Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. (Revelation 20:11-12)
The Books Of God
There is coming a day when all humanity will stand before the Lord God Creator and impressed upon the minds of every soul gathered will be one single thought: is my name in the book held by the One who sits upon the great white throne. It will not matter if marble bears the name of the person or history has recorded the heroic deeds of a life spent in the carnal world. The accolades of men will vanish when death whispers a final dirge. The achievements of life will crumble in the dust of a wasted life when unprepared to meet the One who sits upon the great white throne. All eyes will gaze upon the books gathered before the Lord. The books will be the desire. Hearts will beat in anticipation of the opening of the books. Then the book all souls desire will be opened and everyone will recognize it as the book of Life. This scroll is impressed with the untold names of those who had a covenant relationship with God. For most their names were never inscribed and their names never found in the book of Life. They lived their lives in the fulfillment of their carnal pursuits denying the reality of a record being kept. It was far from the minds to believe decisions in life would reap a whirlwind of consequence in death. Now they stand before the Creator and do not hear their name written in the book of life. The smell of the lake of fire rises to their nostrils and they hear their names enrolled in the place of torment. No name is inscribed in the book of life and they are lost eternally. One book. One name. One fate. One God who loved them so much to given His only Son to die for them and offer them the grace of eternal salvation and their names are not found in the one book. The darkness of eternity envelops their fears as they are cast from the presence of the Almighty into an eternal pit of torment.
There are many names assigned to the book of life. A close examination of the book held by the one on the throne realizes there are names on pages that are blotted out by sin. At one time their names were clearly marked on the pages of grace but now cannot be found. Their hearts were filled with the love of God and they saw the power of the Lord believing in His love for them. Temptation drew them away and turned their hearts to the pleasures of sin. They saw the wrath of God in the flood of Noah’s day and turned away from calling upon the Lord. Many who came out of Egypt as the people of God who saw the power of the Lord against Pharaoh and his army died in the wilderness because they longed for the pleasures of carnal man. The nation of Israel fell into idolatry and untold numbers of God’s people wiped their names from the book of life seeking the pleasures of this world. Saints of the Lord who obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ turned back to the filth of the world and lost their names in the book of life. The greatest tragedy for many will be to see their names in the book of life blotted out by the wrath of God. Their names were once inscribed but no longer. There is no hope and no promise because they were not faithful until death. Lost on the pages of God’s books their names are blotted by sin and rebellion. They will share in the lake of fire as the Lord sends His rebellious children to eternal punishment. The greatest cries in torment will come from the voices of those names blotted out who once tasted the heavenly gift.
As the roll of names is called from the Divine, the book will reveal names impressed upon the pages of eternal love with the blood of Jesus. Names that served the Lord from Adam until the final day. The myriads of souls will eagerly surge forward to hear their names called as faithful and holy. To their eternal joy their names are found in the book of life and the glory of God’s light will shine in their hearts as they see Him face to face bearing His name upon their foreheads. Joy will fill the hearts as songs of praise echo from the souls of the saved whose names are found in the book of Life. Yearning for the eternal grace of God’s love, hearing the name read from the book of life brings eternal happiness to dwell in the presence of the Lord throughout the eternal ages. One book. One name. One Savior. One God. One hope. Nothing will give greater joy than hearing the name inscribed upon the pages of the book of life as faithful, true and everlasting.
The book of Life is the message of God’s wrath and His love. There are many names that will not be found and there are many names that once were written but now are blotted out. Only the names that remain will find joy in eternity. The lesson is clear: if your name is not in the book of Life you have no hope. Sitting on a church pew will not keep your name in the book. Doing the will of the Lord is how your name in placed in the book of Life and keeping the commandments of God, living through His grace, loving His mercy and embracing His word in your heart will help you see your name in that great and wonderful book called the book of Life. God has many books to open. Where will your name be?
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
The Works Of The Flesh Are Evident: Sensual Vices
Temptation is as old as the world. Satan lost very little time in coming to God’s creation with the intent of destroying all the Lord had established. He never forces anyone to disobey the will of the Lord; merely suggesting with soothing words and tantalizing thoughts of pleasure to entice the heart. Nothing has changed in his assault against the character and purpose of the child of God. Through the Holy Spirit the Christian has been armed with the word of God to know the pernicious tricks of the evil one and avenues of escape to follow in times of trial. Paul challenged the early disciples to walk after the nature of the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh. When Paul wrote the letter to the churches of Galatia he was living in a time of immorality unmatched by many generations. Remarkably the gospel prospered during this time as empty hearts found the saving grace of truth in Jesus Christ. Identifying the character of sin helped the disciples face the reality of sin and understand how to combat the wiles of the devil. It also made very clear the displeasure of God for things that society accepted as normal and if followed would render eternal condemnation. Sin was marked for what it was and sin has not changed in two thousand years. The words of Paul must challenge the hearts of the people of God to know the consequence of unrepentant actions where the vices of carnal pleasures are followed will be met in judgment.
