Tag Archives: Holy Ghost

Point of No Return

20 Feb

Introduction

The most fateful words ever spoken by Jesus had to do with the fearful possibility of committing the unpardonable sin. He said, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” Matthew 12:31.

No one can misconstrue the clear message of these verses. There is a sin unto death. A man or woman may pass over a line which separates God’s mercy and His wrath and not be able to come back. These chilling words of our Lord stand in stark contrast to His usually benevolent utterances. For this reason, if for no other, they should be examined with great care.

What is this sin which Heaven regards with such abhorrence and loathing? Why will God deal so severely with those who are guilty of this sin? To the human mind a great number of depraved and cruel acts might fall into such a category but which one of them would God count so heinous and horrible that it could never be forgiven?

Occasionally, one meets an individual who wonders if he has committed this sin. His prayers seem to bounce back from the ceiling, and he feels no hope of God’s favor or forgiveness. Yet he can’t identify any particular act of sin that severed him from the hope of salvation. How can he tell if he has actually committed the unpardonable sin? Can a person really know?

Before answering all the troubling questions people ask about the unpardonable sin, a glorious truth needs to be recognized. We serve a God of infinite love and compassion. It is not His will that anyone should be lost. He has made provision in His Word for every soul to be cleansed and sanctified. The incredible promise of 1 John 1:9 applies to every man, woman, or child in the world today: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

On the condition of sincere confession, God promises to forgive any sin, regardless of its nature. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18.

What a special assurance for those who have violated every law of God and man in their wild plunge into degradation. God loves them still! There is no guilt too great for Him to cleanse away. He waits with outstretched arms to receive any who take the first step toward His forgiveness and mercy.

Such a picture of God seems totally at odds with the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:31, 32. If the Father is so willing to forgive and save, why should there be such a thing as an unpardonable sin? The answer is simple. This sin is never forgiven because it is never confessed. It is never repented of. God will not force His pardon upon sinners. They must repent and confess. Even the beautiful promise of 1 John 1:9 contains that significant little word “if” – “if we confess our sins. …” On the authority of God’s Word, we can be assured that every sin will be forgiven if confessed in faith and repentance.

Various opinions have been put forth as to why this one sin is never confessed. Some believe it to be suicide; others, that it must be some dreadful immorality or cursing of the Holy Spirit.

One thing is certain – it is a sin! That is a good starting point, because the Bible gives a simple definition of that ugly little word “sin.” “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4. Paul enlarges on that statement by declaring that sin is the breaking of the Ten-Commandment law. “I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Romans 7:7.

Not only does the unpardonable sin have something to do with the breaking of God’s great moral law, but it also is an offense against the Holy Spirit. The nature of that offense is tied closely to the primary functions of the Spirit. Jesus said, “But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26.

Besides teaching us all things, Jesus indicated that the Spirit will also “guide you into all truth.” John 16:13. Every searching student of the Word has probably experienced this teaching, guiding influence of the Holy Spirit. There can be no true insight into biblical truth without the enlightenment of this Spirit of God.

The third mission of the Holy Spirit is to convict of sin. Jesus said: “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” John 16:7, 8.

It is the special work of the Spirit to reprove or convict us of sin. When wrongs are committed, the conscience is pricked with a sense of guilt. Please take note that as long as we allow the Holy Spirit to teach, guide, and convict, we could never be guilty of committing the unpardonable sin. But suppose we refuse to acknowledge these three offices of the Spirit in our own personal experience with God? That is when people approach the deadly parameters of the worst sin on record.

It is intriguing to study the actual incidence of this sin in the Bible record. At one time practically everyone in the world passed over that point of no return. “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” Genesis 6:3.

Here God speaks of the antediluvian world which perished in the flood. For over a hundred years the Holy Spirit pleaded with that wicked generation through the preaching of Noah. Although the very imagination of their hearts was evil continually, a small remnant of eight responded to the Spirit and entered the ark. All the rest were swept away in the raging waters which covered every inch of the earth’s surface. After years of patient striving, the Spirit withdrew to leave the stubborn resisters to their chosen fate.

Could the same thing happen again? There is an amazing parallel between the days of Noah and today. Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” Luke 17:26. The very same gross excesses are being committed right now in all the great cities of the world. Perversions of the worst degree still mark the carnal course of every nation under the sun.

Why did the vast majority of pre-flood people refuse to enter the ark of safety? Many of them actually helped Noah in the construction of the huge boat. The Holy Spirit deeply stirred them with conviction, but they would not move out to obey the message. Finally, God said, “Let them alone. My Spirit will no longer strive with them.”

Is there going to be another flood? Indeed so. But it will be a flood of fire, utterly destroying this planet and its contents. How is the world responding to the call of God to enter the ark of protection and safety? The same Spirit pleads today; a similar message of separation and revival is being sounded; and the Spirit of God is being treated exactly as in Noah’s day.

Insulting the Holy Spirit

I read in the Bible three things that people are doing to the Holy Spirit. First of all, in Ephesians 4:30: “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Notice that people can grieve the Holy Spirit, and the Bible says it will be done in these last days.

What else will they do to God’s personal representative? In Hebrews 10:29 we are told that men will despise the Holy Spirit. “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” That word “despite” means the same as despise. Just think of it! They will despise the Holy Spirit. And then let’s get one other thing before us. This is in Acts 7:51: “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” So there we have three things that men will do to insult the Spirit of God: they grieve, they despise, and they resist Him just as they did back in the days of Noah.

What effect does all this rebellion against the Spirit have upon the person who does it? Almost imperceptibly the conscience is seared and the heart is hardened. In fact, this is why it is counted such a terrible sin. Sometimes people say, “I don’t understand why God should consider this the worst thing that can be done.” I’ll tell you why: because the Holy Spirit is the only way God can reach an individual. There is no other way for God to save a person except through the Holy Spirit. That is the way we are led to repentance. If we do not have the Holy Spirit, there is no hope for us.

It’s like a man out in the sea who is drowning alone, and somebody throws one life preserver to him. If the man will lay hold of that life preserver, he can be saved, but if he refuses to take hold of the only link to the shore, he will perish without hope. In the same way, we are in this world, and the only way God can reach us is by the Holy Spirit. If we turn away from that Spirit and refuse to listen and obey, God will have to let us go and be lost. This is why David was so deeply concerned in his great prayer of contrition. While pouring out his heart to God in Psalm 51, David said, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.” Verse 11. He realized that if God removed the Holy Spirit, he was lost. He would be left alone with no way of being saved. And that’s why Jesus said that it’s the unpardonable sin. When you cut yourself off and refuse to listen to the Holy Spirit, there is no hope for you.

Three Ways to Offend the Spirit

I’ve marked down three ways that people can commit this sin. The first way is for a man simply to say, “I don’t want to be saved; I don’t want to be bothered with God and the Bible.” Once in a while you’ll find a person like this. I’m glad to tell you that it’s not very often. Most people really want to be saved, but now and then you’ll find some who just aren’t interested. They are perfectly satisfied with their materialistic world of the flesh. Notice what it says in Proverbs 28:13: “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Those who don’t want to give up their sins will finally convince themselves that they are happy without Christ. They will eventually feel no conviction, and the Holy Spirit will leave them alone.

The second group which is so vulnerable to this sin reaches the same state of rejection by a different route. They really want to be saved and will tell anyone that it is their primary future priority to get right with God. Unfortunately, this class keeps waiting for that opportune time to step out into the path of total surrender. With all good intention, they allow the golden moments to slip by them until their wills have been paralyzed by indecision. Such people still talk about following Christ all the way, but their ability to act has been destroyed by procrastination. At last they linger too long and pass the point of no return.

Without doubt the largest group of unpardonable sinners is to be found in the third group I want to talk about. Strangely enough, these folks appear to be the most unlikely ever to commit the unpardonable sin. They are church members – perhaps even pillars in the congregation. Does that shock you? Why should these Christians stand in greater danger of this sin than the other two groups? Because they do not understand that truth is progressive. Millions of Christians have settled back in their comfortable pews, complacent about being saved. They feel absolutely secure in their conformity to a church, not realizing that baptism is only the beginning of a long, growing experience.

Said the psalmist: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. The farther we walk into the Bible, the more truth is revealed, and the more accountable we become before God. He has never unfolded all the truth to any one person at any one time. A lamp only shines far enough to expose one safe step. As we move into that step, another one is revealed. As we grow in grace and knowledge, God requires us to move with the advancing light of truth.

Conscience Seared by Disobedience

Now suppose that I see the light from the lamp of God’s Word, but refuse to obey it. Let’s say that the Holy Spirit has convicted me, and I understand perfectly what He requires of me, but it is unpopular and inconvenient. What happens if I disregard the light and reject the truth which the Spirit has revealed – for any reason whatsoever? The Spirit continues to speak, of course, and for a time there is a battle in my conscience. I feel miserable and guilty. Days pass by, and even months, while I keep on violating my conviction of what is right. Gradually, the conscience begins to adjust to what is being done in the physical body. Slowly the guilt feelings begin to subside and the acts of disobedience appear less and less objectionable.

