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When Christians Sin

Posted by Job on April 3, 2007

 Exodus 34:9And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O LORD, let my LORD, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.

It may seem odd that I am using an Old Testament verse to describe how God deals with the sin of Christians.  But we must remember: the New Covenant is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant. Therefore, we can look at how God treated the sins of His people in the Old Testament to get a better understanding of what sins mean for God’s people under the new. Now I am not going to dedicate any time to addressing the modern revisionist notions of sin and the Christian, because quite truthfully they have decided that the Bible is neither true or authoritative, which means there is neither sin nor a God to judge it. Instead, let us consider the debate between the two main camps of Bible literalists: those who believe that you can lose your salvation versus those who believe that you cannot. It is ultimately a debate between , or predestination, Christians and , or free will Christians (see an excellent debate board on this topic here). Though I see plenty of evidence for predestination in the Bible, I nonetheless fall in the free will camp, and this treatment will be from that perspective.

Two things are obvious to anyone who reads the Bible with any sort of honesty: God hates sin, and God loves sinners. God loves sinners so much that He is willing to save us despite ourselves. But God must be righteous, thus He will not save anyone who loves sin. Does God’s grace have its limits? No. But man can reject God’s grace. God will suffer the sin of the Christian for a time and to a point, but there is a line that the sinner can cross. It is interesting that Paul made the fascinating statement in I Corinthians 5:5. I interpret that scripture as Paul being willing to take extreme measures to prevent a Christian who had determined to live in sin before such a person would reject the authority of God over his life, and thereby reject his salvation. Note that I did not say LOSE his salvation, or FORFEIT his salvation, but REJECT his salvation. The common doctrine of “losing your salvation” means that every time you sin, or every time you commit a “really bad sin”, or if you commit some number of sins in a short amount of time, or if you lapse into some pattern of sinful behavior, your salvation is gone. I am not merely talking about such a Christian’s having to confess and repent, or how a backslider who held some position or status in the church has to work his way back in return, but rather such a person literally having to say the sinner’s prayer again. To justify this position, such Christians turn to examples as David’s begging for God not to take His Holy Spirit from David after he took Uriah’s wife and murdered him. First, there was no evidence given in scripture that David’s eternal standing with God was ever threatened over this incident so long as David acknowledged his sin and repented, which he did immediately after the prophet Nathan informed him that his sin was not hidden from God. (If a Christian thinks that unrepentant sin under the new covenant is no issue, he will find out that he is very wrong.) David’s dark period of crying out to God was during his time of penance, when God removed Himself from David while his terminally ill newborn child was dying. Immediately after the child died, David’s penance was over, and he returned to normal. Note that there was no mention in II Samuel 13 of David making a sin offering. David had to repent and serve penance, but his salvation was not lost. The same was true of the prophet Jonah. He committed the greatest sin under the law according to Jewish tradition, the sin of the high hand, which was willful disobedience to a direct command given to an individual from God Himself by revelation. There was not even a sacrifice for such a sin. Yet Jonah’s standing with God was never threatened. As soon as Jonah repented, all was forgiven.

