Monthly commentaries and pastoral letters regarding issues of the day.
Welcome to The Pastor's Study. Here you will find our monthly pastoral letters containing observations and teachings regarding not only doctrinal issues but also social and philosophical issues of importance to Biblical Christians in today's rapidly changing world. We will be posting a new letter each month and will be offering the past messages in the archives linked below. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on these issues also. Your input is important.
Volume 2, Issue 4
THE WORD -
MAL 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
LUK 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
JOH 14:15 IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.
ROM 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2CO 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made
sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner,
that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
HEB 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were
once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the
HEB 10:26 For IF WE SIN WILFULLY AFTER THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
HEB 12:6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. "
1PE 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
1JO 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God,
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we
shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1JO 5:18 We know that WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD SINNETH NOT; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
The Message -
This month I would like to talk about another very important issue: Christians and Sin. As I look around the professing "Christian" church I am grieved at the rampant purposeful/willful sin among those that profess to be believers. We see many professing believers "shacking up" together. If not actually living together, it is all too common to find single, unmarried, divorced or separated "believers" sexually active while still considering themselves devout Christians. Married men and women commit adultery and call it an "affair". To top it all off, the Pulpit is for the most part silent for fear of offending and driving some from the church. May God have mercy on His people/church.
May I propose that those who give lip service to "accepting Christ" and yet continue to "willfully" sin may wish to examine the validity of their salvation experience? It may surprise some of you to find that not all who call themselves by the Name of Christ (Christian) are His. In fact, as we look about the "church" today one might even believe that the majority of those who call themselves by the Name of Christ (Christian) are NOT His. A hard truth, but truth none the less.
Jesus tells us in John 14:15 that If we love Him, we WILL keep His commandments and again in 1 John 5:18 we are told by the Apostle John that "...whosoever is born of God sinneth not". Okay, that said let's ask ourselves some questions. Do I truly love Jesus? Am I truly born of God (saved)? The answer may be as simple as asking yourself "am I involved in ongoing purposeful/willful sin?"
Remember back when you were saved. While much of our lives did not change overnight we can all remember God bringing Sinful behavior to our hearts (in His time) and the longing to be obedient and give up that sin. For the truly saved this should be so throughout our Christian lives. If we truly love Jesus, then we simply will not knowingly continue in sin. Jesus said it; see John 14, not me. Why then are so many today unashamedly living in unrepentant sin?
- Men, do you view porn on the net?
Has the Holy Spirit brought you to conviction? In 2 Corinthians 7 Paul speaks of two levels of conviction calling them "godly sorrow" and "sorrow of the world". The first is from God and produces true repentance (stopping of the sin) leading to salvation (life.) The second is from self (the flesh) and the Devil and produces death. Sadly we are seeing less and less of the first and more and more of the second today. It is easier to "seek counseling" or buy a "self help" book than to call sin SIN and change. People today, even those calling themselves by the Name of Christ, will do anything to affirm their behavior or to explain the sin away rather than stop doing it. After all; "I'm only human", "I can't help myself", "I'm addicted", "everyone else is doing it so it must be okay", and the ever popular, "it feels so right it can't be wrong", or "but I love her/him". And Jesus weeps again.
By way of a short qualification, lest I preach condemnation on those that truly love Jesus, I'm not talking about the occasional truly unintentional slip or about behaviors that the Lord has not yet brought to your mind as sin. Believers are indeed only responsible for the truth which they know. That is why judgement is so great/terrible for those pastors and teachers (Watchmen - Ezekiel 33) that do not teach the truth (the whole Word of God) for whatever reason. We are indeed saved by Grace, and God's Grace is sufficient to cover ALL sin. Jesus said from the cross "Father, forgive them, for THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY DO." (Luke 23:34) Think about it. So do not go around fearful of unknowingly committing some terrible sin. If you are saved then you are covered by the Blood of Christ and you need not worry. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:1)
However, ongoing known purposeful and unrepentant sin is another issue. The Word tells us in 1 Peter 4, that judgement MUST begin with believers and in Hebrews 12, that "...the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." Make no mistake; God is not mocked, not by unbelievers and especially not by those that profess faith. If you profess to be a believer in Jesus Christ and you continue in known purposeful and unrepentant sin, you are in rebellion against God and subject to God's discipline and judgement. It's that simple. God WILL punish known sin. And if you continue in your rebellion long enough then you are in danger of "crucifying the Son of God all over again" (Hebrews 6:6) and suffering eternal consequences.
Is there ongoing known purposeful and unrepentant sin in your life? If so, first examine yourself and seek the Lord to see if you are truly saved. Do you truly trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation and your righteousness? If you are not truly saved then turn your life over to Jesus as LORD and Savior today.
If you are truly saved and there is ongoing known purposeful and unrepentant sin (rebellion) in your life then look around. Is God's judgement on your life? How about your relationships, your finances, your health, or others in your family. Is your sin dragging those you love down with you? Remember, when there is "sin in the camp" (family) then ALL are under the judgement. But rejoice, there is indeed an answer. Repent (stop sinning). Get back into fellowship and seek the Lord with ALL your heart. As always, God's solution is simple but never easy.
And now, may "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." (2 Corinthians 13:14)
Until next month, keep on lifting up the Name
Find True Peace Today
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"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Colossians 2:8 )