Finally, the truth which seemed so clear and uncomplicated in the beginning turns into a muddle of uncertainty. Rationalizations spring forth to justify disobedience, and the early convictions of sin fade away. Life is almost as comfortable as it was before the light came. What has happened? We have sinned against the Holy Spirit and are sinking into the state of the unpardonable sin.

You see, this deadly sin is not any particular act which can be isolated and labeled. It can be any sin which is cherished in the face of light and knowledge. It actually is a condition of seared sensitivity brought on by persistent disobedience to recognized truth. The reaction is similar to ignoring an alarm clock. The conscience becomes more and more tolerant of the pricking reminder of transgression until, finally, it no longer even recognizes the unwelcome sting of conviction. Like the clock it runs down, too, and just as well, because no one is listening any longer.

Do you begin to see that everything really depends on what we do with truth? James wrote, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17. It doesn’t matter an iota whether we are rich or poor, Catholic or Jew or Protestant; the big issue is whether we are acting upon what we know.

Jesus expanded on this crucial principle. He said, “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.” John 15:22. Who, then, is accountable and chargeable before God? Those who have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit out of the Word. The sincere souls who are faithful to all they know, be it much or little, will be accepted. Sin will only be counted against those who have heard truth and rejected it.

Christ said, “If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” John 9:41. This whole problem of the unpardonable sin revolves around the issue of obeying what we know. On another occasion Jesus said, “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.” John 12:35.

Where does light come from? It is the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth. When we refuse to obey the truth, we are rejecting the ministry of the Spirit who isour only link to salvation. We literally drive away the one Person whom God has sent to save us. Can you now see how self-destructive that can be? God’s special messenger is grieved away by our deliberate refusal to respond to His invitations of mercy. God said long ago, “My Spirit will not always strive with man.” He will say to the Holy Spirit at last, “Let them alone. If they insist in having their own way, do not pursue them any longer.”

Parent’s Religion May Not Be Good Enough

Probably the most accurate description of the unpardonable sin in the New Testament is found in Acts 7:51: “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye.” How were these people fighting the Spirit of God? Stephen says they were doing it by hiding behind their fathers’ religion. They simply followed in the same religious path that their parents had walked. Is there anything wrong with that? In this case there was, because the text goes on to describe them as those “who have received the law [of God] by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” Verse 53.

Do you get the picture? Regardless of what their fathers had understood, these people received a law which God required them to obey. Every generation and every individual will be judged on the basis of what they know and how they obey it. Nobody’s religion is good enough for anybody else because there are varying degrees of accountability for each person. My grandfather could be saved by following the light he had, but I couldn’t be saved doing the same thing. I have a different measure of revealed truth for which God will hold me personally responsible.

The truth is that any person rejects and despises the Holy Spirit when he willfully disobeys any of God’s commandments. According to the Bible, the Spirit cannot abide in the life of anyone who does not obey. “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” Acts 5:32. Again, Jesus said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” John 14:15,16.

Known Sin Drives Away Spirit

Please notice that disobedience immediately disqualifies one to be Spirit-filled. This remarkable representative of God is offended when His primary function is denied. His very nature is to make sin appear exceedingly sinful. Sin cannot comfortably remain where the Holy Spirit abides. Either the sin is renounced or the Spirit finally will be rejected and depart.

Refusing to walk in the light does not bring an immediate separation from God, but persistent disobedience continues to harden the conscience to the seriousness of sin. That state of darkness developed by repeated violation of known truth is what we refer to as the unpardonable sin.

Are church members and religious people really in danger of committing this sin? In one of my crusades a dear lady shook my hand at the door and told me how excited she was about the Sabbath truth she had learned that night. When I encouraged her to make a decision to keep the Sabbath, she earnestly replied, “I’m going to pray about it, and if God impresses me to do it, I certainly shall.”

That answer may have a good sound to it, because it speaks of prayer, but it disappointed me greatly. Even though the truth was clearly revealed out of the Word, she was going to ask God for a final evidence before obeying. What was to be the acid test? A feeling. Is it safe to trust impressions as the criteria for truth? Never. Satan can create feelings as well as God. I was not surprised a few days later when she told me that God had impressed her that she did not have to keep the Sabbath.

Her mistake has been repeated by millions of good people. They do not understand that every impression from whatever source, must be tested by the infallible Word of God. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12. God never contradicts Himself. To lead anyone contrary to His Word would be a violation of His nature. The Holy Spirit always speaks in perfect harmony with the Bible. Paul asks his hearers to take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17. This reveals that the Bible is the cutting edge of the Holy Spirit. The two work together in convicting people of sin.

If a person decides that he is not going to obey the truth, will God recognize that decision and allow him to follow it? Yes, God will even permit a person to believe a lie if he chooses to do so. Paul spoke of those who “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they might believe a lie.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10,11.

Those who love a lie more than the truth will gradually be confirmed in it as the Spirit of God is grieved away. The thief who continues to steal after he has been convicted by that Spirit will finally see nothing wrong with stealing. The Sabbath-breaker who willfully continues to violate the Sabbath will someday begin justifying his sin. After a while his con-science becomes seared and insensitive to the influence of the Holy Spirit. There comes a day when God speaks for the last time, and the will, paralyzed by indecision and continued transgression, is unable to respond. Furthermore, the Spirit does not tell us when He begins to make that final invitation. We only know that the Holy Spirit will not always strive with man. At last God will say, “Let him alone.”

Obedience Not Optional

The greatest mistake people can make is to believe that they can come to God whenever they choose. The truth is that you can only obey God when the Spirit is speaking to your heart. As a farmer, I knew there was a time to sow wheat and get a harvest of wheat, and there was another time to sow wheat, and get nothing. As an evangelist, I know there is a time you can say yes to God, and there is another time you cannot say yes.

One of the strongest statements Jesus ever made is found in 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.” That text confused me for a long time. How could a loving God hold anyone out of His kingdom who was seriously seeking to enter in? It just didn’t make sense. Then I noticed the words, “shall not be able.” This placed the problem on the people instead of God. God was willing and able to take them in but they were not able to accept His salvation. They had become so settled and hard in their long-term disobedience that they were incapable of true repentance. Like the seekers of the Old Testament “they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” Amos 8:12.

Someday it will be too late to find salvation. Someday the door of probation will close, and no one will be able to enter in. Now is the accepted time. Now is the day of salvation. No wonder Jesus called this the sin that can never be forgiven. It is the sin of waiting too long to obey, until the soul is set in its mold of stubborn delay.

I repeat that you can only obey God when the Spirit is convicting you to come. When that Spirit is driven away and rejected, there is no possibility for repentance.

The interesting story is told of a great eagle who spotted the carcass of a calf being swept along the Niagara River on an ice floe. Swooping down on his mighty wings the eagle settled on the ice and began to feed on the carcass. Trusting the strength of those wings, he continued to feast until just before the deadly plunge over the cataract. Then he spread those powerful wings to make his escape, but alas, his talons had frozen into the ice, and he could not move. He was swept over the precipice and crushed on the rocks below.

I’ve also known people who waited too long to make a decision. Over and over again men have spoken to me at the door after a crusade meeting: “I know what you’re preaching is the truth, and I’m planning to do something about it.” Others tell me that they really are thinking about the things they have heard.

Is God looking for people who will be great talkers about the truth? And what about those who are always thinking about the truth? Jesus will never welcome anyone into the Kingdom with these words: “Well said, thou good and faithful talker; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Neither will the Master ever say, “Well thought, thou good and faithful thinker.” But He will say to all who enter there, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: … enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Matthew 25:21.

The most presumptuous thing anyone can do is to pray for an understanding of the truth, and then refuse to obey when God answers that prayer. It is better not to know the truth than to reject it after knowing. “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.” James 1:22.

Hearing and Not Doing

The real test of love is what we do with the truth we understand. It is really not very hard to convince people of what is right, but it is very difficult to convince them to obey. Doesn’t that tell us something important? Satan knows that faith without works is dead, and he also knows that continued transgression grieves away the Holy Spirit. His most concentrated attack is upon the will, and obviously, he is having great success in causing people to postpone obedience. The longer they wait, the greater their chance of waiting longer, and the greater their danger of driving away the Holy Spirit.

Jesus faced the same problem in His own ministry. He had to taste the bitter heartache of seeing people turn away from truth. The crowd stayed until He got into some hard thing that required sacrifice and action. Then they all left. That is the most shattering experience for any preacher or teacher. I know because I’ve seen a few walk out, too. I’m not comparing myself with Jesus, but every soulwinner can empathize with Christ when He asked His disciples, “Will ye also go away?” Then Peter answered, “Where would we go?” What a question! Where do you go after hearing the full unadulterated truth? Surely there is no need to look further for it, and additional light will only come after you obey what you have.

There is only one safe thing to do with truth – obey it! You cannot get over it, around it, or through it. It won’t go away, and it will not change. We don’t break God’s law; it breaks us if we disobey it.

