The Presumptuous Sinner
But the soul that sins presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproaches the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. – Numbers 15:30
Presumptuous: Too confident, especially in a way that is rude. Intentionally overstepping bounds. Taking liberties.
Last week, I talked about the kindness of God leading to repentance. Today, I want to address the flip side. What happens when we mistake God’s goodness for passivity and permissiveness? What happens when we totally dismiss His holiness and righteousness?
We live in a day of “The Sinner’s Prayer.” Many preachers today love to have people make “decisions for Christ.” I’m not saying this is entirely bad, but it has produced countless “Christians” who honestly believe they are “good to go” when they die because they “said the prayer.” I can’t find an example of this in the Bible. Nobody came to faith by someone saying, “repeat this prayer after me . . . “
At least three times the scriptures say, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” We now have many in this generation who weren’t taught to fear the Lord. They were never convicted of their sin, and consequently have never repented of the sin that lives inside them. In place of this conviction, the simple comfort of a prayer has been offered. “Lord Jesus, come into my heart and life, and make me a Christian.” It sounds like a wonderful thing to celebrate (and I’ve done it plenty of times), until you read in Matthew 13 that not everyone who “receives” the seed of the Word actually grows into a mature tree that produces fruit. This means that many, many people are counting on the fact that they have planted a seed to get into Heaven. It doesn’t matter that birds ate the scattered seed immediately, or the plant that started growing died within a few weeks. In many cases, the seed they are counting on has been dead for years.
So, how do you know if you are saved or not? Well, do you sin presumptuously? Do you call yourself a Christian and still treat certain people you don’t necessarily care for like garbage? Do you call yourself a Christian and still plan on sinning sexually? Do you call yourself a Christian and still lie, steal, hate, and curse? If anyone addresses these sins with you, do you turn it around on them and say, “Judge not”? Is your attitude about these sins, “God will just have to get over it and forgive me! I said the prayer . . . I’m good to go! He will let me into Heaven.”
That, my friend, is the very definition of presumptuous sin.
You can read the main verse again and decide what you think happens to the presumptuous sinner.
Sin nailed our Lord and Savior to the cross. Why would anyone who says they love Him desire to live in it? In Acts 2, verse 30, Peter gives the real recipe for turning to Christ. He did not have 3,000 people repeat a prayer after him. This was what he told them:
- Repent – Pray and tell God you are sorry for your sins. Beg and plead for Him to help you turn from them.
- Be baptized – Let the world know publicly that the old you has been buried, you have emerged clean and forgiven, and are about to start a new life in the name of Jesus.
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit – Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you. He is all you need to slowly and surely conform to the image of God. He is what separates the authentic from the counterfeit.