Unfortunately, this world is full of temptation. So when should Christians relax? When we reach the other side—Heaven. Until then we must carefully avoid things that can make us fall into sin. As long as we are living and breathing, our soul is at stake.
1 Corinthians 10:12, Living Bible – 12 “So be careful. If you are thinking, ‘Oh, I would never behave like that’—let this be a warning to you. For you too may fall into sin.”
The greatest falls often come after a season of success, so we must continue to walk out our salvation with fear and trembling. God described King David as a man after his own heart (Acts 13:21-22). Yet, even David fell into sin after many years of faithful service (2 Samuel 12:9-14). We cannot rely on past obedience, we must keep obeying the Lord.
Philippians 2:12-13, GOD’s WORD Translation – “12 My dear friends, you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I’m absent. In the same way continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 13 It is God who produces in you the desires and actions that please him.”
The highway to hell is broad like an eight-lane, freshly-paved interstate. But the road to life is narrow like a one-way street off the beaten path.
Matthew 7:13-14, Living Bible – 13 “Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way. 14 But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.”
When God’s life is in us, we do not make a practice (hobby) of sinning.
1 John 3:9, Living Bible – “9 The person who has been born into God’s family does not make a practice of sinning because now God’s life is in him; so he can’t keep on sinning, for this new life has been born into him and controls him—he has been born again.”
Just because we go to church and call ourselves Christians, doesn’t mean Jesus knows us. If a stranger came to our house and demanded to come in, would we let him? No, because we don’t know him. Jesus says he “knows” those who actually do the will of God the Father. He doesn’t allow people who practice lawlessness to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 7:21-23, New King James Version – 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!’”
The Bible says people who practice sin do not know Jesus Christ.
1 John 3:4-6, New King James Version – 4 “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.”
God wants to help us escape the sin trap—just ask Him for help. Jesus’ mission is to save us from our sins. His name Jesus means “God saves”. Jesus died to save us from our sins (John 3:16).
Romans 10:13, New King James Version – 13 “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
When we call on Jesus for help, He will tell us what to do. This is where most of us fail: we are supposed to submit to God, resist the devil and the devil will flee. How often have we done just the opposite? Submit to the devil, resist God and then the enemy comes into our lives like a flood, making it even harder to do what is right.
The key is to call on the name of the Lord before we sin. When we do, God’s Holy Spirit gives us the power to say “NO” to temptation.
There are many ways to avoid temptation; our eternal life is well worth learning how. If “it” is on TV, change the channel. If “it” is on the radio, switch the station. If “it” is on your job, stay busy working and avoid contact. If “it” is on a billboard, look away. If “it” is on the drive home, go another way. Our soul is worth any temporary discomfort or inconvenience.
Matthew 16:26-28, Living Bible – 26 “What profit is there if you gain the whole world—and lose eternal life? What can be compared with the value of eternal life? 27 For I, the Son of Mankind, shall come with my angels in the glory of my Father and judge each person according to his deeds. 28 And some of you standing right here now will certainly live to see me coming in my Kingdom.”