How can a person know if he has committed the unpardonable sin? The answer to that question is simple and easy. No one has grieved away the Holy Spirit who still has a conviction of sin and a drawing to God. Those who search and seek after truth have not yet passed the point of no return. But since the Spirit does not announce when the last, pleading call is made to the heart, no one should be presumptuous enough to disobey willfully a single known truth. The most deadly danger facing anyone today is to insult the Spirit of God by refusing obedience to His conviction. The results are the same regardless of the words we might use to justify it. The end is always separation from God.

The most deceptive aspect of the unpardonable sin is the seeming comfort with which people are able to live without God. Their lives are finally free from the conflicting turmoil of struggling with conscience. It did not happen overnight, but the nagging convictions grow fainter and fainter, blending at last into a very comfortable, satisfied lifestyle.

No Christian should marvel at this amazing peace of mind which the unconverted seem to display. That deadly malaise is only apparent in those who no longer have two voices and two natures contending for the mastery. With the Holy Spirit gone, the flesh enjoys uncontested control over the heart and life. No more spiritual battles rage, and the unpardonable sin appears to have brought a measure of relief. But that mirage covers an empty soul, bereft of any capacity to pray or to trust.

Often, in my public crusade meetings people express concern that they might have driven away the Holy Spirit. Even while they listen to the messages night by night, they are filled with fear that they have committed the unpardonable sin. To such I can give a clear and positive assurance that they are not guilty of this sin. If so, they would never be concerned about the things of God. Certainly they would not be found in the place of prayer and Bible study, expressing concern over their relationship to God. Obviously, the Holy Spirit is still drawing them and creating a desire for truth and salvation.

On the other hand, no one should feel secure from this sin who is walking contrary to the light God has revealed. Every person who is deliberately sinning will continue moving inexorably toward that fatal moment when the conscience is no longer able to respond to the Spirit’s call. Our only safety, each moment, is to know that we are claiming the grace of God to obey every ray of light and truth which falls upon our pathway.

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Is it Possible to Live Without Sinning?

11 Jan
By Joe Crews
Introduction
Recently I read the amazing account of a man who submitted to a scientific hypnosis experiment. While under the influence of a light hypnotic trance the subject was ordered to pick up a glass from the table. Although he was a strong, athletic type, the man could not budge the glass from its position. His most strenuous exertions could not lift the glass that was light enough for any child to remove.
Why could he not do it? Because the scientists, after placing him in the trance, had told him that it was impossible to pick up the glass. Because his mind was convinced that it could not be done, his body was unable to carry out the command to lift it. What a dramatic demonstration that no person can really obey commandments which he believes to be impossible of performance!
Is this the reason so many Christians are living weak, defeated lives? There is no question that the popular, modern theology has been teaching millions that no one can really live without sinning. The Ten Commandments have been portrayed as an idealistic code produced only for the purpose of making people conscious of their need.
Many modern Christians are turning more and more to a soft, lenient stance on the subject of law-keeping. They believe God’s love is incompatible with strict rules and penalties for violation.
That is a very comfortable doctrine but completely foreign to what the Bible teaches. Millions are being conditioned to break the great moral law of the universe—without feeling any guilt! The Word of God gives no one an excuse to feel relaxed about sin. It is the central problem of every person who has been born. Like a highly contagious disease, sin has infected every soul with the germs of death, and no earthly cure or deterrent has been found to halt the fatal progress of the sickness.
From the first appearance of sin in the Garden of Eden it has been totally disruptive of everything good. Never in one instance has it been able to coexist with righteousness and holiness. The requirements of God make it utterly impossible for sin or disobedience to be a part of the Christian lifestyle. The new tolerance for it is not biblical in any sense of the word. Jesus came to save people from it; He came to destroy it. It will never enter into heaven. Our attitude toward it must be uncompromising. There can be no question of making it more acceptable by diminishing the amount of it or changing its form. It must be destroyed. And the only means of eradicating it is by receiving the fullness of Jesus Christ and His grace into the life.
How strange it is that so many church members have now become apologetic for sin, as though it cannot be prevented from triumphing in the life of a Christian. How dare we misrepresent the power of God’s grace in the gospel! Jesus has already defeated the devil, and no Christian should be intimidated by an inferior, defeated foe. We have no business justifying the transgression of the Ten Commandments.
It is serious enough to engage willfully in an act of sin, but it is infinitely more deadly to defend it as something which cannot be prevented. To say that victory is impossible is to deny the adequacy of the gospel and to negate a large portion of the inspired Scriptures. In addition, it adds support to the original charge of Satan against God, and gives a paralyzing, false security to everyone who believes in it.
Often people are defensive of sin because they have not been able to stop doing it in their own strength. For example, when they can’t stop smoking, they must find a rationalization for its presence in their lives. Instead of making the humiliating confession that they can’t conquer it, they fabricate arguments that it really doesn’t hurt them or that no one can be perfect. Or the popular, convenient doctrine that no one can really live without sin anyway.
It is probably safe to say that the majority of Christians today are resigned to falling short of the moral law. In fact, they are quite satisfied that God doesn’t even expect them to fulfill that law completely, either in the flesh or in the spirit.
The effect of such a teaching is exactly what one would expect—multitudes of emotionally happy, but disobedient, church members who feel that any concern about keeping the commandments is nitpicking and legalistic.
What a delusive strategy of Satan! As the inventor of the doctrine, the evil one is simply supporting his ancient accusation that God was asking too much. He accused God of being unfair by requiring something that was impossible.
He was able to convince a third of the angels that God was unreasonable to expect obedience to His law, and he has been trying to make everybody else believe it since that time. Think about it for a moment, and the entire scheme begins to make a lot of diabolical sense. Satan knows that sin is the only thing that will keep anyone out of heaven. Since sin is the “transgression of the law,” he had to perfect a plan to make people look lightly upon breaking the law and also cause it to appear unobjectionable (1 John 3:4). To make the idea acceptable to Christians, Satan actually was able to disguise it as a doctrine and foist it upon a compromised Christianity.
In every evangelistic crusade, we meet it in one form or another, usually at the point of the law and the Sabbath. The inconvenient claims of obedience are shrugged off with a “Well, nobody can keep the Ten Commandments anyway.”
But the problem doesn’t end there. Even Christians who have accepted the claims of the moral law are not too concerned about how well they fulfill it either. In a subtle way they have been affected by the prevalent belief that too much concern about obedience is a form of salvation by works. Incredibly, some seem to be so fearful of keeping the law too closely that they actually make provision to break it. By doing so they perversely comfort themselves for not being legalistic.
How could people committed to commandment-keeping ever come to such a confused contradiction within themselves? Exposure to a false concept of righteousness by faith is only part of the answer. Much of the problem is based upon human failure and weakness of the flesh. Because they found themselves stumbling in their efforts to be perfect, they finally concluded that it was impossible not to sin. From that point it was easy to start interpreting Bible texts to support their weak experience. Satan exploited the psychological bent of the human mind to rationalize, and soon they had developed a comfortable doctrine that accommodated their occasional deviations from the law. Consequently, most Christians today are resigned to an alternating experience of victory-defeat, victory-defeat. To them it is the approved lifestyle of normal Christianity.
But something is fearfully wrong with this position. In the first place, doctrine should never be based on feeling or human experience. It must be rooted in the plain, unequivocal teaching of the Word of God. It is true that Bible texts can be assembled which seem to support the doctrine of spiritual imperfection. We are assured that all have sinned, that the carnal mind is enmity against God, and that man’s righteousness is as filthy rags. But all the verses about failure, sin, and defeat are in reference to the unregenerate experience of a person. There are literally scores of other texts which describe an opposite experience of total victory and sinless living. In every case they are referring to the Spirit-filled life of a converted, committed child of God.
This distinction must always be recognized in the reading of the Scripture. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation. His grace is stronger than all the concentrated forces of evil. Jesus came to save His people from their sin. No one who reads the sixth chapter of Romans intelligently can believe that the Christian is free to practice sin. Paul utterly devastates the doctrine that a believer should keep on falling into sin.
It is true that provision is made for cleansing in case sin is committed, but God’s perfect plan made it possible for man to overcome every sin and to live a life of perfect obedience through Christ. In fact, the promises of the Bible are so clear and specific on this point that it is hard to get confused. No secret meaning or hidden reservation can be found in the myriad of texts which describe the victorious experience of the born-again child of God. And just because one may not have grown into that fullness of faith which brings constant victory, he should not, therefore, deny the power of God to give such deliverance. When Peter began sinking in the Sea of Galilee, it was not because God’s plan or power had failed. Peter could have rationalized, like so many modern Christians, and said, “God didn’t want me to walk on the water, and besides, it’s impossible for anybody to do such a thing anyway.” Like our first parents we still tend to place the ultimate blame on God when we fail to follow His plan of holy living.
Total Victory Promised
The Spirit of God seemed to anticipate the struggle many would pass through in accepting the biblical assurances of total victory. Consequently the inspired writers were moved to use almost fanatical language in describing the possibilities for overcoming sin. Superlative expressions are utilized which actually boggle the mind. Instead of saying we may be saved, the Bible says we can be “saved to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25). Instead of saying we may conquer, it assures that we can be “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37). Instead of being told that we can just triumph, we are told that we may “always triumph” (2 Corinthians 2:14). Instead of promising whatever we might ask to help us in our spiritual battles, the Bible says He will give us “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). And the verse just prior to that one clearly guarantees that we may “be filled with all the fullness of God” (verse 19).
Admittedly, many of these promises are too vast for our human minds to comprehend fully, but surely they are intended to impress us with the magnitude of God’s resources in our behalf. If the language sounds exaggerated it is only because we are too feeble in faith and too weak in the flesh to believe such purity and sanctification could ever be fulfilled in us. We tend to trust our feelings quicker than the Word of God.
Is it important to believe the promises exactly as they read? Yes, because it is only through those promises that deliverance can be accomplished. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4).
Notice that it is “by these” that we escape the corruption of sin. What are “these”? The promises of God. The sequence of victory is plainly marked out in this fantastic text. By faith in the promise we become a partaker of the divine nature, and through the power of that new nature in us we are able to escape the corruption of sin. In other words, everything depends on the surrender and commitment of one’s self to the indwelling Spirit of Christ. “Without me,” Jesus said, “ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Equally important is the inspired comment of Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). That little expression “all things” is the key to victory for every one of us. It includes power over drugs, immorality, appetite, pride, and every act of sin that would rob us of eternal life.
All Things Available
The big point here is that when you get the power of Christ in your life, you have everything else you could ever desire. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). There is that term again—“all things.” You will find it also in 2 Peter 1:3: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness …”
When you put those texts together, an incredible picture emerges. By claiming the presence of Christ in your life, you also receive everything that Christ possesses. Paul described it this way: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Here the “all things” are broken down into very particular, individualized experiences, and we begin to see that Peter was right in stating that God has given us all things that pertain to godliness. Those Christians who doubt the possibility of overcoming sin completely should read these verses carefully. What do those words “righteousness,” “redemption,” and “sanctification” include? All three of those words promise us more than deliverance from the guilt of our past sins. The word “redemption” is not limited to redemption from the guilt of sin, but from the power of sin also. “Sanctification” is a word that describes continuous, daily growth in overcoming sin. “Righteousness” literally means right-doing and applies to a dynamic fulfillment of God’s will. They are all big words, but they all have the connotation of being set free, both from the guilt and the practice of sin.
Every child of Adam needs two things desperately—forgiveness for the past, and power for the future. Redemption includes both of them; and the idea that full deliverance from the guilt of sin is included, but only partial deliverance from the power of sin, is a perversion of the gospel. Jesus did not come to save us from the consequences of sin only, but to save us from the sin itself. Salvation is not a negative thing; not just the absence of something. He did not come just to take away something—our guilt—but to give us something—victory over sin. For God to forgive us and leave us under the power of continued sin would make God an accomplice of sin. He not only counts us righteous through the imputation of His atoning death, but He makes us righteous through the impartation of His victorious life.
After thoughtfully reading the entire sixth chapter of Romans, if you need more assurance that victory can be yours, read the following:

