W R Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
Since the days of Adam and Eve, whose disobedience to God's Word opened the door for sins dominance, sin has flourished with the deceptive devices of its original instigator, the serpent, identified in Scriptures as that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan which deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9).
It was noted that all around us are the signs that the modern man refuses to accept the fact that sin is his problem. Many no longer call homosexuality a sin but an alternate lifestyle. Adultery is now viewed by some as merely a relationship. Abortion is now considered an expression of a woman's right.
Since that statement was promulgated there has been an avalanche of ungodliness sweeping many lands with little regard to a day of reckoning. Pleasure of sin is highlighted with its destructive measures no longer identified; through tolerance and acceptability, and in many cases, even within the church.
An unknown author wrote: The things which will destroy us are: Politics without principle; Pleasure without conscience; Wealth without work; Knowledge without character; Business without morality; Science without humanity; and Worship without sacrifice. Pleasure without conscience will continue unless its consequences are preached to the fullness; rather than just the niceties of God's Word.
Scripture reveals: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables (that which is fictitious) (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
It was noted that the prophet Jeremiah cried out: O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved, then a question that needs to be directed to all of us who make up the contemporary church: How long shall your offensive thoughts lodge within you (Jeremiah 4:14)?
Such thinking can arise from many sources: Absorbing immoral movies and television; carelessly surfing the internet; listening to malicious talk; ignoring God's Word; giving into a materialistic worldview. Will we allow the sanctifying Scriptures, the purifying blood of Christ, to cleanse our heart and mind or will we persist in sin-filled thinking and experience God's judgment?
Scripture reveals: Now the Spirit (Spirit of God) speaks expressly, that in the latter times (which we are in) some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing (deceiving) spirits, and doctrines of devils: Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:1-2).
It was noted that having one's conscience seared with a hot iron, is being branded (scarred) in one's conscience, marred by sin, yet ministering to others. It is a dark hour when allowance is made towards acceptance of the pleasure of sin; and even worse is making it appear acceptable to others.
Scripture reveals: Seeing (since) we are compassed (surrounded) about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin (pleasure of sin) which does so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1).
It was noted that one lay aside every weight; every sin, as it is a hindrance in running the Christian race, therefore to be laid aside. That which so easily beset us is that which is easy to be committed, and always present. We live in a world that is fast becoming enslaved to the pleasure of sin; with the church, in many cases, no longer setting an example for godly living.
The Lord in speaking to the prophet Jeremiah asked: Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush; therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit (punish) them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord (Jeremiah 6:15).
We are seeing a period of time that the pleasure of sin is openly being proclaimed with pride; no remorse or shame, but relishing in a lifestyle that the ungodly are seeing to share with others; blinded to the fact that there is a day of reckoning, if one continues in what God condemns in His Word.
The prophet Jeremiah, in speaking the words of the Lord, gave a plea for the reformation of the soul: Thus saith the Lord, Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein (Jeremiah 6:16).
It was noted that the people's stubborn refusal to walk in the traditional ways of true righteousness is often mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah. Moving in their own paths and following their own way could only lead to their destruction.
Scripture reveals: I (God) set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet (warning of impending danger). But they said, We will not hearken (Jeremiah 6:17). Because of their refusal to hear God's continued call to repentance His judgment was proclaimed: Hear O earth; behold, I will bring evil (calamity) upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts because they have not hearkened to my words, nor to my law, but rejected it (Jeremiah 6:19).
Pleasure of sin has engulfed many lands, once godly nations, having allowed the ungodly to manifest their wares of sinfulness, even making laws and rulings to accommodate such ungodly agenda. The consequences of doing so is not being promulgated as it once was, with the church in many cases, opening the door for further spreading of the ungodliness of man.
Scripture reveals: By faith Moses, when he was come to years (come of age), refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasure of sin (passing pleasure of sin) for a season (Hebrews 11:24-25).
It was noted that Moses showed he preferred being called an Israelite (which he was) to that of an earthly adoption by Pharaoh's daughter. He esteemed afflictions and reproaches, with the people of God, better than the pleasure of sin and earthly riches for a season.
Pleasure of sin has become a part of many once godly nations; who have forfeited their right to be called a godly nation. They are now headed towards a pagan nation status, as the righteousness of God is slowly erased from their makeup. The enhancement of sin dominates the scene rather than godly attributes that once existed.
There is an ongoing effort to promote sinfulness, with the pleasure of sin being highlighted, rather than taking a stand, in the face of possible affliction and reproach for having done so! In a world dominated by the sinfulness of man, one needs to evaluate their own stand, as to whom they will serve.
Pleasure of sin has attempted to minimize the Word of God. The main tool for doing so is to lessen the promulgation of God's Word. A legendary evangelist of the first Great Awakening, Charles G. Finney, stated:
Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours to a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this face; but let us lay it to heart, and awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.
A famous 19th century French statesman, and historian, traveled to America to discover the reasons for the incredible success of this new nation. He wrote: Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. The first statement reveals what would cause a nation to falter in its godliness; the latter what makes a nation truly great!
The Psalmist revealed the key to victory over sin: Your word (God's Word) have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11). It was noted that the Word of God is a most powerful antidote against sin, when it has been placed in the heart; not only the precepts of its forbidding sin, but its influence towards the purity of heart and life.
Scripture reveals: The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in the present world (Titus 2:11-12). I pray (if you have not already done so) that you will yield your heart and life over to the Lord Jesus Christ, and His saving grace!
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