And keep in mind, this was under grace. How much more would this be so under the New Covenant? Now recall David’s begging God’s presence not to depart from him. Well, consider one of the Names of Yeshua HaMashiach or Jesus Christ, which is Emmanuel, God WITH Us. Realize that Jesus Christ lived and died under the Old Covenant law. Also, realize that even before He was on the earth as a man, He was still with the people of God at times such as being the Rock that was with Israel in the wilderness (I Corinthians 10:4). But Christ’s death allowed the Comforter, God’s Spirit, to indwell us! The physical death (no, Yeshua HaMashiach did not spiritually die, Word of Faith heretics, just as people who are saved will never spiritually die) of Jesus Christ and His resurrection carried us from God WITH Us to God IN Us, the indwelling Holy Spirit. And one of the better promises of the New Covenant is that though we might sin, God’s Presence will never depart from us because of that sin as it did David because it is sealed within us (Ephesians 4:30). Now, the “you cannot love your salvation” types use the references to “being sealed by the Holy Spirit” as evidence that salvation cannot be lost. But please note that in one of the very verses that mentions being sealed by the Holy Spirit, scripture warns us to GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT. What does that mean? Well let us go back to this fellow in I Corinthians 5:5. Now if “once saved always saved” were true, there would have been no reason to deliver him unto Satan, because there would have been no need to take action to save his spirit in the day of Christ Jesus. What is the day of Christ Jesus? Judgment day! So what was this fellow’s flesh destroyed in order to save his spirit from? THE SECOND DEATH! THE LAKE OF FIRE! Why? Because this man’s decision to live in incestual fornication with his mother because he so loved the worldly culture and traditions of the Greeks (and what worldly cultures and traditions are we MODERN Christians in love with? in what ways are MODERN Christians committing SPIRITUAL adultery and fornications with their devil’s doctrines, abiblical traditions, and seeking after the wants and cares of the world? No Calvinists, you Bible – believing Christians are not the ones I am talking about right now) he made the conscious decision to  do as he pleased and to reject the authority of God over his life. He was on the verge of crossing the line, and when one crosses that line, he does what no one else in, above, or under the earth can or will do, which is breaking the seal of the Holy Spirit. (Take it easy, people, I am not saying that man is sovereign over or can overpower God in this matter; of course God has the power and authority to break the seal or prevent it from being broken, but as with everything else God will not exercise that power because He keeps His Own Word, elevating Its Name above Every Name Philippians 2:9-11.)

When does one cross that line? When one who has knowledge of sin (and only the saved have true knowledge of sin for that knowledge comes through the conviction of the Holy Spirit) no longer regards his sin, and even begins to call his sin righteousness. That, dear “once saved always saved”, is the reprobate spoken of by Paul most prominently in Romans 1:20-29, but also mentioned in II Corinthians 13:4-7, II Timothy 3:8, and  Titus 1:16. Now note the context of all these, and you will see why a lot of people who have called on the Name of Christ and call themselves by the Name of Christ are in a lot of trouble. Romans 1:20-29 speaks of Christians who give themselves over to false doctrine, idolatry, and sexual sin. II Corinthians 13:4-7  (especially when you consider that the chapter opens with Paul stating “this is my third time coming to you and you all are still not acting right) warns that a person who continues in sin “become disqualified” (analyze the parallel translations of  II Corinthians 13). A similar analysis of II Timothy 3 clearly indicates that rejecting true doctrine in favor of false doctrines that claim that one can and should pursue worldly pleasures lead to reprobation. Titus I also shows how stubborn adherence to false doctrines and abiblical traditions (“Jewish fables and the commandments of men who reject truth”) will cause one, though he professes Christ, to be reprobate. 

What Biblical example shall we use to illustrate the person who sins unto death, who crosses the line? The case of Uzziah in II Samuel 6! Now recall, God gave Israel SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS for handling the ark. It was only to be transported by the Levites, who were to bear it upon staves (poles) that were inserted through the rings on the side, and this was something well known to Israel ever since the time of Moses. But David did not obey. He sent 30,000 “choice men” (which means 30,000 SOLDIERS, not Levite priests) to get the ark. And rather than have men put poles through the rings and hold the ark up and carry it upon the poles, they put it on a CART (or wagon). Ah, but it was a NEW CART, which was supposed to make it OK, right? The same type of excuses and justifications that we Christians make when we disobey God. Now righteous God COULD have slain the whole company of them, or even a percentage of them to make a point, but He did not. Why? Because even though it was under the Old Covenant and they were sinning, God still loved them, and was willing to endure their sin. That is, up to a point. There was a line that could not be crossed!

