There’s a little bit of Scrooge in all of us. You remember the character Ebenezer Scrooge–the greedy, miser who couldn’t care less about helping the poor or his fellow-man. Everyone knew he was a cruel businessman, except him. He thought he was perfectly okay.
Scrooge had no idea he was on his way to eternal punishment until a good old friend (and some supernatural messengers) intervened. Scrooge’s hard heart was pricked in just one evening. Watch this brief clip of Ebenezer’s intervention…
“Oh! but he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!” (Dickens, 1843, Stave One)
We may not be guilty of Scrooge’s sins, like withholding wages from a hardworking employee, rejecting his family and wishing poor, hungry children would hurry up and die, but we can learn a great lesson from him.
Once Scrooge realized he was a sinner, he begged for forgiveness. Watch how he repented when he realized it wasn’t too late for him to change.
“Scrooge was better than his word . . . . He became as good a friend, as good a master, as good a man as the good old City knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough in the good old world (Dickens, 1843, Stave Five).”
No matter what we have done, God wants to give us another chance. Are you still alive? Then, it’s not too late to repent.
Ezekiel 33:11-12, Living Bible – ‘As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; I desire that the wicked turn from his evil ways and live… For the good works of a righteous man will not save him if he turns to sin; and the sins of an evil man will not destroy him if he repents and turns from his sins.’
DON’T BE DECEIVED BY THESE 5 DEADLY STRATEGIES OF THE ENEMY.
ONE: Your enemy doesn’t want you to believe in God, so…he told you there is no God.
- Romans 1:20, Living Bible – “Since earliest times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made, and have known of his existence and great eternal power. So they will have no excuse when they stand before God at Judgment Day.”
- Psalm 14:1, Living Bible – “That man is a fool who says to himself, “There is no God!” Anyone who talks like that is warped and evil and cannot really be a good person at all.”
TWO: Your enemy doesn’t want you to pray to God–especially in the name of Jesus— so…he removed prayer from schools and public meetings (as much as possible).
- Acts 4:11-12, Living Bible – “For Jesus the Messiah is (the one referred to in the Scriptures when they speak of) a ‘stone discarded by the builders which became the capstone of the arch.’ There is salvation in no one else! Under all heaven there is no other name for men to call upon to save them.”
- John 14:6, The Living Bible – “Jesus told him, “I am the Way—yes, and the Truth and the Life. No one can get to the Father except by means of me.”
THREE: Your enemy doesn’t want you to know the difference between right and wrong, so…he removed The Ten Commandments from schools and public places (as much as possible).
Isaiah 5:19-20, Living Bible – They even mock the Holy One of Israel and dare the Lord to punish them. “Hurry up and punish us, O Lord,” they say. “We want to see what you can do!” They say that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right…”
FOUR: Your enemy knows the punishment of sin is death, so…he tells you, “If it makes you happy, it’s okay, even if the Bible says it’s wrong.”
- Romans 6:23, King James Version – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
- 1 John 1:8, Living Bible – “If we say that we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth.”
- 1 Corinthians 6:9, New King James Version – “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
FIVE: Your enemy doesn’t want you to know that God loves you and will forgive you if you repent, so…he makes you feel like your sin is too horrible for God to forgive.
- 1 John 1:9-10, Living Bible – “But if we confess our sins to him, he can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.
- Isaiah 1:18, Living Bible – “Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool! If you will only let me help you, if you will only obey, then I will make you rich!
Dickens, C. (1843, December 19). A Christmas Carol. London: Chapman & Hall.