Revelation 9:20,21 “The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood— idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.”

     Even after all the horror, plagues and pain some will not turn from their ways or repent of their deeds!  How does a person come to that state and is there a point of no turning back or away from their destruction?  Scripture tells us that redemption is available even at the final hour yet some persist – why?

     We become what we do on a regular basis.  This is a very practical definition of personal development at all levels – body, soul and spirit.  The Forerunner Commentary observes; “. . .character is not formed merely by knowing something but by knowledge combined with putting it to work until it becomes a habit. Over time, habit becomes character, and character follows the person right through the grave!”  We can know lots of things but our character is made up of those things we know that we put into practice on a regular basis.  We can know something is wrong but if we do it regularly we become it.

      “Thus, what a person has done, that is, what he has worked on in this lifetime, follows him through the grave — either into the Lake of Fire or the Kingdom of God.” (Forerunner Commentary)   Some evils are so low key they corrupt gradually but no less completely. Indifference and complacency will pull you down into the Lake of Fire with just as much finality as murder and rape.  Although the world only condemns the latter.

     Life does have meaning – it prepares us for eternity; “If we are not working, emphasizing loyalty to the Person of God and to His way, making every effort to overcome Satan, the world, and the self-centeredness within us, resisting with all of our being the temptations to do what is natural, carnal—if we are not expending our energy, and spending our time working out our own salvation with fear and trembling—it is very likely, then, that we are not going to have the character necessary to go through the grave. The wrong works will follow us, and we will not be prepared for the Kingdom of God.” (Forerunner Commentary)

     Are there some wrong works that we cannot break from?  Is there an act that is so bad that once done, a line has been crossed that brings us to the ‘point of no return’?  Yes there is!  You cross the line when you’re born.  The Bible tells us; “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5)  We are fallen beings born into a fallen world.  Life is a downhill slide into hell.  We cannot make peace with God or work our way to peace with God by intent or habit; “. . . because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,. . . ” (Romans 8:7)

     The worldly cry in outrage, ‘how can a baby be bad?’ But the psalmist who wrote this was a man after God’s own heart;  “David’s mother was the Lord’s handmaid, he was born in chaste wedlock, of a good father, and he was himself, ‘the man after God’s own heart;’ and yet his nature was as fallen as that of any other son of Adam, and there only needed the occasion for the manifesting of that sad fact. In our shaping we were put out of shape, and when we were conceived our nature conceived sin. Alas, for poor humanity! Those who will may cry it up, but he is most blessed who in his own soul has learned to lament his lost estate.” (BibleStudyTools.com)

      Thankfully God did what we couldn’t do for ourselves (John 3:16).  Jesus tells us there is one way to life.  We have to be born again; “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)  The worldly reaction to this is nicely put by Nicodemus; “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” (v. 4) Jesus replied it isn’t a matter of you doing the impossible but God doing it for us;”Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:6,7,8)

     What is the rescue plan?  “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”  (John 3:14-17)  Jesus saves us if we believe in Him  and our rebirth is the work of His Holy Spirit!

     Scripture tells us that after this rebirth we are not what we were; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)  In Christ, the Holy Spirit works on us changing us from the inside out; “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)  And what is the key to this renewal?  How does it work in us?

     The key is repentance.  Being sorry for what you were and what you have done not because of the world’s punishment and loss you have endured.   But because your past actions went against God. “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication!” (2 Corinthians 7:10,11)  That kind of sorrow can’t be faked.    A man changes direction under this sorrow by His influence.

    Only the Holy Spirit can lead us and break us of our bad habits and inclinations; “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (Galatians 5:16, 17)

     And in order to be ready for our new heavenly bodies we must learn to live by the Spirit in our earthly bodies;  “when we die and leave these bodies — we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” (2 Corinthians 5:1) We change in order to prepare for eternity and to please God; “He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them.” (2 Corinthians 5:15) Some will have no part in this change. Their destiny is terrible.

     We all must choose.

     Praise the Lord!
   

Advertisements