Matthew 6:24. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Can a Christian keep on indulging secret passions and stay in favor with God? Why would he want to?
That is like asking, “Can a man be at his best chained in a prison?”
>>2 Timothy 2:23-26. 23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Why would any prisoner prefer to stay locked up when a judge stands at an open gate, pointing him to freedom?
>>Luke 4:18-19, 21. 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
It serves no purpose to condemn sin only as an abomination, as unnatural, or as a perversion or depravity.
Those are only the side effects of the real problem–IMPRISONMENT.
The old sinful nature within us is against God. It never did obey God’s laws and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their old sinful selves, bent on following their old evil desires, CAN NEVER PLEASE GOD
>>Romans 8:7-8. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
I have nothing but pity for the one who no longer admits to an inner struggle with evil. They no longer struggle because they have surrendered to their evil passions.
>>Jude 1:3. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
>>Luke 13:24. Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
The Bible says TRUTH SETS MEN FREE.
>>John 8:31-32. 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Christ died to provide that freedom, and He is not about to permit men to make a mockery of it.
>>Galatians 6:7-9. 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
I am not at all interested in the age-old arguments of what the sin of Sodom was or in splitting theological hairs about what the Bible does or does not say about homosexuality, alcoholism, drug addiction, or other such life-controlling habits.
All I know is that when men accept the truth of Christ, it sets them free–period!
It is impossible to bring any life-controlling problem to a dead stop and remove it without putting something else in its place. Sin won’t yield to exposure; fear can’t drive it out; it won’t self-destruct. There is no such thing as a simple separation from an old habit.
It takes more than a simple act of resignation. It takes more than just a Sabbath or nighttime emotion of sorrow. It takes more than a theatrical surface repentance. The heart will not consent to be robbed of one affection without another to fill the void. It will not consent to be left desolated of love, unless a greater love dispossesses the old.
The heart of man revolts against being left empty; it cannot bear to be left in a state of waste or cheerless emptiness. Nature does abhor a vacuum, so to tear away any affection from the heart and leave it bare is a hopeless undertaking. The human heart must grasp and fasten itself to some great affection. It has to have something to lay hold on, to cling to.
Any person who tries to tear out of his heart some kind of pleasurable sin or affection without putting something in its place is flirting with a disastrous situation.
The last state of that man could be worse than the first, with a legion of demons flocking in to fill the void.
>>Matthew 12:43-45. 43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Christ is not some kind of “sin snatcher” who goes about taking habits and pleasures away from sinners, leaving them clean, but empty. God doesn’t take anything from anybody;
He simply offers something far better. God doesn’t make voids; He fills them.
>>John 16:13-15. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
We have God all wrong if we come begging Him to take things away from us, rather than asking Him to flood our souls with the mighty power of His Holy Spirit.
>>Matthew 7:11. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
>>John 7:37-39. 37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
>>Galatians 5:16-17. 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
The love of God and the love of this world are two affections; not just rivals, but enemies. They cannot dwell together in the same heart.
When we accept our adoption into God’s family by faith in Christ, He brings the heart under the mastery of one great and glorious affection, thereby delivering us from the tyranny of old affections.
You will not be free until you set your mind to possess this affection for things above.
>>Colossians 3:1-3. 1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Don’t allow your unbelief to screen out the vision of God’s wonderful love. The best way to cast out your impure affection is to invite in a pure one.
I want you to note, the fact that you stopped and pondered these two decisions or “masters” proves that
God has put His hand upon you. God will not allow His people to run free in their sinfulness.
God calls you from Calvary, and says, `Man, stop! halt in your downward course!’ and from the broken, bleeding body of His Son He cries aloud to you, `Turn ye, turn ye; for why will ye die? Come unto Me and live.’
Now, how long–HOW LONG?
The Lord help you to turn right round, not to Carmel but to Calvary, and go down at His bleeding feet and give yourself to Him. Leave the world, the flesh, and the Devil, and commit yourself to Him who died for you, and who has a right to every particle of your body and soul. Come along.
Here is the stopping-place–THE CROSS. You have not got past it yet, thank God. You might have gone past it, but He is still crying, `Come; and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’