New International Version
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13
I believe we are all born with a conscience and with the ability to tell right from wrong. Over the years, however, our consciences become numb. We often ignore sin, and it’s consequences, or we find excuses for why our favorite sin is okay.
This morning as I read through my Facebook feed I found a lot of people telling people that if they do not change their ways they are going to hell. I am sure that is true, but is saying these things the way to bring people to salvation?
I don’t know about you, but if I am weak in some area a person like that is the last person I will seek out for counsel.
First of all, according to the word of God, we are not to confront those who are loss with the consequences of sin, but rather those in the church who are involved in sin. You can study this yourself in Matthew 18:15-17.
We are to counsel people with love, not beat them over the head with our bibles.
The scripture I started with, above, tells us that the Holy Spirit will convince people of sin. Once a person is saved the Holy Spirit will clean that person up. Not me and not you, but the Holy Spirit.
I always use this analogy to make that point; Do you catch fish that are already cleaned? It would be nice, but it doesn’t happen that way. We catch them, then we clean them. Jesus told the disciples to leave their nets and go with Him and He would make them, “Fishers Of Men.”
So if a saved person continues in sin it only shows that they love the pleasure they get from that sin more then they love God. We are told to deny ourselves and “take up our cross and bear it.”
Anything, or anyone, we put above Jesus is an idol. Any sin we love more then God is an idol.
I will tell you how God handles people who call themselves Christians and play with sin. I know this well because I straddled the fence between God and the world for years. You need to understand that when we accept Christ, the same Christ who was savagely beaten to become the perfect sacrifice for our sins, we lay down our life and take up His. So, as Christ has no sin in Him, he sets about to clean us up.
In my life, one thing after the other would go wrong until I finally realized that God was giving me wake up calls. Once I repented, and quit doing what was wrong, things got better.
Do you ever observe another Christian, who is living a half-baked Christian life, complaining about all that is going wrong in their life? You know that person is playing with sin and you believe it’s because God is trying to wake them up, but the person keeps sinning because they don’t get it. God won’t let a Christian stay in sin because it cost him too much to allow it. He will either wake them up and they will straighten up or he will take them out. You may think that’s harsh but I have seen it.
So what should we do about this? All we can really do is pray for the person. If they ask for advice we THEN give it, but not unless they ask.
What we don’t do is go around telling folks they are going to hell. The Bible says that is the Holy Spirits Job. He will bring a born again Christian to repentance. He’s the only one who can.
It shows a self-righteousness that reminds me of the Pharisees when we constantly tell people they are going to hell. It also shows that we as Christians are not loving towards sinners but instead we sound judgmental, “I am better then you, you lowly sinner.”
God warned Peter that he would betray him three times before the cock crowed. Peter denied that he would ever do such a thing but the Word teaches us that he did just that.
The minute we start acting, “Holier then thou,” the biggest temptation of our lives will come at us and often it brings us down.
We can preach better with our lives then with our mouths! That’s why I say quit telling folks they are going to hell. Let the Holy Spirit do that. He will cause things to happen to bring about their total surrender, trust me. Just pray them into the Kingdom.
In His Unconditional Love,