  • 1 Corinthians 15:57—“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • 1 John 5:4—“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
  • Philippians 2:5—“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21—“… that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
  • 1 John 3:6—“Whatsoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.”

Let us return for a moment to the analogy of the hypnotized man. He could not physically lift a small glass from the table because his mind was so fully convinced that it couldn’t be done. Has Satan been able to immobilize the church through the power of his hypnotic, lying assertion that obedience is impossible? It certainly seems so.
No one is going to put forth any serious effort to do something that he believes to be impossible. Obviously then, those who believe they cannot live without sinning are not attempting to live without sin. No reasonable person will waste time and effort in a vain struggle to accomplish nothing.
That brings us to an interesting question: Can a person believe that there is no way to stop sinning, and yet make plans not to sin? Logically, it would seem highly unlikely, if not impossible. Yet the Bible commands us to “make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof”?(Romans 13:14). Do we indeed make provision for sin by holding that it is impossible not to sin?

To Him That Overcometh
The entire book of Revelation is addressed to the seven churches of Asia. In each of the churches certain ones received high commendation and glorious promises of heavenly reward. Without exception the blessing was extended “to him that overcometh.” Those seven churches symbolize every period of the Christian church from the apostles to the end of time. If victory over sin is not possible, no soul will be saved from those centuries of time.
To deny the possibility of total victory over sin is to rob God of the glory of His mission. He came, the Bible says, to destroy the works of the devil. Those works are the works of sin. If no one claimed His power to overcome sin completely, the devil’s accusation would be confirmed. The requirements of God would be exposed as too difficult to obey.
Jesus stated that He had come “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Here He indicated that more than just people needed to be restored. “That which was lost” included a sinless character. His mission was to counteract and neutralize the entire program of sin-defilement introduced by Satan. Restoring the image of God in man is a very important part of the everlasting gospel. That work of the gospel must be done before Jesus comes and not as some magical afterthought of our returning Lord.
The book of Revelation identifies the crowning characteristic of the redeemed as obedience. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). “And the dragon was wroth with the woman and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).
How significant it is that man’s condition for remaining in Eden is also the condition for being restored to Eden. Anyone who believes obedience is unimportant should read again the dramatic story of Adam and Eve. A tiny, physical act of sin led to all the stark tragedy of the past 6,000 years. Those who are restored to that lost paradise will have demonstrated that they can be trusted with eternal life. Through faithful obedience in the face of death, they will have proven Satan’s charges to be utterly false. Their steadfast loyalty will be an eternal guarantee of the security of God’s restored dominion.
What can we say, then, concerning those who look so lightly upon the good works of obedience? They are subjects of grave deception and are playing into Satan’s deadly sin-trap. The most glorious experience of the truly converted is to break the pattern of self-indulgence and sin. Under the rule of the Spirit of God, fleshly habits may be conquered and expelled from the life. Through faith in the promises unbelievable power may be released into the life of one who is willing to give up the enjoyment of sin.
The heart of God longs for us to take Him at His word and to claim the power He has promised. It is the only road to real victory. But no one can experience victory who does not believe victory is possible. Read again the assurances of the Bible. Do not try to twist them to match the weaknesses and failures of your human experience. They mean what they say. Deliverance is yours for the believing and the asking.
Right here we need to pause and consider an objection which is always brought against those who believe in total victory. It goes something like this: If you believe it is possible to live without sinning, are you able to say that your own life is free from sin?
Although the question deserves an answer, it should be pointed out that the objection is not relevant to the issue. If the Bible establishes a truth, it should be received on the grounds of its inspired authority and not on the basis of the messenger’s experience. If victory over all sin is possible through Christ, it is true, whether the preacher has claimed it or not claimed it. Further, the work of sanctification is a progressive, lifelong experience and can never be considered as finished in point of time. Even if one could be unconscious of any known sin, he could never boast of being sinless. In fact, the person who is closest to perfection would surely be the least likely to recognize it. Because the nearer he gets to Jesus the more imperfect he will appear in his own eyes.
The claim might also be made that the doctrine of victory over sin is highly idealistic and too theologically complicated to be practical. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Even a child can understand the simple faith-transaction of appropriating the promises of the Bible. There is not a habit or sin known to man that cannot be conquered through faith.
In the next few minutes you will be able to appreciate the beauty of this divine victory plan. You will learn how to stop smoking, cursing, overeating, gossiping, or committing any other sin. Let nothing distract you as you proceed to the next paragraph. It could be the turning point of your life and mean more than all the money in the world. Since so many are struggling with cigarettes, I will use that indulgence as an illustration of the victory we are describing. Put your own problem into the text, and then take the four steps to glorious victory.
The Secret of Victory
Have you heard about the evolutionary way of getting the victory over tobacco, or any other sin? It is sometimes called the “tapering” method, but generally it just doesn’t work. Oh, it partially works, of course, because old age takes care of some temptations and sins, and time settles the rest when death comes. But do you know why “trying” does not work in overcoming the devil?
Why can’t we fight the devil for a few months and finally drive him away? Because the devil is stronger than we are. We could fight him for a year, but he would still be stronger than we are at the end of the year. Trying will never break the power of sin in a single instance, because we’re facing an enemy who will always be stronger than we are. What, then, is the answer to our weakness and defeat? This question leads us to the sweetest and most sublime secret in the Word of God. Let us study it thoughtfully and with much prayer.
First of all, one must understand that all of heaven’s gifts are available to us through the promises of the Bible, and we receive them by faith. Peter describes the “exceeding great and precious promises” and assures us that “by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Mighty power is stored within the promise to fulfill itself to all who claim it in faith. So few are willing to believe that the promised blessing becomes theirs the very moment they believe it. Why is it so hard to believe implicitly that God will do what He promises?
Now let us come down to the very heart of victory and consider the four simple scriptural steps that any believer may take in claiming God’s power. Four texts will illuminate the amazing transaction. First: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Allow your mind to savor the fantastic message of these words. Victory is a gift! We do not earn it by our efforts, or deserve it because of any supposed goodness. The only thing we need do is ask for it, and the victory will be given to us freely by Christ. He is the only one who has ever gained the victory over Satan, and if we ever possess the victory, it will have to come as a gift from Him.
Let me ask you something. Do you need victory in your life over some binding, miserable habit of sin? Some are slaves to appetite, to alcohol, or tobacco. Others are struggling helplessly against impurity, anger, or worldliness. The Bible says you may have the victory as a gift through Jesus Christ. Do you believe He will give you that power if you ask Him? How certain can you be that God will answer your prayer for victory immediately? Here is how sure you can be—just as sure as Christ’s words are true! Our second text is 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?”
Is it a good thing when you ask for victory over tobacco, or any other fleshly or moral evil? Of course it is! And you don’t even have to ask if it is God’s will! He has already told us in the Bible that it is His will to destroy the works of sin and the devil. If we pray for more money or a better job we should always ask according to His will, but the victory over sin is promised to every one who asks in faith.
Will God give the victory when we ask Him? Jesus said He was more willing to give this good thing than we are to feed our children when they are hungry. He is waiting to honor your faith and to “supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). These assurances are so open-ended and unlimited that our minds are staggered by it. Why have we been so reluctant to apply for the provisions of grace? Why is it so hard to believe that God means exactly what He says? He will keep every promise.
Faith Makes It So
