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Throwing Down the Hammer: Conviction of Sin (3)

         Animals do some strange things and may be perceived as evil, especially if one finds himself alone in the woods with a hungry bear. But a hungry bear on his own turf cannot be blamed for eating a dumb human (should have had a proper weapon instead of a can of mace).

         The great predator cats like lions and tigers may be seen as evil when they run down, kill, and eat slow, sick, and dumb antelopes. But they are actually doing a great service to the antelope herd by keeping it strong and alert.

         The humans who used to live in the wild among ferocious and deadly beasts were without doubt very strong and alert, since those who were not did not survive.

         The same thing happens with sin. The righteous people who flee sin and find sin abhorrent are morally strong and live on, but those who embrace sin do not and should not survive. And since sin is progressive, it spreads rapidly throughout a populace and always consumes the majority in time, since only a few are willing to do the work associated with living righteously against the tide of popular opinion.

         This is presently taking place worldwide, but especially in America, where the righteous were formerly in the majority. The morality of America has fallen rapidly and, barring a very strong corrective such as great judgment or a spiritual awakening, will never recover.

         The Lord Jesus said the very last days would be like the days of Noah just prior to the great flood, and this fact should give everyone serious pause. Back then, God had to wipe out all humanity except Noah and his family, for example, because humanity in toto had become a vile collection of filthy vermin completely beyond repentance or salvation. Their sin disease had become terminal. He did the same with Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet, as vile and egregious as their sin was, He angrily charged certain cities of His own people with a greater sin:

         “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.

         “And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.

         “Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.” [Matthew 11:21-24]

         In spiritual terms, this is what is known as throwing down the hammer. Not only were the majority of the inhabitants of these first-century Galilean cities vile, they were most likely extremely self-righteous and deceived by false religion, in that they refused to honor the very clear ministry of the Lord.

         Miracles had no effect upon them. Preaching the Word of God had no effect upon them. Imagine how enraged they must have become when the Lord said the people of Sodom were not as evil as they were!

         In general, the Lord also prophesied the disastrous fate of His own people, stating that the remaining remnant of the kingdom of David would be destroyed, as well as Jerusalem, and even the great Temple. Which begs the question:

         Why do we not think the same won’t happen to us? The sin of this present world far exceeds the sins of those in the past. Present humanity is more disgusting, more vile, more evil, more rebellious, more hateful, more immoral, more damaging to the planet, more in love with power and wealth, more materialistic, more shallow, more stupid, more self-righteous, more headstrong, and much more prideful. And in the good old USA upwards of 60 MILLION innocent defenseless babies have been legally murdered in extremely violent ways with the full compliance of the government through officials put in power by free elections. And abortions continue as you read this.

         Intelligent and well-informed people know exactly what humanity in general has done to this planet. They know humanity has become a vile disease-carrying parasite destroying the world. This is just fact. But why can’t many of these same people acknowledge the cure? They continue to propose correctives that either don’t work, can never work, or merely work in part but have the overall effect of destroying freedom and liberty.

         God does not want that. God loves humanity. He has a better plan. He proposes to cleanse us through and through and restore our liberty. He made us to be morally strong, free, and holy. Without Him the opposite happens, and is happening.

         We say we understand when mankind throws down the hammer, often by force, to fix something or another, but we have a real problem when God does it. Thus, the hammer must come down, is coming down, and will continue to come down. It is designed to help us all toward repentance. Judgment is a viable part of the cure.

         The majority will still squeal about the cure, though. Most will refuse to get right with God, will dishonor God, will pick a fight with God, will think God is an idiot, and hate God, which means many are not only vile but crazy. Once sin permeates and takes over the brain it transforms an otherwise healthy individual into a pompous little dictator, a mouse that roars, or an uproarious little nitwit. What ultra pride is this?

         “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands?’” [Isaiah 45:9]

         Whatever any individual may want to fix regarding the evil humanity is inflicting upon the world, it is a complete waste of time and effort without repentance and the application of the cleansing blood of God. There must be a circumcision of the heart. One cannot get good from evil or fresh water from a polluted pit. Unless a person is cleansed from and given power over sin and becomes a new creation, unless he or she submits to the Lord Jesus and follows Him and obeys Him, and unless he or she goes forth to help humanity with the real corrective, he or she remains subjected to the problem and is also part of the problem.