Now, a lot of people look at this and say that this is how God is mean, unfair, arbitrary, demanding, cruel, etc. Why would God make up all of these regulations to begin with? Well, God never does things just to be doing them. For every rule that God gave to man in the Bible, there was a reason. God didn’t give SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR CARRYING THE ARK just to be a taskmaster, to get some sort of sick pleasure from making man inconvenience himself with unnecessary cumbersome tasks. No, God gave those instructions because NO ONE WAS TO TOUCH THE ARK! Why? Because of sin. The presence of God was with the ark. God is holy, and sin cannot touch Him without being destroyed. Now recall: this was the Old Covenant. Sin had not yet been defeated on the cross. Thus, a man touching the ark was SIN touching the ark, and the bearer of that sin had to die. The only exceptions were people whom God exempted by virtue of specific instructions, WHICH THEY HAD TO FOLLOW TO THE LETTER (i.e. the high priest alone could enter the Holy of Holies, and even then only when fully dressed, undefiled, carrying the blood of a sacrificial animal, and after ringing a bell). So, God commanded that the ark be carried in that manner because with men trained specifically for that purpose carrying it on poles, they were FAR LESS LIKELY TO DROP IT. Why? BECAUSE IF YOU DROP IT, THERE IS GOING TO BE A GREAT TEMPTATION, A REFLEX OR ABSENT – MINDED ACTION, TO USE YOUR HANDS TRY TO CATCH IT ON THE WAY DOWN, OR TO PICK IT UP! And even if by some rare occurrence all these men were to fall at the same time and the ark were to spill to the ground, they would still have the poles to re – insert through the rings (if necessary) and pick it back up again without anyone having to touch it. SO GOD GAVE THOSE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS BECAUSE HE DID NOT WANT PEOPLE TO DIE! 

But David, despite knowing this, did not obey God. He followed his own will. The soldiers, despite knowing this, did not obey God. They followed David’s will. And they knew that it would have been better for them on judgment day to be slain at the order of the king for choosing God’s Will over David’s, but they disobeyed anyway. And as usual, the Wisdom of God is proven, the price of sin is known, for just as the Loving God knew would happen, the ride in the “new cart” was a bumpy one, and Uzzah grabbed it to spare it punishment. Result? The sin in the flesh of a person that KNEW BETTER contacted the righteousness of the ark, and the life in that flesh HAD TO BE DESTROYED; Uzzah died. Don’t blame God for killing Uzzah for trying to do a good thing by respecting the ark. Blame Uzzah for choosing to respect the ark in his own way over respecting it GOD’S WAY.

And that is precisely an explanation of how a person becomes reprobate. Uzzah’s first sin was to disobey God by choosing the will of man (David) or the commandments of God and participate in transporting the ark in a manner against God’s Will. After Uzzah did that, it was no small thing for Uzzah to create his own manner of righteousness and piety, to have a form of godliness without the power of God (which comes from loving God, and you love God by obeying His commandments) thereof, by respecting the ark by keeping it from shaking and falling over. In doing that, he placed his own notions of right and wrong ahead of God’s, which would have been respecting the ark by not touching it. Now realize: Uzzah was sinning all along. God could have destroyed Uzzah at any point. But God did not desire to destroy Uzzah. He loved Uzzah, and wanted Uzzah to be spared in spite of himself. But the result of Uzzah’s sin was that his heart was hardened. He began to call evil (touching the ark) good and good (not touching the ark) evil. So, it was not that God’s grace ran out. Uzzah could have carried the ark to the final destination without touching it and lived. It was that the consequence of Uzzah’s sin that put him in a position where he would reject grace by forgetting God or by denying His Authority, and in either case act without conscience. The incestuous adulterer still had a guilty conscience about what he was doing, and Paul sought to deliver him to Satan before he became fully justified in his own mind of the righteousness of his actions and no longer felt such guilt, at which time he would have been irredeemable.  