Here is the next question. How do we know we have the victory after we ask Him? Simply because He said we would have it. We know God did not lie. We can believe His promise. The very moment we ask, we should accept the fact of fulfillment, thank Him for the gift, and get up and act like it has been done. No kind of proof-feeling or sign should be demanded or expected. The self-fulfilling power in the promise is released in response to our faith alone.
This brings us to the third text, found in Romans 6:11, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The word “reckon” means to believe, or to consider it done. Every particle of faith should be focused on that one request for victory and then it should be accounted as done. Do you remember how Peter walked on the water? He asked Jesus if he could step out of the boat onto the raging sea, and Jesus told Peter to come. But how long did Peter do the impossible by walking on the water? The Bible says, “When he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30).
What was Peter afraid of? He was afraid of sinking and drowning. In spite of Christ’s assurance that he could safely walk on the water, Peter began to doubt the word of the Master. That is when he began to sink. As long as he believed the promise of Jesus and acted in faith, he was safe. When he doubted, he sank.
Now, what is the impossible thing as far as you are concerned? It is not walking on water. It is overcoming that tobacco habit. And Christ says, “Come to me. I will give you the victory.” As long as you believe that you have been delivered, you will have the victory. It is as simple as that. The very moment you ask for victory it will be placed in your life as a reservoir of power. You won’t feel it, but it is there. It will remain there as long as you accept it in faith.
For some people the deliverance is so dramatic that they lose even the appetite for the sin. Tobacco addicts have sometimes been delivered from the craving, but this is not the usual way God does it. Usually, the desire remains, but in the moment of temptation, the power to walk past the temptation springs forth from within. Faith accepts the fact of deliverance and constantly claims the victory which is in the secure possession of the believer.
The final step to victory is described in our fourth text, Romans 13:14. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” So strong is the confidence in the appropriated power of God that no consideration is given to falling under the power of that sin again. Under the old “trying” plan, provision was made to fail in most cases. Cigarettes were placed on a shelf, and the smoker said to himself, “I’m going to try never to smoke again, but if I don’t make it I know where they are.” But under the “trusting” plan, we have no reason to fear failure on the grounds of human weakness. Victory does not depend on our strength but on God’s power. We might fail, but He cannot fail. Cigarettes are thrown away. All plans that might involve any degree of compromise are abandoned.
Little Jimmy was in trouble because he had gone swimming against his mother’s orders. When asked why he had disobeyed her, Jimmy answered, “Because I got tempted.” Mother then said, “I noticed that you took your bathing suit with you this morning. Why did you do that?” Jimmy answered, “Because I expected to get tempted.” How typical of those who do not quite trust their own strength to win the victory. They make provision to fail. They take their bathing suit along. With God there need be no provision to fail.
Someone might raise the objection that this could be discouraging. Suppose the person does fail? Even Peter began to sink. Would it not shake confidence in God if the victory was not maintained? No. Peter’s sinking had nothing to do with the failure of divine power. It did not change Christ’s will for him to walk on the water. It only pointed out Peter’s need of stronger faith to enable him to obey Christ’s command. Our faith could weaken. We might need to be reminded of our total dependence upon His strength. But this does not diminish the beautiful plan of God to impart power and victory through “exceeding great and precious promises” of the Bible. Without faith by the receiver not even God’s promises can be appropriated. The limits are clearly defined in the words of Jesus, “According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29).
There it is, friend, in all of its simplicity. And it works! If you are willing to be delivered, it works. Nothing will help the one who is not willing to give up the cigarettes. But if you want it, it is there. Victory, power, deliverance—just reach out in faith and it is yours. Believe it and claim it this very moment. God wants you to be free.

No Turning Back

3 Dec
When a skydiver steps to the edge of the aircraft door and leaps away from the plane, he knows there is no turning back.  He’s gone too far, and if he should forget to strap on his parachute, nothing can save him and he will certainly plummet to a frightening death. What a tragedy! But there is something even worse that can happen to a person. Indeed, it is far worse to come to the point of no return in your relationship with God.  Yet millions are approaching this point and have no idea! Is it possible that you are one of them?  What is the awful sin that could lead to such a fate? Why can’t God forgive it? For a clear and penetrating answer, yet also full of hope, take a few minutes with this fascinating Study Guide.

1. What is the sin that God cannot forgive?

“All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” Matthew 12:31.

Answer:   The sin God cannot forgive is “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.”  But what is “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost”?  People have many differing beliefs about this sin.  Some believe it is murder; some, cursing the Holy Ghost; some, committing suicide; some, killing an unborn child; some, denial of Christ; some, a heinous, horrible, extremely wicked act; and others, worshipping a false god!  The next question will shed some helpful light on this crucial matter.

Murder, though terrible, is not the sin God cannot forgive.

Murder, though terrible, is not the sin God cannot forgive.

2. What does the Bible say about sin and blasphemy?

“All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men.” Matthew 12:31.

Answer:   The Bible clearly says that all kinds of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven.  So none of the sins listed in the previous answer is the sin that God cannot forgive.  No single act of any kind is the unpardonable sin.
Sounds Contradictory Yes, it sounds contradictory, but both of the following statements are true:
A. Any and every kind of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven.
B. The blasphemy or sin against the Holy Ghost will not be forgiven.
Jesus Made Both Statements Jesus made both statements in Matthew 12:31, so there is no error here.  To harmonize the statements we must discover the work of the Holy Ghost.  By the way, the word “ghost” comes from “ghast”, the Old English word for “spirit”.

The Holy Spirit guides people to Bible truth.

The Holy Spirit guides people to Bible truth.

3. What is the work of the Holy Ghost, or Spirit?

“He [the Holy Spirit] will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” “He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:8, 13, NKJV.*

Answer:   The work of the Holy Spirit is to convict me of sin and to guide me into all truth.  The Holy Spirit is God’s agency for conversion.  Without the Holy Spirit, no one feels sorrow for sin, nor is anyone ever converted.
*The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (C) 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

God will forgive any sin that I confess to Him.

God will forgive any sin that I confess to Him.

4. When the Holy Spirit convinces me of sin, what must I do to be forgiven?

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.

Answer:   When convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit, I must confess my sins in order to be forgiven.  When I confess them, God not only forgives me but He also miraculously cleanses me from all unrighteousness.  God is waiting and ready to forgive me for any and every sin I may commit (Psalms 86:5), but only if I confess and forsake it.

Those who cover up sin rather than confessing it will not be blessed of God.

Those who cover up sin rather than confessing it will not be blessed of God.

5. What happens if I do not confess my sins when convicted by the Holy Spirit?

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13.

Answer:   If I do not confess my sins, Jesus cannot forgive my sins.  Thus, any sin that I do not confess is unpardonable until I confess it, because forgiveness always follows confession.  It never precedes it.
Terrible Danger of Resisting the Holy Spirit Resisting the Holy Spirit is terribly dangerous because it so easily leads to rejection of the Holy Spirit, which is the sin God can never forgive.  It is passing the point of no return.  Since the Holy Spirit is the only agency given to bring me conviction, if I permanently reject Him, my case is thereafter hopeless.  This subject is so important that God illustrates and explains it many different ways in Scripture.  Watch for these different explanations as you continue exploring this Study Guide.

When convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit, I must respond at once.

When convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit, I must respond at once.

6. When the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin or leads me to new truth, when should I act?

Answer:   The Bible says:
A. “As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me.” Psalms 18:44.
B. “I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.” Psalms 119:60.
C. “Behold, now is the accepted time behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2.
D. “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptised, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Acts 22:16.
The Bible repeatedly states that when I am convicted of sin, I must confess it at once.  And when I learn new truth, I must accept it without delay.

