***ASK BILL: Bill, are all the problems in our life caused by satan and allowed by God, or does God give us problems in order to bring us to Him or help us to mature?
ANSWER: Satan is the author of ALL problems, since in the beginning, God created everything in perfection. Sadly, man’s sin spoiled that perfection and as sin was introduced into the human experience, a byproduct of that sin are the trials and tribulations we all face in this fallen world. As Jesus told his disciples in the Garden just hours before going to the cross, he reminded them that in this world we will face trials and tribulations, but to be of good cheer because HE has overcome this world. It is in those times of testing our faith become real, and as we trust the Lord, our faith is sharpened and increased.
Why not live however you want and simply accept Christ right before you die? These are two questions I get asked often from both Christians and non-Christians. Many non-Christians are looking for an “angle” with God. Those Christians see people living this way and think it is unfair, especially when they are living a life of obedience to God. Today, I want to look at the answers to these questions to help the non-Christian realize that you can’t play games with God, and for the Christian to understand that God’s grace is available to everyone.
Why not sin and just ask God to forgive you afterwards? Sadly, this is a far-too-common mindset, especially among Christians. They are faced with the opportunity to sin and the knowledge that God will forgive them actually motivates them to give in to sin. Of course, satan is there encouraging this perverted thought process, telling the person to, “Go ahead and sin, you know God will forgive you.” Some look at the promise of God’s forgiveness as a license to sin.
First of all, will God forgive you? Absolutely. God is not a liar. If you repent and ask Him to, He will forgive you, but listen to me carefully. God knows your heart! Never forget that consequences ALWAYS follow sin, just like blessings ALWAYS follow obedience. Will God forgive you if you repent and are serious? Yes. However, that does not stop whatever consequences there may be from your sin. As I share with you often, sin costs. It costs much more than you ever expected to pay. So yes, God will forgive you when ask Him, but what you are doing by sinning is opening up your life to whatever consequences there may be from your sin.
Why not live however you want and simply accept Christ right before you die? This is what I call “salvation roulette.” Can a person live their life in complete rebellion to God and His word, and then right before they die accept Christ and be saved and spend eternity in Heaven? ABSOLUTELY! That thief on the cross lived his life without Christ and it was with his last breaths that he came to know Jesus. Some may think this is a great plan. Live your life however you want and in those last moments accept Christ and God’s free gift of everlasting life with Him. Only one problem. You may never get that chance!
How many people die instantly in a car accident or some other accident? How many people die of a heart attack or suffer some other health issue where they are incapacitated? People die daily as victims of crime, in natural disasters, in every way imaginable. Those people never had the opportunity to accept Christ in their last breath and if they were living their lives apart from Him, are separated from God their Creator for all eternity. No my friend, you are playing with your eternal soul when you take on the mindset that you will simply live your life your way and right before you die accept Jesus.
Now many people who love the Lord and do their very best to follow Him each day, get enraged when they see people living a life of debauchery and in their last moments accept Jesus. They feel like they have been “cheated” in some way. This is exactly what happened to the brother of the Prodigal Son. He became infuriated with his father that his brother, who chose to live in complete rebellion to his father, was given royal treatment when he returned home. He felt like he got cheated, like it wasn’t fair.
First, never forget, NONE of us are worthy of God’s love or His promise of everlasting life. NONE OF US! We are all saved by faith and GOD’S GRACE, His unmerited favor that we did nothing to earn. As I stated earlier, consequences follow sin and blessings follow obedience. The person who lived their life apart from God has had to suffer the consequences of their rebellion throughout their life. Without the Lord they never knew the peace, the joy, the abundance that this life offers. Their rebellion kept them from fully achieving God’s plan and purpose for their life. Sadly, their rebellion throughout their life kept them from knowing the fullness of God’s love.
The person who does follow the Lord throughout their life has enjoyed God’s blessings, even in the midst of the trials and tribulations we all face in this world. That person has lived knowing God’s love as well as His peace, His joy, and enjoyed the abundant life Christ spoke of. The person who follows Christ in their life also has the blessing of allowing God to use their life for His plan and purpose. Never forget, serving and glorifying the Lord is our purpose in this life. I can assure you that a person who follows Christ throughout their life enjoys a full and rich journey that those without Christ will never know.
I love you and care about you so much. So many people are deceived by satan into thinking that they can simply sin against God and than go ask Him to forgive them. The fact is, they can. What satan conveniently forgets to tell you is that you now have to pay a price for that sin. Oh yes, God WILL forgive you, but that does not stop you from having to deal with the consequences of your sin. You can’t sin and not pay a price and often that price is so much greater than you ever imagined it would be.
The other lie of satan so many buy into is that you can live your life however you want and at the last moment, accept Jesus and God’s free gift of everlasting life. The fact is, you can. However, you are playing games with your everlasting soul since you may never have the opportunity to confess Christ as your Savior and you will die in your sin and be lost for all eternity. That is why the Bible proclaims, “Today is the day of salvation.” Even if you do have the opportunity to accept Christ at the very end, you have sadly forfeited the peace, the joy, and abundance this life can offer by not having Christ in your life earlier. In essence, your life has been wasted.
Plan of Salvation: http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm
I will be praying for you today. Praying that you will not fall for either of these lies of satan. Satan wants to destroy you, God wants you to have the very best. Destruction comes when you listen to and follow satan, blessings come when you listen to and follow Jesus. Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey me.” We prove our lives for Christ through our obedience, faithfully serving and following Him every day. Instead of looking for ways to sin, and live in rebellion to God, look for ways to serve Him and bring glory to His name in how you live your lives each day.
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
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