I have tried being quiet and not talking about God. I tried to not share truth that might cause conviction or offense in others, because I didn’t want to be judgemental. But a fire burned inside me and I could not hold it in any longer. And I realized that speaking out against sin is not the same as speaking out against people.
You see, many who are in traps have foolishly begun to associate themselves with the trap instead of recognizing their true identity in Christ. Didn’t I used to cling so firmly to the ways of the world that I defended and justified the very things that held me captive?
I said, “I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me.” I was mute with silence, I held my peace even from good; And my sorrow was stirred up. My heart was hot within me; While I was musing, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue: “ Lord , make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah
Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them.
“And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.
Psalms 39:1-7 NKJV
I wonder what we might each be clinging to and justifying in our lives today that we need to be freed from? What things are not reflecting the glory of God? What things are still in our lives that might cause another to stumble?
Yes, all three gospels warn us about the dangers of hypocrisy, of leading others into sin, of continuing to walk in sin and not repentance, of not warning and rebuking our brothers who are trappedinsin, and of not forgiving those who have repented who may have offended us when they were still in sin.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.
Matthew 18:6-9 NKJV
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’ And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’ And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire— where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’
Mark 9:42-48 NKJV
Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
Luke 17:1-4 NKJV
We do not cause someone to stumble into more sin by calling sin out for what it is. We do not help someone avoid a trap by refusing to talk about the trap standing directly in their path. If I speak a warning about a trap by speaking the truth of the Word of God and it is offensive to someone because they still love the trap, they are not offended at me, but are convicted by the very Word of God.
However, if someone is standing on their own opinion (or sharing the traditions of other men), walking and teaching in opposition to the truth of the Word of God, and offering a different gospel than the whole Word of God, something that teaches the lawlessness of a life not fully surrendered to Christ, not walking the narrow path, not bearing our cross for others, not dying daily to Christ, not living by the Spirit instead of the flesh, not forgiving those who have repented – that would truly be a fearful place, to be serving the darkness and baiting the trap instead of sharing the light.
There is one who gathers sinners for their final destination, but that is not the Lord that I serve. My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, delivers sinners to repentance. That enemy of truth would love to leave out repentance and righteousness and replace it with lawlessness. Know the master you serve.
If the message you hear from others leaves out repentance, ask yourselves why that is the case. If your new age Bible translation leaves out repentance, ask yourselves why that is the case.
But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Matthew 9:13 NKJV
When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Mark 2:17 NKJV
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Luke 5:32 NKJV
Please don’t just head off merrily into destruction.
There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 16:25 NKJV
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV
Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Matthew 7:22-23 NKJV
But you and I, friend, we are not practicing lawlessness, we are turning away from the flesh and walking in the Holy Spirit, we are seeking the righteousness of a pure heart washed by the blood of the Lamb, we are sharing the testimony of our lives as a living sacrifice, and we are not in love with our lives and the ways of this world – we have found Hope in our one true love, Christ.