Now realize how this ties into modern Christianity and false doctrine. You have people who, as Christians, read and know the Bible, but they reject parts of it that they do not like or do not believe. So they come up with their own doctrines to justify breaking the portions that they do not desire to keep. Or you have people who out of their arrogance, lust for control and power, want to receive the praise of men, and desire to persecute people add to the Bible. There are so many ways that people do it because they delude themselves away from the reality of the fact that people IN the church are more in danger of judgment than people OUT of it. That was a clear principle given throughout the Bible: how God held Israel to a much higher standard than all the other nations (see God’s sparing Ninevah in the time of Noah for example), Jesus Christ’s preaching against the evil of the Jewish religious leaders and other Jews who rejected him, Paul’s stinging letters to the churches, and ending with Revelation where the church is judged in chapters 2 and 3 before any mention of the world being judged by the great tribulation in the following chapters. This comes to be because quite simply there is a difference between knowing God’s Word and keeping it; between knowing God through His Word and loving Him through it. The people most in danger of falling into reprobation are those who try to love God apart from or outside of His Word. It is very seductive because you are doing what you want instead of what God wants, but because you call yourself a Christian you think that you are loving God, but what you are actually loving is an IDOL that is in the place of God. And the very reason why you love that idol is because the idol allows you to do whatever you want to do. Do not talk to me about how such Christians are so holy and pious because they don’t do this and don’t do that. Big deal, they aren’t giving anything up for the Lord, because the things which they “give up” weren’t important to them anyway. It wasn’t their heart’s desire anyway! So these “great Christians” who continually fast, maybe they aren’t into food. Who have never had sex with anyone but their spouses, maybe they have no desire to sexually experiment. They give great tithes and offerings, but maybe they know the vanity of money. They never go to movies or watch secular TV; as if they are missing anything anyway. But there is SOMETHING that these people love instead of God, even if it is only their own self – image of righteousness that they are getting through their false religion. Little do these reprobates know that it would be better to be someone WHO JUST CANNOT GET OUT OF THE HOMOSEXUAL LIFESTYLE OR CANNOT BREAK THAT DRUG HABIT AND IS CONSUMED WITH GUILT OVER IT than it is to be someone perfectly convinced that they will be saved by their false doctrines of works and piety. 

That is why I love the Realanswers.net ministry so. This person who had given his life to Christ but just could not stop indulging in homosexual sex because he had been into it for so long called into the show not to claim that the Bible was wrong to condemn his nature, or that the Bible had been mistranslated or misinterpreted, or that it no longer applied to this modern age because of the lack of human knowledge of biology or psychology back then, or that the REAL sinners were the Christians who were casting the first stone and judging him. No, he was a person driven to such grief and pain over his guilt that he called into a live national radio show begging to be told how to stop sinning! The radio host told him, in so many words, not to worry about it. He did not mean by that to say that God did not want this man to stop sinning, or that it was not in his best interests to stop sinning. Rather, this is a man who KNOWS the hold that demons and corrupted flesh can have on a man who has lived in such a manner for so long, and that it is going to be very hard to stop. So, as long as this person did not convince himself that his behavior was not sinful, or that God should accept his sin, then he was not reprobate. This is not “he cannot lose his salvation”, if this fellow EVER decides that his behavior is not sinful or that God should accept his sin, then he is reprobate. And no, this fellow does not have to run to the altar call, get saved all over again, get re – baptized, and all that. You know why? Because if he had to do that, it wouldn’t work! That’s right. There is not one single instance recorded in the Bible, Old or New Testament, of a person losing their salvation and regaining it. Why? Because blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the sin unto death; the only sin that cannot be forgiven, and the Bible says that you should not even pray for such a person! Some Calvinists teach that a saved person cannot reach that point. Scripture says otherwise. Some free will believers teach that you get that way as a result of “big sin” or “persistent sin.” Scripture says otherwise. The truth is that you get that way by being a person who was once saved who not by deception but rather out of the hardness of his own heart began to call good evil and evil good. I say to you this day, if you have reached that point, then you are a dead man walking, and it would have been better had you never been born. And if you have not yet reached that point, then you had better stop calling unrighteousness virtue and false doctrine truth, or you will. Or at the very least, you had better hope that some Christian out there loves you enough to deliver you unto Satan before you become reprobate.

Prayer: Father YHVH in the Name of Yeshua HaMashiach, may it be preached throughout all the churches how people become reprobate so that the masses might be warned and turn aside from devil’s doctrines that call evil good and good evil. May the Ruach Hakadosh fill your preachers and teachers with boldness so that they will not withhold this hard truth from Your People. Father YHVH, may Your people not contribute to this by being accusers, backbiters, gossips, and mockers against Christians who are trapped in sin, but instead may they offer these people love, forgiveness, support, and true doctrine so that rather than hardening their hearts in their sins, their wounds may be treated, they will see the virtue in their pricked convicted consciences, and they will continue to press towards the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Deliverance: The demons that work in this area are disobedience, rebellion, idolatry, and false doctrine. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to contend against these demons to help set captives free, to overcome in the Name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by His Son Jesus Christ and by His Blood shed for you!


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