God warned the people in Noah's day that His Holy Spirit would not keep pleading with them forever; nor will it today.

God warned the people in Noah’s day that His Holy Spirit would not keep pleading with them forever; nor will it today.

7. What solemn warning does God give about the pleading of His Holy Spirit?

“My spirit shall not always strive with man.” Genesis 6:3.

Answer:   God solemnly warns that the Holy Spirit does not indefinitely continue pleading with a person to turn from sin and obey God.

Shutting off an alarm clock instead of getting up will bring me to the place where I no longer hear it.  In the same way, shutting off the Holy Spirit will cause me to become deaf to His voice.

Shutting off an alarm clock instead of getting up will bring me to the place where I no longer hear it.  In the same way, shutting off the Holy Spirit will cause me to become deaf to His voice.

8. At what point does the Holy Spirit stop pleading with a person?

“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because … hearing they hear not.” Matthew 13:13.

Answer:   The Holy Spirit stops talking to a person when that individual becomes deaf to His voice.  The Bible describes it as hearing, but hearing not.  There is no point in setting the alarm on a clock in a deaf person’s room.  He won’t hear it.  Likewise, a person can condition himself to not hear an alarm clock ring by repeatedly shutting it off and not getting up.  The day finally comes when the alarm goes off and he does not hear it.
Don’t Shut Off the Holy Spirit So it is with the Holy Spirit.  If I keep shutting Him off, one day He will speak to me and I will not hear Him.  When that day comes, the Spirit sadly turns away from me because I have become deaf to His pleadings.  I have passed the point of no return.  What a solemn, disquieting warning against resisting the Spirit’s voice!

When I receive new light from God's Word, I must follow it at once without delay.

When I receive new light from God’s Word, I must follow it at once without delay.

9. God, through His Holy Spirit, brings light (John 1:9) and conviction (John 16:8) to every person on earth.  What must I do when I receive light from the Holy Spirit?

“The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.  The way of the wicked is as darkness.” Proverbs 4:18, 19.  “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.” John 12:35.

Answer:   The Bible rule is that when the Holy Spirit brings me new light or conviction of sin, I must act at once–obey without delay.  If I obey and walk in the light as I receive it, God will continue giving me light.  If I refuse, even the light that I have will go out, and I will be left in darkness.  The darkness that comes from a persistent and final refusal to follow light is the result of rejecting the Spirit, and it leaves me without hope.

Judas' unpardonable sin was covetousness because he refused to confess and forsake it.

Judas’ unpardonable sin was covetousness because he refused to confess and forsake it.

10. Can any sin become the sin against the Holy Spirit?

Answer:   Yes, if I steadfastly refuse to confess and forsake any sin, I will eventually become deaf to the Holy Spirit’s pleading and thus pass the point of no return.  Following are a few Bible examples:
A. Judas’ unpardonable sin was covetousness (John 12:6).  Why?  Was it because God could not forgive it?  No!  It  became unpardonable only because Judas refused to listen to the Holy Spirit and confess his sin of covetousness.  Eventually he became deaf to the Spirit’s voice.
B. Lucifer’s unpardonable sins were pride and self-exaltation (Isaiah 14:12-14).  God can forgive these sins.  Lucifer could have been pardoned and cleansed, but he refused to listen until he could no longer hear the Spirit’s voice.
C. The Pharisees’ unpardonable sin was refusal to accept Jesus as the Messiah (Mark 3:22-30).  They were convinced repeatedly with deep, heartfelt conviction that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the living God of heaven.  But they hardened their hearts and stubbornly refused to accept Him as Saviour and Lord.  Finally they grew deaf to the Spirit’s voice.  Then one day, after another great miracle by Jesus, the Pharisees told the multitude that Jesus received His power from the devil.
Christ at once told them that attributing His miracle-working power to the devil indicated they had passed the point of no return and had blasphemed the Holy Ghost.  God could have, and joyfully would have, forgiven them.  But they refused until they were stone deaf to the Holy Spirit and could no longer be reached.
I Cannot Choose the Consequences When the Spirit makes His appeal, I can choose to respond or refuse, but I cannot choose the consequences.  They are fixed.  If I consistently respond, I will become like Jesus.  The Holy Spirit will seal, or mark, me in the forehead as a child of God (Revelation 7:2, 3), and thus assure me of a place in God’s heavenly kingdom.  If I persistently refuse to respond, I will grieve the Holy Spirit away and He will leave me forever, thus sealing my doom.  What a solemn warning against ignoring the Holy Spirit!

King David knew that if the Holy Spirit forsook him, he would be lost.  That is why he asked God not to remove His Holy Spirit.

King David knew that if the Holy Spirit forsook him, he would be lost.  That is why he asked God not to remove His Holy Spirit.

11. After King David had committed a terrible double sin of adultery and murder, what anguished prayer did he pray?

“Take not thy holy spirit from me.” Psalms 51:11.

Answer:   He pleaded with God not to take the Holy Spirit away from him.  Why?  Because David knew if the Holy Spirit left him, he was doomed from that moment.  He knew that only the Holy Spirit could lead him to repentance and restoration, and he trembled at the thought of becoming deaf to His voice.  The Bible tells us in another place that God finally left Ephraim alone because he was joined to his idols (Hosea 4:17) and would not listen to the Spirit.  He had become spiritually deaf.  The most tragic thing that can happen to any person is for God to have to turn away and leave him alone.  Don’t let it happen to you!

Sin is like water.  Continuing in sin puts out the fire of the Holy Spirit.

Sin is like water.  Continuing in sin puts out the fire of the Holy Spirit.

12. What serious, weighty command did Paul give to the church in Thessalonica?

“Quench not the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19.

Answer:   The Holy Spirit’s pleading is like a fire that burns in a person’s mind and heart.  Sin has the same effect on the Holy Spirit as water has upon fire.  As I ignore the Holy Spirit and continue in sin, I pour water on the fire of the Holy Spirit.  Paul’s awesome words to the Thessalonians also apply to us today.  Don’t quench the fire of the Holy Spirit by repeatedly refusing to heed the Spirit’s voice.  If the fire goes out, I have passed the point of no return.
Any Sin Can Quench the Fire Any unconfessed or unforsaken sin can ultimately snuff out the fire of the Holy Spirit.  It could be refusal to keep God’s holy seventh-day Sabbath.  It could be use of tobacco.  It could be failure to forgive one who has betrayed or otherwise injured you.  It could be immorality.  It could be keeping God’s tithe.  Refusal to obey the Holy Spirit’s voice in any area pours water on the fire of the Holy Spirit.  Don’t put out the fire.  No greater tragedy could take place.

13. What other shocking, almost inconceivable statement did Paul make to the Thessalonian believers?

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned [lost] who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.

Answer:   What powerful, shocking words!  God says that those who refuse to receive the truth and conviction brought by the Holy Spirit will (after the Spirit departs from them) receive a strong delusion to believe that error is truth.  Talk about a sobering thought!

The Lord will shut many professed Christians out of heaven because they refuse to obey Him.

The Lord will shut many professed Christians out of heaven because they refuse to obey Him.

14. What wrenching experience will some who have been sent these strong delusions face in the judgment day?

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:22, 23.

Answer:   Those who are crying “Lord, Lord” will be shocked and stunned that they are shut out.  They will be absolutely positive that they are saved.  Jesus will then doubtless remind them of that crucial time in their lives when the Holy Spirit brought new truth and conviction.  It was crystal clear and obviously true.  It kept them awake nights, troubled and wrestling over a decision.  How their hearts burned within them!  Finally, they said, “No!”  And they refused to listen further to the Holy Spirit.  Then came a strong delusion that caused them to feel saved when they were lost.  Could a human being face any greater tragedy?

Assurance that disobeys God is a false assurance that will doom many.

Assurance that disobeys God is a false assurance that will doom many.

15. What special words of warning does Jesus give to help us avoid believing we are saved when we are actually lost?

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21.

Answer:   Jesus solemnly warned that not all who have the feeling of assurance will enter His kingdom, but rather, only those who do His will.  All of us desire assurance of salvation.  It is a divine imperative.  However, there is a false offer of assurance sweeping Christendom today that promises people salvation while they continue living in sin and manifest no changed lifestyle whatever.
Pastors Alarmed More and more prominent church leaders are alarmed that so many church buildings are packed with people who have the feeling of “assurance”, yet really have not been changed by Jesus Christ.  Nor do they obey Him.
Jesus Clears the Air Jesus says that true assurance is only for those who do His Father’s will.  When I accept Jesus as Lord and Ruler of my life, my lifestyle will change radically.  I will become a completely new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17).  I will gladly keep His commandments, do His will (John 14:15), and joyously follow where He leads (1 Peter 2:21).  His fantastic resurrection power (Philippians 3:10) transforms me to His image (2 Corinthians 3:18).  His glorious peace floods my life (John 14:27).  With Jesus dwelling in me through His Spirit (Ephesians 3:16, 17), “I can do all things” (Philippians 4:13) and “nothing shall be impossible” (Matthew 17:20).
Fabulous True Assurance Versus Counterfeit Assurance As I follow where the Saviour leads, He promises that no one can take me out of His hand (John 10:28) and that a crown of life awaits me (Revelation 2:10).  What amazing, glorious, genuine security Jesus gives His followers!  Assurance promised under any other conditions is counterfeit.  It will lead people to heaven’s judgment bar, feeling certain they are saved when they are, in fact, lost (Proverbs 16:25).