Sensual vices are first on the list and include adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness and sexual immorality of any form. It is not the most important sin but it is the most prevalent sin. Sexual sins are the more common challenges faced by the Christian. The lure of the fleshly pleasure is an extremely power aphrodisiac. Fornication comes from the word which pornography derives its meaning including prostitution and harlotry. Uncleanness is the basic moral impurity that fills the mind with lustful and sexually pervasive thoughts and fantasies. Lewdness or lasciviousness are not common words in the language of modern man but they are very common in the hearts of many who profess to follow Christ. The idea of wantonness is found in the lewd mental pictures of depravity and shamelessness as the flesh lusts for sexual pleasures to be fulfilled through the mind. These sexual vices were prominent in the day Paul wrote this striking letter to the saints of God imploring them to refrain from the norms of Roman society. Far removed from those ancient days the world has filled itself with the lustful appetite of sensual favors once again as sexual freedom is viewed with an acceptable reliance by the world and many within the kingdom of God. The warning should be very clear: those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. What man tends to forget is that God does not forget. He has not changed His mind about the sensual vices and their consequences. What condemned a soul in the day of Paul will damn a soul in the modern age. Norms of society will change but the word of God is settled in heaven and remains unchanged.
Adultery and fornication are sinful. Arguments can be made that love is involved but love does not remove the will of the Lord. Engaging in sexual intercourse before marriage will not be accepted by the Lord because two people are in love and plan to marry. The Hebrew writer declared the bed must be undefiled in marriage and those who trifle with the law of God will pay the penalty. Ignoring sexual sin will not remove sin. Young people who engage in sexual sins will reap the whirlwind of God’s judgment. When a man and women find themselves in sexual unions outside the bounds of their marriage their souls are tarnished with the blight of rebellion and will suffer the eternal flames of God’s wrath. Pornography is not acceptable to God. It is a vicious and destructive plague that is sweeping through the ranks of God’s people impacting men and women alike. There will be no excuses. No man will be able to stand before the great I AM and argue acceptance to the prostitution of the mind. Heathenism is an immoral force of fleshly appetites being fed the lie of the great deceiver. The children of God should diligently present their hearts as righteous, clean, moral and pure from the defilement’s of sensual vices that are so common. Nothing has changed in God’s view of sexuality. He created the man and woman to enjoy the conjugal blessings of sexuality within the framework of marriage. Anything outside of this union is sin. Those who are Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isaiah 53:1-3)
What Did Jesus Look Like?
As the teacher was walking through her classroom she noticed one little girl intently drawing in her notebook. Inquiring what the little girl was so focused on she replied that she was drawing a picture of God. The teacher gently admonished the little girl that no one knew what God looked like and the little girl replied, “They will when I get finished.” Jesus told the Samaritan woman that God was a spirit and He must be worshiped as a spirit. In the Revelation John saw One seated on the throne but no information is given as to his visage with any certain details apart from having an appearance of jasper and sardius stone. Jesus on the other hand left His spiritual abode with the Father and became like a man taking on the form of a man and living in the flesh of the carnal man. His conception was by the power of the Holy Spirit but His birth was exactly like any other human. Jesus was born in due time and was wrapped in swaddling clothes as newborn babies would be treated. He had to learn to talk, to walk and move about and to learn how to eat and care for Himself. First as a young child in the city of Bethlehem He did what all young children do and then lived in Egypt for a time before settling in Nazareth where He would learn the trade of Joseph. Along with His brothers and sisters Jesus would be as ordinary as any Jewish boy in Israel. There was nothing unusual about Him from other children. As He grew into adolescences and his teen years His friends did not notice anything unusual about Him. He did startle the teachers at the Temple at the age of twelve but nothing is known of the next eighteen years as He grew into manhood.
