Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. – 1 John 3:6
So I just watched part of a documentary about how our current young adults feel about and treat sexual activity in America. The language was really bad and after about 20 minutes or so, my heart just kind of broke for whatever this is we have going on in our country. Basically, hundreds of thousands of “Spring Breakers” at the beach just straight up admit that sex with any willing partner is just fine. No dating, no getting to know each other, and supposedly no regrets when it is all over.
After I got saved as a teenager, I became so aware of sexual sin. I will never forget how flat out guilty I would feel. I’ll never forget all those times going to an altar asking for forgiveness and promising I wouldn’t do it again . . . all to do it again and repeat the process. Watching pornographic videos would just make me feel so dirty. I found out there is a reason why they are called “dirty” movies. I tried to act around my friends like I was “cool” with all of it, but inside my soul was going crazy. The Holy Spirit just would not let me be comfortable in outward, obvious, blatant sin.
I wondered if any of those kids being interviewed had the same thing going on in their hearts that I did. Maybe they had asked Jesus to forgive them at some previous time in their lives, and even though they were talking all big and bad around their friends and in front of the camera, did some little voice in their minds scream, “This is wrong!” like it did me?
The Bible is a scalpel that will surgically cut the sin right out of you. I can’t tell you the last time I heard preaching on a verse like this. I want to think it was probably from my Church of God days as a teenager. They seemed to always hit my favorite sins head on. No dancing around it, no making me feel better about it or myself, just a big, monstrous freight train ready to annihilate me along with my sinfulness. Here is the bottom line: If you have supposedly been with God for a while, abiding in Him if you will, and you are comfortable with your foul mouth, your fornication, your adultery, your pornography, your lying, your anger, or just whatever you know is wrong and goes against His Word . . . you are not His, and you do not know Him.
I didn’t say it, the Bible did. In fact, more specifically, John did. John, who had such anger issues that Jesus called him a “son of thunder.” He didn’t stay angry throughout the rest of his life. He was changed over time. That’s why later in his life when he is writing 1 John he basically says, “If you go with God and stick with God, you will change! Sin will slowly but surely die in your life. If this is not true in your life, you don’t know Him.”
I hope to God this doesn’t come across as if I’m some perfect, changed example of a true Christian. He has changed me over the years. Nevertheless, the more I get changed, the more I realize I need to change. I still get convicted to the point of tears and crying out to God. For example, I just heard a young girl preach this past Sunday who treasured God’s Word to a much greater degree than I do. I was so convicted. I prayed right then and there that I would fall in love with His Word. Yet, here I am two days later and I left my favorite Bible at work. I have to ask myself, “How much do I really treasure His Word?” It didn’t even cross my mind as I was leaving. How many times have I picked up my Bible and sleepily trudged through it? Countless. So often, I don’t see His Word as a light for my path and a lamp for my feet. I want to love it. I want to revere it. I want to obey it. I want to hear Jesus say the words to me, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” I want to be so changed as I abide in Him.
Here is the truth of the matter: If I stay exactly the same after claiming to have known God for any extended period of time, then I am a liar because I don’t really know Him. The scariest words God will say to the overwhelming majority of human beings are these:
“Depart from me, I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23)
Lord, change me. Make me who you would have me be. Help me not sin against you.