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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Purifying the Church From Sin
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. (II Peter 3:13—NIV)
We know there will be no sin in Heaven, in Paradise, in the Kingdom of God, in the new world of righteousness. Various explanations have been offered as to how the Lord will deliver His Church and the saved nations from sin. But what do the Scriptures teach about the purifying of the Church from sin?
I have written much concerning the fact that the new covenant includes deliverance from sin as well as forgiveness of sin.
Last Sunday night we were going through the twenty-fourth Psalm, a psalm for today if there ever was one.
We were discussing the part where it says "he who has clean hands and a pure heart" will be the one who is able to ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place.
I said to the class, "The current Evangelical teaching is that it no longer is necessary to have clean hands and a pure heart in order to ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place. We are saved by grace, meaning, we can ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place even though our hands are filthy and our heart is addicted to pornography."
Then I asked, "Is this what Jesus came to do, to make it possible for us to stand in the Lord's holy place with filthy hands and a filthy heart?"
A student spoke up and answered, "No, the Lord came to help us wash our hands."
She got A-plus with that one.
Early Monday morning something that James said came into my mind:
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8—NIV)
So we see plainly from the Scriptures that current Evangelical teaching concerning sin in the Christian life is terribly incorrect, destructively incorrect, abysmally incorrect.
Thanks to this episode the old fires began to burn again and here I am, writing once more on the problem of sin in the Christian life.
Whatever our view of the future is, whether it has to do with a "new earth, the home of righteousness" (as in our opening Scripture), or going to Heaven, to Paradise, or the Kingdom of God, we understand there will be no sin there. None of us would want to go to a paradise where people act the same as they do on the earth in the present hour.
Also there is that passage about the Church being without spot or wrinkle, and this unblemished state is certainly not by imputation!
We know somehow that Christ not only forgives us but in the future He will deliver us from worldliness, lust, and self-will.
The prospect of people living for eternity in a state of grace such that they still are immoral and violent, but God sees them as righteous, is not a happy one.
How would you like to enter the new Jerusalem, glad to be shed of the dread and pain of life on earth, only to discover jealousy, gossip, slander, immorality, lying, theft, drunkenness, witchcraft? Does that thought delight you? Probably not. It doesn't delight me either.
To be continued.