Isaiah gives a hint to the appearance of Jesus in his prophetic text. Contrary to the Renaissance pictorials of Jesus glowing with a halo and shining face, the presentation of Jesus was unremarkable. If the text is taken to a certain conclusion Jesus was not an attractive man by any standards. The prophet Isaiah declared that if a person would look at Jesus there would be no beauty in Him that anyone would take notice. His face was as ordinary as any other Jewish citizen of Nazareth. In a crowd to twenty people no one would think the son of Mary as remarkable. On the yearly pilgrimages to Jerusalem where thousands of people crowded the roads to worship the Lord God no one would have given Jesus a second glance. He was so unremarkable He was plain. His presence was unobtrusive and unpretentious. It is hard to imagine the Son of God could not be picked out of a crowd of people. Not until Jesus was thirty years old did people take notice of Him. When He began to teach people were astonished. As the miracles multiplied the crowds began to seek Him. Throughout the ministry of Jesus people were drawn to Jesus for many reasons but it was not because of his debonair good looks and charming smile. It was His gentle touch and His compassionate heart that would leave a lasting impression on others. The force of His words moved people to change their lives. Jesus did not come to win a popularity contest. In fact Jesus came to die on a Roman cross. What He looked like was of no importance. The physical imagery of the Son of God could have been the most remarkable picture in all of creation. God sent His Son to give His life for man and the unremarkable man from Nazareth finished the work of His heavenly Father when He died on the cross. Hanging on the cross there was no glory around His head, no angels singing alleluia and few people took great notice about the man in the middle. He was a criminal and deserved to die. Only a handful of faithful disciples looked at the haggard face of Jesus and saw the love of God.
Isaiah’s statement about the coming Christ is critical for men to embrace and see the purpose of life. Jesus was a beautiful person because of what He was and who He was. His work was to save all men and through His blood bring all men to God. There is a divine purpose in looking at the man on the cross who had no form or comeliness and no beauty that we should desire Him. For those who are smitten with the grace of God what they seen in the cross is the most beautiful story man has ever known. They do not see the face of a man; they see the heart of God’s Son dying for their sins. He was despised and rejected by men but accepted by His Father. Jesus bore our sorrows and our grief so that we would be spared from the penalty of death. We hid our faces from Him but His face radiated the love of God. He was despised and while we did not esteem Him – the Savior asked His Father to forgive us. I know what the face of Jesus looked like. It is as clear as anything in this world. The face of Jesus is found in the word of God. Eyes of mercy, lips of grace, face of compassion and a heart willing to die for me. One of the great blessings of eternal life is found in John’s imagery of the Revelation. The aged apostle writes that we will see His face. I hope Jesus does not mind if I just reach out and touch that face. It is such a beautiful face.
The sons of Reuben, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh had forty-four thousand seven hundred and sixty valiant men, men able to bear shield and sword, to shoot with the bow, and skillful in war, who went to war. They made war with the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them, and the Hagrites were delivered into their hand, and all who were with them, for they cried out to God in the battle. He heeded their prayer, because they put their trust in Him. Then they took away their livestock—fifty thousand of their camels, two hundred and fifty thousand of their sheep, and two thousand of their donkeys—also one hundred thousand of their men; for many fell dead, because the war was God’s. And they dwelt in their place until the captivity. (1 Chronicles 5:18-22)
Genealogies are not the most exciting areas of scripture to read but there are many jewels contained within the placement of those who begot one another. It has been suggested that Ezra wrote the “Chronicles” telling a history of Israel from the time of King Saul’s death to the remnants return following the captivity. Nearly a third of the first book deals with genealogy as this was vital to establishing a historical record of ancestry of the Jewish people. Between the families of Reuben, Gad and Joseph (sons of Jacob) there was an incredible force of fighting men numbering 44,760 valiant men. Manasseh was one of the sons of Joseph and along with Ephraim represents the family of Joseph in tribal identity. The Chronicle explains how these three families joined together to form a formidable fighting army that gained many victories for the Lord. They are described as courageous men skilled in the art of war and aggressive in their attack. United in their purpose through the avenue of prayer they put their trust in God gaining incredible victories with much spoil. During the battle they cried to the Lord for His intervention and He heeded the prayer because they put their trust in Him. These were mighty men of war very skilled but they knew the source of the power came from the Lord and they trusted His power more than their own. The bounty resulted in 302,000 animals being taken along with 100,000 of the enemy. It was a 2:1 ration against them in the final analysis but they gained the victory. Many were killed not because the men were valiant and strong in their own might but because the war that was waged belonged to the Lord. The war was God’s war.
