By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
Pollution from within can be devastating to the one who sees no need for a cleansing; with no steps being taken to offset such. There is a movement today, in many once godly nations, to walk away from the God of one's youth, towards ungodly agenda that can pollute the mind, body, soul, and spirit.
A Bible commentary noted: One makes a show of a pure and clean soul, but under it lies hid a leprosy: they are like "vessels full of uncleanness" outwardly appearing clean but within unclean.
Those words ring true today, due to the fact that many diseases are of a pollution from within category; with no outward indication of such, until they become more advanced. It is the same with the sin-sick soul of man; often unnoticeable, until as leprosy it becomes obvious.
In the days of our Lord he pointed out a pollution from within, in saying: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within are full of extortion and excess (or self-indulgence). You blind Pharisee, cleanse that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also (Matthew 23:25-26).
A Bible commentary noted: The great concern of men should be, inward purity; for a external reformation, or an outward show of holiness, and bare pretensions to it, without internal grace, will never be of any avail in the sight of God.
Scripture reveals: Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame is turned out of the way (or dislocated); but let it rather be healed. Follow (or pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; looking diligently lest any man fail (or fall short) of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled (Hebrews 12:13-15).
Rather than have pollution from within, through a weakened condition, one is to avoid obstacles that would spiritually trip one up; affecting others as well.
A Bible commentary noted: Root of bitterness accurately portrays the nature of bitterness. First it is hidden, but when it is discovered its noxious roots have spread and it springs up as something much bigger and more destructive.
An example is given of the nation of Israel; and a warning by Moses: For you know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the nations which you passed by; and you have seen their abominations (or detestable things), and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them: lest there should be among you man, woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turns away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood (Deuteronomy 29:16-18).
Pollution from within; the acceptance of the ungodliness of other nations, gaining influence of such while passing through other lands, was a reality in the days of Moses. He was warning those who had yet to be polluted to abstain from such. There are many nations today, once great nations of God; who have allowed the infectious root of ungodliness to begin its devious work! As with the Israelites; it began with a man, woman, family, then the whole nation.
First comes the root of evil with its destructive work; then a pollution from within, then acceptance, then the wrath of God. Scripture reveals: Even all nations shall say, wherefore has the Lord done this to the land? What means the heat of this great anger (Deuteronomy 29:24)?
Then men shall say, because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt: For they went and served other gods, and worshiped them, gods whom they knew he had not given them. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book (Deuteronomy 29:25-27).
Pollution from within is not a respecter of persons; if allowed to manifest itself, even in the life of a believer. Such is illustrated in Christ's rebuke of the scribes and Pharisees of His day, calling them hypocrites.
Woe to you, scribes, and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like unto whited (or whitewashed) sepulchers (or tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bodies, and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (or lawlessness) (Matthew 23:27-28).
The Lord did not hesitate to address the situation, exposing the wickedness (pollution from within), even though the scribes and Pharisees were an influence to the people, who could only see their outward show of piety; not pollution from within. Outwardly appearing righteous was in doing all works, prayers, fasting, and alms giving; to be seen of men. They appeared outwardly righteous, looked righteous, but were not.
Jesus said: You serpents, you generation (or offspring) of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell (Matthew 23:33)? A Bible commentary noted: Generation of vipers was an inward poison, of a venomous nature; referring to their hypocrisy, malice, and wickedness.
Damnation of hell was a future torment, and the everlasting vengeance and wrath of God, the unquenchable fire prepared for the devil and his angels, and which unbelieving of all ages cannot escape; unless repentance comes to the forefront prior to judgment.
Pollution from within; a sin-filled life, will not bring the comfort of heaven, but rather Hell, unless one sees the light of the glorious gospel of Christ! Jesus was giving warning to those of His day; not to send them to Hell but rather to warn them to avoid that place.
Jesus told of a rich man and a beggar. The beggar (or Lazarus) died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom (a place of peace and comfort); the rich man died and was buried. And in hell the rich man lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seen Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
The rich man asked Abraham if he could send Lazarus to his father's house; for he had five brothers; that he may testify to them, lest they come to this place of torment. Scripture reveals: Abraham said to him, they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will repent. And he said to him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, through one rose from the dead (Luke 16:29-31).
The brothers had the same opportunity; as did the rich man, to yield their lives over to the words of life, through Moses and the prophets, but apparently had not. Scripture reveals: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still (Revelation 22:11).
A Bible commentary noted: Character tends to become fixed and unchangeable, determined by a lifetime of habits. The arrival of the end will prevent any change of destiny. When Christ returns, or one goes by the way of the grave, the choice of each individual will have fixed their eternal state.
Shall horses run upon the rock? Will one plow there with oxen? For you have turned judgment (or justice) into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock (Amos 6:12). A Bible commentary noted: These two questions demand a negative answer. Horses do not run on rocks, or else they would become lame; nor does one plow with oxen, or else the plow would be broken. To violate natural law is to reap the consequences of it. Transgressing God's law will bring certain judgment.
The word hemlock refers to a plant that poison is derived from. Poison infects or pollutes the body until injury, illness, or death results. It can be of harmful influence such as will ruin, taint, inhibit, or embitter. When this influence creeps into a church, oftentimes unawares (pollution from within) it creates a powerless church; one of pomp and splendor, where true worship is taboo and sin no longer identified. Lives are without change or with little endurance if change occurs.
Scripture reveals: Unto the pure all things are pure: but to them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate (or disqualified) (Titus 1:15-16).
Once godly nations, are allowing the ungodliness of man (pollution from within), with no desire for change or reconciliation to the righteous ways of God. Is judgment far off; or is it at hand, as a warning towards continuation of allowing such?
Scripture reveals: For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first being at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear (1 Peter 4:17-18)?
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