If I make Jesus the Lord of my life, He promises to save me in His kingdom.

If I make Jesus the Lord of my life, He promises to save me in His kingdom.

16. What is God’s blessed promise to His faithful followers who crown Him Lord of their lives?

“He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 1:6; 2:13.

Answer:   Praise God!  Those who make Jesus the Lord and Ruler of their lives are promised the miracles of Jesus that will see them safely through to His eternal kingdom.  Nothing could be better than that!

Jesus promises to enter my life when I open the door to Him.

Jesus promises to enter my life when I open the door to Him.

17. What additional glorious promise does Jesus make to us all?

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:  if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20.

Answer:   Jesus promises to enter our lives when we open the door to Him.  It is Jesus who knocks on the door of your heart and mine through His Holy Spirit.  He–the King of kings, the Saviour of the world–takes time from superintending the universe to come to you and me for regular loving visits and friendly, caring guidance and counsel.  What folly, what an unbelievable calamity, that we should ever be too busy or too disinterested to form a warm, loving, lasting friendship with Jesus.  Jesus’ close friends will be in no danger of being rejected on the judgment day.  Jesus will personally welcome them into His kingdom (Matthew 25:34).

Plan to be part of that joyous group who will meet in the clouds on the day of His appearing.

Plan to be part of that joyous group who will meet in the clouds on the day of His appearing.

18. Will you decide to always open the door as Jesus knocks at your heart and be willing to follow where He leads you?

A Parting Word This is the final Study Guide in our series of 27.  Our loving desire is that you have been led into the presence of Jesus and have experienced a fantastic new relationship with Him.  We hope that you will walk closer to the Master every day and will soon join that joyous group who will be translated into His blessed kingdom at His appearing.  If we do not meet on this earth, let us agree to meet in the clouds on that great day.

Is There Anything Left You Can Trust

20 Oct
In these morally challenged times – when billions are embezzled through corporate fraud when trusted, spiritual leaders prove false when lying in politics seems to be the norm when those you depend on the most often hurt you the deepest – is there anything left you can trust? Yes! You can fully trust the Bible! Why? Just take a look at the evidence…
The Bible is not a collection of men's ideas.  Its writers were guided by the Holy Ghost.

The Bible is not a collection of men’s ideas. Its writers were guided by the Holy Ghost.

 

 

1. What does the Bible claim about itself?

The Bible says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” 2 Timothy 3:16. “Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21. “The scripture cannot be broken.” John 10:35.

Answer:   It claims to be inspired. It was written by men who were guided by the Holy Ghost. It cannot be broken or proved untrue.

 

Jesus quoted the Bible and stated that it was true.

Jesus quoted the Bible and stated that it was true.

 

 

2. How did Jesus demonstrate His confidence and belief in Scripture?

Jesus said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone.” “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” “It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:4, 7, 10. “Thy word is truth.” John 17:17.

Answer:   Jesus quoted Scripture when meeting the temptations of Satan. He also stated that the Bible is truth John 17:17. Jesus often quoted Scripture as authority for the truth He was teaching.

 

Before Cyrus was born, God's Bible prophet named him as the general who would overthrow Babylon.

Before Cyrus was born, God’s Bible prophet named him as the general who would overthrow Babylon.

 

 

3. Do Bible prophecies confirm inspiration?

The Bible says, “I am the Lord . . . new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.” Isaiah 42:8, 9. “I am God . . . Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done.” Isaiah 46:9, 10.

Answer:   Bible predictions of things to happen in the future confirm the inspiration of Scripture as they come to pass. Notice the following examples of fulfilled Bible prophecies:

    1. Four world empires to arise: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8.

 

    1. Cyrus to be the warrior to capture Babylon Isaiah 45:1-3.

 

    1. After Babylon’s destruction, it would never be inhabited again Isaiah 13:19, 20 Jeremiah 51:37.

 

    1. Egypt would never again have a commanding position among the nations Ezekiel 29:14, 15 30:12, 13.

 

    1. Earth-shaking calamities and fear toward the end of time Luke 21:25, 26.

 

  1. Moral degeneracy and decline of spirituality in the last days 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

 

 

4. Can we expect scientific statements made in the Bible to be accurate?

The Bible says, “Thy word is true from the beginning.” Psalms 119:160. “The Spirit . . . will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13.

Answer:   Yes, the Bible is true. The Holy Spirit, who guided the Bible writers, always speaks the truth. Here are a few Bible statements that have been confirmed by science:

    1. “He . . . hangeth the earth upon nothing.” Job 26:7. This scientific fact is from Job, the Bible’s oldest book.

 

    1. “He . . . sitteth upon the circle of the earth.” Isaiah 40:22. The Bible said the earth is round centuries before man found out.

 

    1. “To make the weight for the winds.” Job 28:25. Long before scientists knew, God said air has weight.

 

  1. “By Him [Jesus] all things consist.” Colossians 1:17. The word “consist” here literally means “hold together” or “cohere.” Many Bible translations put it “hold together.” This is the answer to the nuclear physicists’ worrisome question about the atom. The real mystery of the atom does not involve its benumbing mega-power, but rather, “Why doesn’t the atom fly apart?” Scientific knowledge says it should, but it doesn’t. Some scientists are wondering what puzzling power, completely unknown to them, is holding it together. The Bible says that mysterious power is the Creator, God Himself.

 

Many diseases would not exist if God's ancient laws regarding morality were obeyed.

Many diseases would not exist if God’s ancient laws regarding morality were obeyed.

 

 

5. Are biblical health principles tuned to the twenty-first century mind?

 

Answer:   

    1. Cover body waste with dirt Deuteronomy 23:12, 13.
      The Bible provision of Moses’ day that body waste should be buried was 3,500 years ahead of its time and saved countless thousands of Jewish lives. Major problems still arise when sanitation is not properly handled.

 

    1. “Neither let us commit fornication.” 1 Corinthians 10:8.
      The word “fornication” denotes all kinds of immoral sexual conduct. There would be no AIDS epidemic if this up-to-date Bible counsel were obeyed, nor would abortion be the international scandal that it now is.

 

  1. Leave alcoholic beverages alone Proverbs 23:29-32.
    If this extremely effective Bible solution were implemented, just think what it would mean:

      1. Millions of alcoholics becoming sober, respectable citizens.
      1. Millions of families reunited.
      1. Millions of broken homes mended.
      1. Multiplied thousands of lives saved by sober driving.
      1. Thousands of government, business, and professional leaders making clear-minded decisions.
    1. Billions of dollars available for humanitarian use.

 

The use of alcohol has brought untold woe to many people.

The use of alcohol has brought untold woe to many people.

Note:   God not only tells us how to succeed with joy amid today’s harrowing problems, but He also gives us the miraculous power to do it 1 Corinthians 15:57 Philippians 4:13 Romans 1:16. Bible health principles are relevant and desperately needed, but few are listening. For more on health, see Study Guide 13.

 

Ancient artifacts unearthed by archaeologists repeatedly confirm the accuracy and truth of the Bible.

Ancient artifacts unearthed by archaeologists repeatedly confirm the accuracy and truth of the Bible.

 

 

6. Are the historical statements of the Bible accurate?

The Bible says, “I the Lord speak the truth, I declare what is right.” Isaiah 45:19, RSV.*

Answer:   Yes, Bible historical statements are accurate. What God says in His book is true. Sometimes, temporarily, evidence may not be found to substantiate certain historical facts from the Bible, but in time the evidence surfaces. Note the following:

    1. For years skeptics said the Bible was unreliable because it mentions the Hittite nation Deuteronomy 7:1 and cities like Nineveh Jonah 1:1, 2 and Sodom Genesis 19:1, which they denied ever existed. But now modern archaeology has confirmed that all three did, indeed, exist.

 

    1. Critics also said that Bible-mentioned kings Belshazzar Daniel 5:1 and Sargon Isaiah 20:1 never existed. Once again, it has now been confirmed they did exist.

 

    1. Skeptics also said the Bible record of Moses was not reliable because it mentions writing Exodus 24:4 and wheeled vehicles Exodus 14:25, neither of which they said existed at the time. They, of course, know better today.

 

  1. At one time the 39 kings of ancient Israel and Judah who reigned during the divided kingdom were authenticated only from the Bible record, so critics charged fabrication. But then archaeologists found cuneiform records that mentioned many of these kings and, once again, the Bible record was proved accurate. Critics have repeatedly been proved wrong as new discoveries confirm biblical people, places, and events. It will always be so.