The days of carnal warfare came to an end when Jesus Christ came into the world to save all men. Paul declared the weapons of warfare are now spiritual for casting down arguments and everything that exalts itself against the power of God. While the methods of fighting have changed the spirit of war has not; the battle still belongs to the Lord. Like the sons of Reuben, the Gadites and half the tribe of Manasseh, the church needs valiant men and women who are able to bear the shield of faith and sword of the Spirit to make war against the wiles of the devil. Courage is needed to face an overwhelming army of principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age and spiritual hosts of wickedness that war against the kingdom of Christ. Saints who are skilled in the word of God and the use of truth to destroy the arguments of immorality, false doctrine, religious error and complacency are needed to fight the great war of God. There is a greater need for trained soldiers of Christ to stand against the increasing pressures of a carnal world. As the war rages men and women must lift up their voices and cry out to God in the midst of battle for help. The war against unrighteousness will be difficult and fraught with danger. Without the protective blessing of the Lord there can be no victory. No man can gain the victory by his own power. Prayer is the incense of the smell of battle placed in the hands of Jehovah God to let His guiding hand bring about victory. When the people of God unite in prayer the Lord will heed their supplications and give the victory. The battle belongs to the Lord if trust is put in His will and His way. Prayer must be lifted on wings of complete trust that God will secure the victory as He did with the sons of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh.
Many fell dead in battle because the war was God’s. This is a profound statement of the power and majesty of the Lord God who reigns, rules and regards the affairs of man as His purpose and design for sending the Christ. The war still belongs to God. He gave His Son as the gift of love to show all men there is no victory without Him. Jesus rose from the dead and death has no power. God brought forth His Son from the grave and hades will be cast into the lake of fire. The governments of the world that stand against the kingdom of God will be cast into the second death along with the harlot of Babylon and the beast of spiritual error. Nothing will be able to stand against the King of Kings and Lord of Lords because the battle belongs to the Lord. The message of God’s word is the will of the Lord will be finished according to His power. He created the world and governs the affairs of the world and it will be by His power the world is destroyed. Man did not create the world and while given dominion of the world is banished to the role of servant to the great I AM. The destiny of man was not determined by the wisdom of man but the knowledge of God revealed the battle plan to defeat the great dragon and overcome death. The war belongs to God. He fights it His way and the outcome is determined by His will. Soldiers of Christ who stand in battle array against Satan will have the victory because they know the war is God’s and through courage and prayer bring glory to the cause of righteousness and truth. Fight brethren. Make war in the name of God.
Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)
The art of imitation is the ability to replicate the total character of another into the spirit of self. Florence Nightingale said, “People talk about imitating Christ, and imitate Him in the little trifling formal things, such as washing the feet, saying His prayer, and so on; but if anyone attempts the real imitation of Him, there are no bounds to the outcry with which the presumption of that person is condemned.” Imitation is following the pattern of something established mimicking the complete essence and character of the object copied. Paul was bold to exhort the brethren to imitate him as he imitated Christ. On a personal level it is a challenge to mold ones character to be like Christ. Asking others to follow the example of life followed by the individual is a larger test asking others to look carefully at their lives and mimic what they say and do. All of this must be governed by the need to imitate life after the example of Jesus Christ. Eight words placed Paul squarely in the sights of the brethren to open up his life, examine his life and seek to pattern their attitudes, actions and life after another man. Pride did not lead the apostle to seek this investigation but humility to show others how much he tried to form his life into the image of the divine. Later Paul would call himself the worst sinner known to man. He was not a perfect man and praised the Lord for His infinite mercy to grant eternal grace to the man who once was a blasphemer of truth. Now he is asking brethren to imitate his life as he seeks to follow the pattern of Christ. The context of his letter to Corinth was to exhort the brethren to be concerned with their attitudes toward others and not to give offense to the Jews, Greeks or to the church of God. He pleaded with the Corinthians to imitate his life in dealing with those things lawful and unlawful. What makes the appeal stronger is that Paul lived in such a manner he could in good consciousness plead with the saints to imitate him. If the apostle had not patterned his life in such a way, they would be hesitant to follow after Paul.
