HOW TO GO TO HELL WITHOUT REALLY TRYING
Personal testimony: I was 14, goiong on 10. I was standing next to the counter in a Walgreen’s store. About four inches away from my right hand was a stack of Hershey bars. They only cost a nickel back then.
I heard a voice in my head, which I assumed was my own thought. It said, “why don’t you see if you can get away with stealing that?”
I reached out my hand and slipped a bar into my pocket. The incident became quite a huge thing in my life, and I have given the incident a name.
GOD’S RAP SHEET
GRAND THEFT HERSHEY
PRICE OF STOLEN ITEM FIVE CENTS
I will not go into my salvation experience here. It was an earthquake in my soul and takes a whole other sermon to tell.
But one year after my salvation earthquake and five years after my excursion into the "criminal" world, I was musing about my life. Thinking about how the Lord forgave me. All relative things.
And I said to myself, quite satisfied with my goodness, “at least I never stole anything”.
In a micro-second instant, I heard the voice of Jesus, loud and clear, in my brain. I did not see Him, but I knew He was talking to me.
He said, “What about that nickel Hershey bar?”
I said, "O, yeah, I forgot."
The Bible says He will not remember our sins against us. It does not say He will not remember them at all. From that instant my conversation with Jesus got very interesting.
“Well, now that you remember, go pay for it.”
”Lord! You already forgave me for it!”
“Yes I did. I forgave you for the theft. It is forever covered. But this is a different thing. This is a matter of obedience. Are you going to obey Me, or not.?”
Talk about being given an offer you can’t refuse. First opportunity, I went down to the Walgreen store and handed the cashier a nickel.
So what did I learn from this childhood escapade and this personal encounter with my Precious Saviour?
I learned that REPENTANCE is NOT a ONE TIME THING.
The first time you come to Jesus, there is tears. And more tears. And anxiety. Remembrance of wrongs done years ago. Facing your own stubbornness and desire to not have to go through this.
But then you break through, and you are overwhelmed with the discovery that your Saviour is full of love and compasion, rejoicing that His lost lamb is finally home.
The mistake being made by this entire generation is the belief that this tearful entry into Jesus’ salvation is all there is to it.
If you have any reality to your salvation, you will begin a process of life that literally will remake your entire personality. All old things are passed. All things become new.
Psalm 96:9-11 King James Version (KJV)9 O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.”
All that is holy is beautiful. All that is unholy is not beautiful. So you grow in the desire to do and to love that which is God’s holiness To live your life obeying His Holiness, so your soul will be beautiful.
But growing and learning and bringing your life into the power of His Holiness, requires a spirit that is willing to receive His correction, His instructions , and to obey His leadings.
This requires that the set of your heart must be in a state of constant submission to the voice of your newly cleansed conscience and the attitude of repentance.
That Repentance, which was so difficult the very first time, when you came to Jesus, now becomes
a constantly working power in ypur spirit. And there comes a time when you recognize it, not as a burden, but a joyous thing.
The athletic coach keeps urging the runner he is training to run faster. The runner pushes himself passed his own endurance, to run faster. Because he knows there is an Olympic medal waiting for him in the future. So his training is unpleasant, but not really painful.
The same with the correction of the Lord.
When you first come to Jesus, you barely understand what sin is or why the Lord wants it out of our lives. You grow and learn, by His corrections.
But there is a teaching going on today that was born in Hell, and can cause the unaware person to lose his soul without realizing it.
BUT HOW CAN THAT BE TRUE? ISN’T IT “ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED”?
It was God’s plan for the human race that, “once married, always married”. But being always married involves going home together, and building your lives together, and interacting always in everyday matters and loving each other.
But if you have a ceremony at an altar, and then go back to your own homes and never see each other, are you really married?
Having a marriage ceremony and then leaving your new spouse and going home alone is grounds for annulment.
And some people in this generation are living lives that seem to declare that that after receiving Christ as Saviour, they have annulled their salvation.
But they will tell you that they have believed in Jesus, and all their sins are forgiven forever. So they can go out and continue to sin because everything is already paid for.
This is like going to the Motor Vehicle Department, opening an account with them, and putting money in it. Then you feel free to drive recklessly because when the policeman gives you a ticket, you have already paid it ahead of time.
You feel free to commit adultery. Because Jesus already paid your sin debt. So you can commit the sin because it has already been forgiven.
THAT IS NOT THE WAY IT WORKS!!!!!
That is a crass, heartless, unbelievably insulting blasphemy of Christ’s Redemptive death!
October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses paper to the church door.
The main condemnation of Luther was his condemnation of the financial traffic of the selling of indulgences.
THIS IS HOW IT WORKED. YOU WENT TO THE CHURCH CLERK AND BOUGHT AN INDULGENCE.
