year, let us turn a new page and seek repentance. Jesus bids us come: “... whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37)