All of God’s people are enjoined to be like Christ. The spirit of God should be the whole of man’s character in love, deeds, kindness, words and attitudes toward others. Many passages address the molding of the Christian character to the image of God through the example of Jesus. Walking in the footsteps of Jesus is carefully patterned lives that follow the path of the Lord in truth, righteousness and holiness. The real test of servitude is whether an exhortation can be given for others to follow the individual example as a pattern of truth, righteousness and holiness. Everyone leaves an impression upon the hearts of others whether good or bad. A key ingredient in the life of a Christian is how others see them and understand them. Often little concern is given to what other people see in the lives of a child of God but every life is a reflection of the Father. Like in the physical family the actions and demeanor of the children reflects the values and attitudes of the parents. When people of the world see God’s children playing in the frolic of carnality they view the heavenly Father with the disdain of hypocrisy. It is sad to think of the souls who were tainted with the imitation of God’s children who were not emulating the spirit of Christ. When envy, strife, hatred and division exist in the family of the Lord it reflects to the world a sour note of discord that will only bring harsh judgments of condemnation for the pretense seen in their lives. Yet the example of godliness in the hearts of disciples of Christ will help others see the joy of eternal life in the blessing of God’s word.
Imitating Christ allows the life of a Christian to shine as a light to the world. Jesus told the mountain multitude that what the world needed to see was God living in their lives. When the life of Christ lives in the life of the Christian he or she is setting forth a pattern of truth for others to see and follow. This is not the only means of conversion but it has a huge impact on the reception of grace through the exemplary life seeking to follow the word of God. It takes courage to ask others to follow the example of self. First self must be molded to Jesus Christ so that what others follow is the character of the Son of God. When life is governed by the example of Christ greater joy will be found in the heart, soul and mind and security of knowing that what others see they can emulate and follow. May all of God’s children present their hearts in such a manner they can boldly say to others, “Imitate me just as I also imitate Christ.”
And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! (Revelation 19:6)
No Matter What – God Reigns
The Revelation of John is a challenging book of visions that play across a grand stage of divine disclosure to the wonderful scenes of judgment upon those who would oppress, persecute and harm the faithful of God. Rooted deep within its pages of mysterious images of seals, trumpets, woes and declarations is a common theme that the Lord God has never forgotten His people and will never allow them to be filled with hopelessness in the face of great trial. He never promises to deliver His saints from harm often allowing the forces of evil to kill His people but the eternal lesson from the beginning of time is the view of life as a temporary time of sojourn with the faith to see beyond the vale of death to a better world. What has challenged man is his inability to allow his soul to be free from the earthly trappings of the flesh and long for the spiritual bounties of grace promised in eternal life. As the saints of God faced an uncertain future in the world of their day, John pens a message that life is not about the here and now but the glory of victory found in Christ Jesus. The early Christians lived in a world bent on their destruction. Through the power of government, religion, carnality and every evil Satan could throw at the church, the faithful of God suffered immense persecution. The message of the Revelation was not a promise to remove all of these terrible things from their lives but to assure the righteous that God heard their cries and that glory would be found in the realm of eternity. It is hard when a man is in the midst of a fiery trial to see the purifying power of the experience to be something of glory. While no one can face such trial without fear and trepidation the hope is given that through the eye of faith one can courageously maintain a faith in the love of God to deliver the soul from death. Life is but a vapor. Eternity is without end. If a man suffers in life it is but a short time compared to an eternal misery if found faithless. Reading the Revelation the message of hope is established upon the powerful testimony that regardless what man will do to the righteous of God, those who are faithful will ultimately receive the victory.
As the saints of God lived through the terrible persecutions put upon the early church, a single message of hope delivered their spirits from despair. Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord God because He reigns. He rules above all men. His power is greater than anything man has. The powers of men can only do so much and then they are destroyed. History is filled with the decaying ruins of great nations who exalted themselves against the Lord God and were destroyed. Where are the Romans, the Huns, the Imperial nations and those who sought to rule a thousand years? All the nations of men fall when they deny God and serve their gods of power, wealth and immorality. The book of the Revelation is a clear message of God’s power and might over all those who oppose His people. The Lord God is omnipotent, almighty, all-powerful, invincible and unstoppable. There is nothing that man can do that will stand in the way of the will of the Lord. Governments can ban the Bible but the word of God endures. An immoral world can persecute the righteous but the purity of truth remains. Saints may die at the hand of ungodly men but death is but a transition for the child of God to a place where there is no pain and suffering. What is there that man can do to a child of God that will destroy him? Praise belongs to God because He is omnipotent and shows His power to care for His children regardless of what men may do.