         But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” [Luke 20:17-18]

         Here we see the fate of sinful humanity—Repentance or Judgment. The spiritually proactive deal with their sin properly and allow the corrective to be applied and by this attain eternal life.

         For those who choose life, it is possible to lay our burdens down. There is relief. Someone really does care. And He proposes the exact and perfect solution. It’s amazing what good can happen if we just get out of the way, let God lead, recognize our place in the order of things, acknowledge the fact that we have a very serious problem and that God has the only corrective, have a respectful attitude toward the Lord and become a servant, and simply let God be God.

         “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

         “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

         “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30] [1]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Throwing Down the Hammer: Conviction of Sin (2)

         God reveals sin. He knows our thoughts and intentions. He knows our secret sins. We may be able to fool many or most, and even ourselves, but we can never fool God.

         Yet strangely, many of us apparently think that if God is the only one who knows, it’s okay, because He’s a nice guy and doesn’t seem to care too much. He is loving and forgiving and kind, and would never want to embarrass us.

         Part of this characterization has some validity, but it’s simply not true overall. God is Love and He is very loving, but it’s not very loving to know someone has a fatal disease and never disclose the information. Imagine a doctor saying to an assistant, “Oh crud. The tests have uncovered something very bad! But I just don’t have the heart to tell my patient!”

         God wants us to know. So He tells us. Or actually, He tries to tell us. But humans generally do not listen, or they cover the ears. Or they get very angry when conviction comes upon them. Imagine getting angry at the doctor for being the bearer of bad news: “Why you! What’s your problem? I don’t need this!” (And then you die.)

         Actually, when people get such news they usually make the decision to comply with whatever the doctor orders and tell their friends and family they will fight the disease and win. They approach it with a great attitude. They show courage and strength, and trust their physician, the medical testing procedure, and the established program that attempts to rid their body of the sickness.

         But when the aforementioned type of belligerent person hears the Word of God and suddenly knows he is a disease-carrying sinner in need of repentance, he often gets angry and stomps out of the room and gets mad at God and all those sorry Christians who think they’re better than everyone else and goes back to family and friends who he knows will agree with him and thus surrounds himself with fellow angry enabling deniers who refuse to acknowledge the truth. (And unless they repent they all go to hell.)

         Others, though, fall flat on their faces before God repenting with much anguish over their many failures and violations of God’s standards and laws. And they continue at this until they are cleansed by the only cleansing agent for a filthy human soul—the Blood of Jesus. They then find peace “that passes all understanding” and receive the abundant life of God. And when God brings His Good News to a people and some hear it and respond properly and positively, He rejoices over their salvation. He paid the highest price for their welfare and is overjoyed when people apply it and their disease of sin is cured.

         He also brings the Good News to those who refuse the opportunity. Such people become that much more strident against Him. They angrily sign their own death certificate. All they do after that point is a detriment to society as a whole. They become rebellious and hard core carriers of the sin disease and infect all they come in contact with. If it is a good thing to quarantine the diseased, is it not also a good thing to quarantine those with the sin disease?

         In effect it certainly is, but since God wants no one to lose his soul, He will usually remain patient and hope they will change their hearts before passing from this realm. Plus, even though it can be difficult to deal with, He would rather such sinners have interaction with those who are set free, in hopes that their living or spoken witness will bring salvation, as in the wheat and tares parable (Matthew 13:24-30).

         The Word specifically states, however, that real Christians must not have close relationships (being yoked together) with willful sinners. This is their method of quarantine.

         Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

         Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty.

         Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. [2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1]

         This may be termed a pre-separation, since at the end all sheep will be separated from the goats. In fact, if there is no “pre-separation” for believers there will likely not be any later separation either, since hanging around goats all the time often turns one into a goat. Real Christians must be separate from the world.

         Though most people do not understand the truth and refuse to try to understand, willfully sinful human beings are basically disease-ridden vermin, regardless of outward appearances, and God must sometimes rid the world of such vermin to protect the world and those who try hard to live right. Hardened criminals who engage in vile practices with no heart for others often shuck all pretense, and their mug shots reveal them for the vermin they are.

         But many less obvious willful sinners engage in unseen or unacknowledged sins (though just as deadly) and are mere posers who successfully transform their outer appearance to appear upstanding. For such confidence people, outward beauty is not merely skin deep but transcends to the soul. Some of the best posers are religious posers.

         “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:27-28] [1]

         I wonder if that brought on any conviction?

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.