Have you ever looked around and found that you were the last one standing somewhere? It is a lonely feeling for sure. I have had this experience a few times in life. I have been the guy that turned the lights off and locked the doors.
After listening to Dr. Tony Evans on television the other evening I began to think about the events of John 8. This is the account of the woman taken in the very act of adultery. The religious elite took her to Jesus and proclaimed that she had been taken in the very act. They proceeded to say that the law of Moses demanded that she be stoned. Dr. Evans said that the law actually said that both parties should be stoned. Also, if one party got away or was allowed to get away then the one bringing them up for prosecution was to be stoned in the missing person’s place.
In this context a woman stands guilty in a crowd who wanted to kill her. Jesus in His infinite wisdom stoops down and begins to write in the dust. He speaks to the crowd. Look at John 8:7, “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Wow! Their guilt convicted them and they left one by one.
What about you? Are you the one that is casting accusations at others? Maybe it is time for us to take the counsel of Jesus. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone”. I guess the results would be the same if we were honest. We might as well be since Jesus knows.
I was reading an article the other day about yet another Christian business person that was approached by someone who is homosexual asking them to perform services for a “marriage”. This businessman was shocked that this took place in his part of the country.
The lifestyle of the homosexual is opposed to the commands of Scripture. As a Christian we cannot be yoked together with them. Yet, so many misunderstand this. They see our stand for righteousness as hate. Nothing could be further from the truth. Christians actually love homosexual people. We cannot and do not love the sin they are bound in; but, we are commanded to love them just like anyone else. This is not hate speech. It is the truth.
So, how can we dwell together? We continue to love them; but, we must hate their sin. There is a difference. You can love a person and not endorse their actions or lifestyle. There are even Christians who are divided on this issue. We must stand where the Bible stands. Look at Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” We have become so splintered that it is deeply saddening. We need one another; but, we cannot sacrifice our convictions or walk away from the clear teaching of God’s Word just to fit in.
What Revival is. It is the removal of sin. Too many people are going around trying to live under their sin. In other words they do not want to do anything about their sin. They like their sin and they want to keep participating in whatever it is. People run to the doctor for medication to cover the effects of their sin. They hope this will allow them to cope with their sin. The only remedy for sin is Jesus’ blood.
Look at Palm 51:2, “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” Also look at Psalm 51:9, ” Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.” When we break free of our sin we are free to live as God wants us to live. Far too many people are all about my, me and mine. They want to live life like the old song says, “I did it my way.” That will not work when it comes to revival. That will hold back revival, truthfully. We have to meet God’s conditions and then we can have revival.
The problem is that we love our sin and we want to continue in it. If we are going to have revival this cannot happen. Sin is a poison. It affects every aspect of our lives. If we let it go then it will take over our lives. We become a slave to sin. Jesus wants us to be free of sin. He wants us to be free to have revival.
I forgot to give credit yesterday where credit is due. The main points I will be using during this series “What Revival Is” comes from a sermon preached by Dr. Rufus Edmisten. It impacted me many years ago so I developed his main points into a message of my own and now a series here.
Revival is when we acknowledge our sin. Look at Psalm 51:3-5, “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” If we are going to have revival we must acknowledge our sin. Sin separates from God. That is why this new brand of Christianity will not work. They teach that you just do the best you can and it will all work out. Wrong!
God has told us in His Word that we are all sinners and have sinned against Him. He is Holy and we must approach Him accordingly. Without His mercy and forgiveness we cannot approach Him. Once we become His child then we have access.
Sometimes life draws us away from our God. This is when we need revival. We need to recommit to to serving our God anew. That is what revival is about. It is realizing that we are His child and we have sinned against Him and that we can have a restoration of that relationship by repenting and returning to our God. He is waiting.
One man said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing the same way expecting different results. Well, I agree. In the book of Joshua I am reminded of the Israelites going to fight a battle against the city of Ai.
When they went to battle against them they could not defeat them. As a matter of fact as I remember there were thirty-six men killed in action at that battle. The Israelites even turned tail and ran back to their camp.
Nobody could figure out the problem. Then God revealed to them what the problem was. During their previous victory they were instructed not to take anything that was accursed. The instructions from God were clear. Yet one man had to disobey. Because of his disobedience they lost this battle and men died in the process.
when it was discovered he was brought before Joshua. Look at Joshua 7:25, “And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.”
God is serious about sin. There is punishment for it. We must keep our heart sensitive to the Holy Spirit of the Living God so when we are convicted that we deal with it immediately. Maybe, the effects of our sin might not be to the extent of Achan; but, sin has serious consequences. We need to consider that before we do what we are not supposed to do.
As I was thinking about this experience today I thought about Aaron, Nadab and Abihu. It is not too long that we find Aaron falling. In Exodus 32 we find the chapter opening with Aaron commanding the men to take the earrings of their wives, sons and daughters and to bring them to him. He takes this gold and forms a golden calf and tells the children of Israel that this is now their god. What?
What happened to Exodus 24:1-2, “And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.”? Aaron was one of the chosen to approach the LORD. Moses was asked to come into His presence; but, Aaron was called up to a certain point.
It is no guarantee that we will always be obedient. We have a sin nature and sometimes we allow it to reign in our lives. Aaron experienced a huge failure. It not only cost him; but, it cost the children of Israel too.