Life is not about what happens here but the glory that is revealed in the life to come. Righteous souls see life for what it is: temporary. Unrighteous souls see life for what it is not: eternal. The joy of being a Christian is the knowledge that God is so powerful in His love, mercy, grace and promises that nothing in this world will hinder the faith of the child of God. Reading the Revelation reminds the faithful that God is all powerful. Satan is destroyed along with death and Hades and all those who oppose the word of God. Praise belongs to God as one opens the heart to see His omnipotent power and believes that while facing the crucifix of earthly trial the joy of heaven waits. Jesus faced the cross with a determined faith for what lay beyond. Life is but a cross to bear for a moment and then glory. God raised His Son from the grave and gave hope to all who will trust in Him. Believing in the power of God as omnipotent assures the heart the power of God to give life after death. Facing the darkness of death is replaced with the knowledge of the light that is given to those who die in the Lord. He is all powerful and mighty. Praise God and sing Alleluia for the Lord God Omnipotent reigns.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:12-15)
The fundamental truth about sin is that it is completely voluntary on the part of the participant. No one has ever been forced to commit sin. Satan did not force Eve to take of the forbidden fruit. He suggested an alternative plan with a subtle lie that caused the woman to look at the fruit as something to desire and to enjoy. Her taking of the fruit was a choice solely made from selfish motives to fulfill an inner desire. It is easy to blame sin on others, environment or social norms but the truth about sin is abundantly clear that every time man sins it is because he is making a moral choice to disobey the will of God so that he can enjoy a moments reckless folly. Temptation is the lure of sin. It does not come immediately. There is a process that sin takes every time the road is traveled by a weak spirit. Sin begins in the heart of desire. The soul of man is filled with a longing, thirst and hunger for something that seems impossible to avoid. There wells up in the manna of evil a deep need for fulfillment and an enticing spirit envelopes the will of man to turn his face toward a forbidden fruit with great intensity. Sin has not been committed yet. Temptation desired and enticed has not born the fruit of rebellion but it is quickly moving in that direction. Allowing the thirst to go unquenched and the hunger to go unfed leads the mind to have a greater desire to taste the forbidden fruit. Without removing the desire, evil is conceived in the heart and sin is born. Allowing sin to grow more and more brings about death. Such is the fate of all men that struggle with the power of sin.
Satan wants man to believe that he is helpless in the face of temptation. If the devil can convince someone that sin is inevitable and expected, the soul will fall quickly under the sway of the evil one. The Holy Spirit declares that sin does not have to have dominion over the heart of the righteous. Using the analogy of the process of birth, the Holy Spirit suggests sin begins as a desire that must be cultivated to bring about sin. Sin begins with temptation. From the heart of temptation desire is increased. Enticed to continue, sin conceives a seed of rebellion to the will of the Father. There is a time the seed grows and will give birth to sin. If left unchecked, sin will grow fully and kill the heart. What the Holy Spirit wants the child of God to know (and Satan does not want the child of God to know) is that if there is spiritual abortion prior to birth sin will not kill the soul. Spiritual abortion is killing the desire before it can grow. If desire is enticed and conceives there is still time to abort the temptation and stop the soul from sinning. Allowing desire to conceive and grow fully to maturity sin will give birth to actions that will harm the soul of man. When David saw Bathsheba for the first time he had not sinned. He was tempted when he saw her bathing on the roof top but he could have aborted his feelings quickly and turn away. He allowed her image to grow in his mind and his desire for her moved him to have her brought to his house. Again he could have stopped the process and sent her back home. Sadly, sin came with David and Bathsheba because it was never aborted and gave birth to sin and death. Such is the nature of sin in all men.
Sin can be stopped. Knowing the process of sin will help build a wall of courage to stop the desires from growing into something that will bring about sorrow, sadness and regret. An old saying said that allowing the bird to land on the head was not the sin but allowing the bird to build a nest is where the trouble comes from. Sin can be aborted and must be aborted if the heart is courageous enough to admit it is knocking at the door of the heart. Do not open the door and sin will not come in. Paul reminded the Corinthian saints that God will not allow man to be tempted beyond what he is able to endure. In other words God offers another door instead of sin and we have but to choose the right door. Sin always – underline always – comes first with a choice. God does not tempt man with evil. Satan tempts man with his wicked ways and pernicious thoughts. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Man can stop sin if he recognizes the value of spiritual abortion. The devil has convinced too many of God’s people that sin is normal – it is not normal! Each man is tempted when HE is drawn away. There can be no blame on society, birth, parents, or even God. Every man will give account of his own sins because his sins are his own. Armed with the knowledge that sin can be stopped the saint can live a life less hampered by the shackles of sin. You can stop sin. By God’s grace there is nothing sin can do in the life of those who draw closer to the Father and live deeper in the Spirit of God and walk holy in the steps of Jesus. Sin will not have dominion. Period.