FORGIVENESS AND DELIVERANCE

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FORGIVENESS AND DELIVERANCECopyright Š 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

It appears that throughout the history of the Christian religion, the forgiveness of sins has been emphasized. The Lord Jesus Christ takes away our sins means Christ forgives our sin. However, the Lord did not appear primarily to forgive our sins but to destroy the works of the devil.

He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. (I John 3:8)

Forgiveness apart from deliverance from sin is useless. In fact, it may be detrimental in that the believer feels he is perfect in the sight of God through Christ. Then, if the Holy Spirit points out to him a sin he is committing, he ignores it, saying, "God sees me through Christ so while I really should not be doing this, I am on my way to Heaven."

By taking this attitude, he is ignoring several verses of the New Testament:

For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. (Ephesians 5:5-7)

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)

And so on and on throughout the New Testament. Remember, these words were written to the Christian churches in Ephesus, Galatia, and Colossi.

Now, what do you think about these? Do you realize that if these are God's Words to Christian people, a great deal of Christian teaching is in error?

Paul does not say if you believe in Christ, none of these things matter. Paul does not say God is seeing you through Christ, so you can ignore these warnings.

Paul is not saying you are saved by grace, so it does not matter how you behave.

Rather, Paul is saying if we yield to our sinful nature and do not repent and turn away from our sinful ways, we will not enter the Kingdom of God. Why is this? It is because there is no sinful behavior in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is the rule of God; and the rule of God does not tolerate sinful behavior.

"But Christ is merciful!" True. But it also is true that we going to reap what we are sowing. This is Kingdom law.

"But God is too good to let me go to Hell." The truth is, God is too good to permit your fellow Christians in Heaven to have to put up with your sinful, self-seeking behavior.

"But when the Lord comes He will remove my sinful nature." False. When Jesus comes He will hold you accountable for the Kingdom truth He has given you. You will have your inheritance removed and you will be sent into the Land of Darkness.

"But when I go to Heaven I won't sin any longer." False. Sin began in Heaven.

We understand from this that a great part of the Christian people, at least in America, are in deception. Each one of us needs to go to the Lord and ask Him if there is something we are doing that He is displeased with. If He points out some area of spiritual darkness in us, something that is not in God's image, then we need to confess it and ask Christ to help us stop doing it.

"But even if I do not turn away from my sin, I will go to Heaven in any case because God loves me." False. The truth is, the Father has given the Lake of Fire authority over eight areas of behavior. The Lake of Fire always retains authority over those behaviors as long as they are practiced. Believing in Christ does not remove this authority.

"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)

Did you think there are people in the Kingdom of God, or in Heaven, who behave in such manners?

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:14,15)

What does "who wash their robes" mean? Does it mean they say "I believe in Jesus Christ" and then enter the holy city, the eternal home of the Royal Priesthood, and continue with their magic arts, sexual immorality, murder, and idolatry?

The "dogs" refer to vile behavior of all sorts. I read recently of a man who beat his young wife until she lost sight in both eyes. This is vile behavior. This is a "dog."

Do we daintily announce that we believe in Jesus and enter the holy city, and then proceed to mutilate someone?

We know better than that. To "wash our robes" is to confess our sins and turn away from them resolutely with the help of Christ. We have to keep up this practice of confession and renunciation throughout our lifetime. No sinful behavior ever will enter the new Jerusalem. No sinful behavior is permitted in the Kingdom of God. Whatever!

"But as long as I am in the world I have to sin." This is the pitiful lament of most of the Christian population. It is not true. We owe our flesh nothing. If we continue to sin we shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:12,13)

"But no one ever told me that." You can't claim that excuse any longer, because the Word of God just told you.

Will Christ deliver me from sinning? Yes. But you have to ask Him about each sinful behavior. He then will deliver you from that compulsion. But you have to put it to death, as the Spirit of God directs you, confess that it is evil, and then resolve to stop doing it. You have to perform these actions with all the determination you posses.

This is how you pass from forgiveness to deliverance. This is how you enter the Kingdom of God.

"Why didn't someone tell me this before?" I am not certain. But I think as the return of Christ draws near, the Kingdom is becoming more real to us. It is of the utmost important that we respond to the Lord by confessing and turning away from our sinful behavior. This may be the day of our visitation. Many who are last shall be first. We don't want the interesting aspects of our American culture to rob us of the riches of the Kingdom of God!

Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. This does not mean just to forgive the sin of the world. It means to take away the sin; to remove it; to destroy it in its every conceivable form.

As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 13:40-43)

Do you suppose we have come to this time of Divine intervention? This is becoming one of may favorite passages in the Bible. Think what it is saying! All sin and all who do evil will be removed from the Kingdom of God.

And "all who do evil" does not mean except those who believe in Christ. It means all who do evil.

We are not released from the judgments of the Bible by a theological profession of belief in Christ. If we really believe in Christ we will confess our sinning and ask for Christ's help to stop sinning.

There is an awesome difference between being forgiven our sins and being delivered from our sins. The first is God's attitude toward us. The second is our entrance into the Kingdom of God.

We are born again in order to see and enter the Kingdom. Then, as we press forward in Christ, that part of the Kingdom which has been born in us begins to grow. As it does, the sinful actions of our personality become increasingly clear to us. The moment this happen, we are to confess and renounce such behavior.

If we do not, we are walking in known sin.

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. (Hebrews 10:26,27)

He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. (I John 3:8)

I want all of the devil's work destroyed out of me.

How about you?