When Moses came back down the mountain and found the deplorable, spiritual condition of the people he threw the ten commandments down in anger and broke them. Then in judgement the calf was ground up and the ashes mingled and the Israelites made to drink the mixture. God dealt harshly with His people after they failed in a major way.
Now, you and I have failed deeply too. Yet, if we know Christ as our Saviour He has taken our judgement. God dealt harshly with His Son on our behalf. He has take our judgement for us. In order to be exonerated we must put our faith and trust in Christ and receive Him as our Saviour.
If you need to trust Christ as your Saviour please contact me and let me show you how you can do just that.
As I was thinking about this theme of “Cover Up” I began to recall many people in the Bible who are guilty of this very thing. Abraham asked Sarah to conceal her identity in order to save his life (so he thought). This pattern continued in the family too. Adam and Eve tried to cover up as we have already seen.
How about Ananias and Sapphira? Their cover up was deadly to both of them. Remember they lied about the amount of money they gave in the offering. They wanted people to think they gave more than they really gave. Their deceit cost them their lives because they lied to God the Holy Ghost.
Some of us might know of or remember a man named Achan. His cover up is recorded in Joshua 7:21, “When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. ” Because of his cover up his sons, daughters and animals were taken into the valley and burned.
These are all serious consequences from what people today would consider a “minor offense”. Wrong! When you look at it from God’s perspective you see it totally different. You see it as sin against a Holy God. This cannot be. Sin will be dealt with It might not bring the house down upon you at that moment; but, rest assured it will come back one day. Then you will regret it possibly for eternity.
As I looked at the burn on my arm; which is getting better, I thought about women. No, it was not a curling iron accident. I thought about how women use make up. Believe me, some of us need make up. We have friends that when they arrived at Church the lady of the house would remain in the car putting on her make up. When someone would ask the husband where he wife was today he would tell them, “She is out in the car painting the barn.” What can you say to that.
This cover up started back in the beginning. Only three chapters into the Scriptures we have Adam and Eve taking part in the first cover up. Look at Genesis 3:7-8, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”
God had warned them about partaking of the fruit. When they did things played out just as He had told them. Their eyes were opened and then they knew they were naked. Then shame cam flooding in. How do I know this? Their attempt to cover up. They were before Almighty God and tried to cover up their nakedness. They were trying to cover their sinfulness too.
Is this not the reason that we try to cover up today? Absolutely, it is. We have an image in our mind that we want to live up to and when we don’t meet that expectation, we cover up.
It is like the spiritual life. We do everything we can to cover our sin before God. Guess what? He already knows about our sin. Remember, Jesus died to pay the debt of yours and my sin. He knows. Quit trying to cover up and be honest before God. Trust Him today as your Saviour and you will not have to cover up anymore.
The other day I was making two double batches of my homemade BBQ sauce. Someone had requested some of both the honey hickory and the honey mesquite. When I finished the second batch I tuned off the burner. Then I removed the lid from the stainless steel pot. Then I moved the pot to a cooler burner. When I removed the lid; before moving the pot, the BBQ sauce boiled violently for a couple seconds. A splatter about the size of a dime hit my right arm. It hurt badly!
I wiped my arm off and it turned a little red. Then it began to blister and hurt terribly. I ran cold water over it in an attempt to stop the burning and cool things down. For several days I put medicine on it and it is healing. Upon going to Church on Sunday my suit coat rubbed against this area of my arm. It hurt horrible.
I began to think. The suit coat was covering the burn mark. Unfortunately, the thing that was hiding the burn from sight was the one thing that was irritating it. Then my mind ran to Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
We need to quit covering up our sin with whatever we can find. We need to confess our sin to God and forsake it. Then we can move on and live in freedom. The problem is that too man of us love the pleasure of sin and we don’t want to forsake it at all. Yet, this is what is bringing an irritation into our lives whether we realize it or not. It is time to quit covering up and get it out in the open before God and get forgiveness and freedom.
A few days ago while I was reading my Bible I came across Genesis 34. As soon as I began to read it I remembered this account. I began to think about sin. More importantly I began to think about sexual sin. Yes, there is a topic that is not often breached. I am not taking about the onslaught of sodomites and lesbians. I am talking about people that are so driven by sexual pleasure that they will do anything to fulfill their lusts.
When I was a police dispatcher I was told of an incident where officers responded on the report of a man exposing himself to children. The man had mental issues. He would wait until someone was watching and then pour a can of creamed corn down the front of his pants. I know you think this is sickening. So do I.
The fact remains that we are facing sexual sins in the Church. The even bigger problem is that we refuse to admit that these problems exist. We walk in on Sunday morning smiling like nothing is wrong. Yet, we are so bound in sin. Look at this account in the book of Genesis 34:1-2, “And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.”
This man forced himself on this woman. While he received what he wanted at that moment later down the road he received what he deserved for that moment. Dinah’s brothers convinced these men that if all the men in their country would be circumcised then the Israelites would intermingle with them in marriage and trading. This was a plan to render these wicked men unable to fight well. Then the relatives of Dinah went and made war against them and killed them. This brought reproach on the family because a promise was made.
You see, there is no good that comes from sexual sin. It just drags you down deeper and deeper. Get out of the pit and get back to Jesus. Maybe you struggle because Jesus is not yet your Saviour. He can be and wants to be if you will receive Him today.