*The Revised Standard Version of the Bible C 1946, 1952, 1971 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission.

 

7. One of the greatest miracles of the Bible is its unity. Please ponder the following amazing facts:

 

 

 

7. One of the greatest miracles of the Bible is its unity. Please ponder the following amazing facts:

 

Answer:   
A. The 66 books of the Bible were written:

    1. On three continents.

 

    1. In three languages.

 

    1. By about 40 different people kings, shepherds, scientists, attorneys, an army general, fishermen, priests, and a physician.

 

    1. Over a period of about 1,500 years.

 

    1. On the most controversial subjects.

 

    1. By people who, in most cases, had never met.

 

  1. By authors whose education and background varied greatly.

B. Yet, though it seems totally inconceivable,

    1. The 66 books maintain harmony with each other.

 

  1. Often new concepts on a subject are expressed, but these concepts do not undermine what other Bible writers say on the same subject.

C. Talk about astounding!

Ask people who have viewed an identical event to each give a report of what happened. They will differ widely and will virtually always contradict each other in some way. Yet the Bible, penned by 40 writers over a 1,500-year period, reads as if written by one great mind. And, indeed, it was: “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21. The Holy Ghost “moved” them all. He is the real Bible Author. The four Gospels do sometimes differ in the way they report the same event, but they complement each other.

 

Accepting Christ and obeying Scripture changes a drunken, immoral, profane, sinner into a loving, sober, pure Christian.  Skeptics cannot explain this fact.

Accepting Christ and obeying Scripture changes a drunken, immoral, profane, sinner into a loving, sober, pure Christian. Skeptics cannot explain this fact.

 

 

8. What evidence of Bible inspiration is found in the lives of people?

The Bible says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

 

Christians have an inner joy and peace that others do not possess.

Christians have an inner joy and peace that others do not possess.

Answer:   The changed lives of those who follow Jesus and obey Scripture constitute the most heartwarming proof of Bible inspiration. The drunkard becomes sober; the immoral, pure; the addicted, free; the profane, reverent; the fearful, courageous; and the rude, kind.

An American skeptic was visiting an island whose natives were originally cannibals. When he spotted an old man reading the Bible, he ridiculed him for reading a book “full of myths which had already been exposed.” The native smiled at him and said, “My friend, be grateful we do believe this book. Otherwise, we would be serving you for dinner.” The Bible really does change people, and this amazing fact confirms its inspiration.

 

 

9. What evidence for Bible inspiration emerges when we compare Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah with New Testament happenings in the life of Jesus?

The Bible says, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He [Jesus] expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27. “For he [Apollos] vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.” Acts 18:28, NKJV.*

 

Jesus fullfilled more than 125 Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah.

Jesus fullfilled more than 125 Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah.

Answer:   The Old Testament predictions of the Messiah to come were so specific and so clearly fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth that both Jesus and Apollos used these prophecies to prove to the Jews that Jesus was, indeed, the Messiah. There are more than 125 of these prophecies. Let’s review just 12 of them:

Prophecy Old Testament Scripture New Testament Fulfillment
1. Born in Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:1
2. Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:18-23
3. Of David’s lineage Jeremiah 23:5 Revelation 22:16
4. Attempted murder by Herod Jeremiah 31:15 Matthew 2:16-18
5. Betrayal by a friend Psalms 41:9 John 13:18, 19, 26
6. Sold for 30 silver coins Zechariah 11:12 Matthew 26:14-16
7. Crucified Zechariah 12:10 John 19:16-18, 37
8. Lots cast for His clothes Psalms 22:18 Matthew 27:35
9. No bones broken Psalms 34:20 Exodus 12:46 John 19:31-36
10. Buried in rich man’s tomb Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:57-60
11. Year, day, hour of His death Daniel 9:26, 27 Exodus 12:6 Matthew 27:45-50
12. Raised the third day Hosea 6:2 Acts 10:38-40

Dr. Peter Stoner, former chairman of the departments of mathematics, astronomy, and engineering at Pasadena College California, worked with 600 students for several years applying the “principle of probability” to the prophecies of the Messiah’s coming. They chose just eight from the many available and finally decided the chances of all eight being fulfilled in one man in a lifetime is one in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. What would the odds be on the more than 125 prophecies of the Messiah? It couldn’t just happen!

*The Holy Bible, New King James Version, C 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

 

The Bible teaches that the earth was created in six literal days.

The Bible teaches that the earth was created in six literal days.

 

 

10. What great advantage does a person have who accepts the Bible as God’s inspired word?

The Bible says, “I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.” Psalms 119:100. “Thou . . . hast made me wiser than mine enemies.” Psalms 119:98. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are . . . my thoughts [higher] than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9.

 

The Bible account of the Flood provides the answers secular scholars are searching for.

The Bible account of the Flood provides the answers secular scholars are searching for.

Answer:   A person who accepts the Word of God will soon know the answers to many complex challenges that secular scholars will never figure out. For example, the Bible teaches:

    1. God created the earth and all living organisms in six literal, 24-hour days Exodus 20:11 Psalms 33:6, 9.

 

    1. A worldwide flood destroyed every living thing except the sea life and what was inside Noah’s ark Genesis chapters 6, 7, 8.

 

  1. The different languages of the world began at the Tower of Babel Genesis 11:1-9.

God, who has always existed and knows everything, shares the above three truths with us, recognizing that we could never figure them out on our own. We know only “in part” now 1 Corinthians 13:9. And God’s knowledge is “past finding out.” Romans 11:33. Evolutionists will never know the age of the earth because it was created with apparent age, as were Adam and Eve. The couple were only one day old on their second day of life, but they appeared to be mature. Man’s measuring instruments cannot allow for apparent age. In such cases, they are not trustworthy. Believe the Bible, and you will always be ahead of the speculation of secular scholars and the worldly-wise.

 

 

11. What crucial world happenings have brought the power and appeal of the Bible into sharp focus?

 

Answer:   The failure and collapse of communism and the weakening and inconsistency of the theory of evolution have spotlighted the Bible.

 

True science is always in harmony with the Bible because God is the author of both.

True science is always in harmony with the Bible because God is the author of both.

Note:   The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics tried communism, atheism, and also evolution, which is Marxism’s number one tenet. They all failed. The resultant new democracies realize that only one thing will work, and they are almost with one voice crying out to Christendom: “Bring us the Bible and Christian preaching and teaching. We must now build on the unshakable foundation of prayer and the Christian faith. Nothing else compares. Nor will anything else answer life’s great questions and bring peace to the hearts of our people. Please don’t keep us waiting! We desperately want and need the Bible, God, and Christianity now.” Once again, God’s Word triumphs.

Evolution, like communism, is losing its grip and credibility. We must remember that it is nothing more than an unproved, shaky theory. We will mention three items only:

    1. Robert Gentry’s book Creation’s Tiny Mystery has unsettled many evolutionists with its apparent, clear evidence of instant creation. Mystery in the Rocks, an easy-to-understand book based on his research, may be purchased from Amazing Facts.

 

    1. Molecular biology’s recent demonstration that the single cell is vastly complex makes the accidental origin of life in a single cell a mathematical absurdity.

 

  1. The widely different ages now being assigned to the Grand Canyon layers by current scientific measurements, as opposed to those assigned previously, make evolutionists and their prior measurements seem reckless and irresponsible. The atheistic theory of evolution that humans and apes came from common ancestors scorns the concept that people were created in the image of God. It denies the existence of God, totally disavows Jesus as Saviour, negates the Bible, and ridicules the truth of an eternal home in heaven. Satan loves the evolution theory because it destroys the credibility of salvation. Communists are learning. Will we?

 

The Bible has universal appeal because it provides clear answers to life's most perplexing questions.

The Bible has universal appeal because it provides clear answers to life’s most perplexing questions.

 

 

12. Why does the Bible have such universal appeal?

The Bible says, “Thy word is a . . . light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105. “These things have I spoken unto you . . . that your joy might be full.” John 15:11. “In the image of God . . . created he them.” Genesis 1:27. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. “I will come again, and receive you unto myself that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:3.

Answer:   Because it answers life’s most puzzling questions:

    1. Where did I come from? God created us in His image. We did not accidentally emerge as nondescript globs from some primeval slime. We are sons and daughters of God, the Mighty King Galatians 3:26. We are so precious to God that when Adam and Eve sinned, He gave His Son to die and pay the penalty for our sins so we could be free. He wants to restore us to His image and then, shortly, take us back to Eden, the home Adam and Eve lost.

 

    1. Why am I here? Our aims for life today should be to discover the Bible’s wonderful answers to life’s puzzling problems and to accept Jesus’ offer to restore us to His image Romans 8:29.

 

  1. What does the future hold for me? There is no guesswork about the future. Jesus will come very soon to take His people to the fabulous home He has prepared for them in heaven. There, with supreme joy and happiness, people will live forever John 14:1-3 Revelation 21:3, 4.

 

 

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