YOU GAVE HIM A HANDFUL OF MONEY WHICH
WENT TO THE CHURCH TREASURY AND HELPED
BUILD SAINT PETER’S BASILLICA.
YOU WERE GIVEN A DOCUMENT SIGNED BY THE
CLERK. THIS PAPER DECLARED THAT YOU HAD PAID FOR
THE FORGIVENESS OF A CERTAIN NUMBER OF SINS AHEAD OF TIME, SO YOU WERE
FREE TO GO AHEAD AND COMMIT THE SIN.
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT SOME PEOPLE ARE
THEY CLAIM THAT JESUS BLOOD PAID FOR ALL OF
YOUR SINS, SO THEY ARE ALL FORGIVEN AHEAD
OF TIME SO YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND COMMIT
ARE YOU NOT INSULTING THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
WHEN YOU CLAIM THAT HIS VERY BLOOD THAT
HE SHED AS THE HOLY SACRIFICE TO COVER YOUR
SINS HAS BECOME AN INDULGENCE AND LICENCE TO GO ON SINNING?
YOU CLAIM THAT SINCE HE PAID FOR YOUR
SINS AHEAD OF TIME YOU ARE FREE TO COMMIT
YOUR SINS WITHOUT CONCERN!
THE SINNERS OF LUTHER’S TIME CLAIMED, I’VE
BOUGHT MY FORGIVENESS AHEAD OF TIME. I CAN
SIN WITHOUT WORRY.
THEY BOUGHT THEIR BOGUS FORGIVENESS
WITH THEIR OWN MONEY.
THESE PRESENT DAY FOOLS ARE TRYING TO
CLAIM THAT JESUS HOLY BLOOD IS THE
PAYMENT FOR THE INDULGENCE.
CHRIST’S BLOOD DID NOT BUY YOU PERMISSION TO CONTINUE IN YOUR SIN.
I’LL SAY IT AGAIN. CHRIST’S BLOOD DID NOT
GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO CONTINUE IN YOUR
1 John 1:7 If we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son (continues to pay) pay for all sin.
King James Version
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; Romans 3:25
Our forgiveness and cleansing at the time we first repent and receive Him is full and complete and permanent. But it is also a continuing action.
We remain imperfect in the power of the flesh. There are spiritual operations and growth of learning that must take place in our souls.
And as we continue to follow Him, and walk olbediently in His Light, forgiveness of our daily sins and shortcomings is a constant, never ending flow of Jesus life in us.
No matter how strong, overpowering, heavy, our temptation might be. His Blood continues to flow over our souls as our repentance and forsaking of sin grows stronger.
But there is one thing that can drag your soul into the dark again, leaving you on a slippery, slidy, slope, that will cause you to tumble and fall and roll out of control, until your helpless soul crashes through a gate into Hell.
Leaving you to wonder “what happened? I thought I was saved!”
Jesus died for you. Shed His Blood as the one and only sacrifice and covering you will ever need for your soul. The offer is,
“Come unto Me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls”
How do you do that?
Apostle Peter said to the crowd, “REPENT, and be baptized every one of you, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”
Your reception of the forgiveness and sin covering bought for you by Jesus has a requirement for you.
You MUST REPENT. Turn away from your sin. You keep your heart in the attitude of repentance every minute of every day, the Blood goes on cleansing you of the sins the flesh commits every day.
But there is one “deal breaker”.
If you get tired of keeping your conscience awake,
Tired of going God’s way instead of your own, there is a big disaster waiting for your soul.
Hebrews 6:4-6King James Version (KJV)
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
As long as the cry of your heart is, “God be merciful to me, a sinner”, the Blood of Christ continues to flow over your soul.
But there is one thing that can stop that flow.
One thing your heart can say that will drive the light of God from your soul and leave you unforgiven, even if you keep up the show of being a good church member,
That thing is an attitude of the heart that makes you feel you don’t want to follow the way of the Lord any more, you are tired of saying NO to sin, and you wind up saying in yor soul
I DON’T CARE
If you have ever said this in your heart regarding your attitude toward your sins, and have given up being repentant towards Jesus, flippantly claiming that since Jesus already paid for your sins, is Ok to go ahead and commit them, you are in danger of your heart getting set in cement and being unable to repent and come back to the Cross and get saved again.
The Lord is Holy. Just Righteous. Merciful. Loving. Longsuffering. He offers you Eternal Life. Eternal Life is not just forever. It is forever living in harmony with His Holiness without even a trace of sin.
He died to deliver you from the power of sin, not make you comfortable hanging on to them.
Do not play sick games with his everlasting Love.
REPENT AND KEEP REPENTING,
The JOY of the Lord will be your strength and song, and will be your enduring eternal Salvation.