What Happens To People After Death? A Biblical Exposition Of The Fate And Destiny Of The Soul Following The End Of Life On Earth.

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New International Version)

Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death —that is, the devil —

Hebrews 2:15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

Death is the most dreaded event by humans, partly because of the uncertainties surrounding it. The fear of the unknown makes the thought of dying the most traumatic experience imaginable for any human being. Is death the end of all things concerning a person? Is there life after death? And if there is, what kind of life should people expect to have after dying? These are some of the questions that haunt people throughout life. The Bible provides answers to most, if not all, of these questions, and we would be wise to take time to find out the Biblical facts about the fate of the soul after death, for it’s something that concerns all of us, as the certainty of death is the only reality all men share in common.

When God made man, he made man’s body from the dust of the earth, and then breathed into him the breath of life, and the man then became a living soul. Man thus has two components- his body, which is made of dust of the earth, and the breath of life in him, which is his spirit/soul. When man sinned and death was pronounced upon him, God made it clear that at death, the body, which is dust, would go back to dust. It would decay and decompose and turn back to the very elements that it came from. But, what happens to the breath of life contained in that body at death? Since it’s not part of the dust that must return to dust, where does it go? The answer lies in understanding what death itself is. According to the Scriptures, physical death is simply the separation of the body from the spirit/soul (the breath of life). Once the breath of life permanently leaves a person, physical death is said to have taken place. Thus, physical death is the state of the body without the spirit or breath of life in it.

Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;

Genesis 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Genesis 3:17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ’You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.

Genesis 3:18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

The Lord Jesus told us to fear only God, who alone can destroy both body and soul of man in hell. Thus, the concept of the dead ceasing to be aware of happenings around them speaks only of the dead bodies of people, not of their departed spirits/souls. The body decays and decomposes after a few days following death, and eventually disintegrates into its elemental components, going back to the dust from which it was made. The physical body thus becomes lifeless and loses consciousness and awareness at death. But, that doesn’t mean the individual has ceased to exist. He or she may no longer be in contact with the physical world, by virtue of the disintegration of the physical body, but the spirit/soul of the person lives on, in a new abode. Thus, the miracle of raising people up from the dead in the Bible was simply calling back their departed spirits to return into their lifeless bodies. The departed spirit would now leave its new abode and return back to the body, and the body would literally receive the breath of life again and live! That’s a preview of the final resurrection!

St. Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

St. John 11:17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.

St. John 11:18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,

St. John 11:19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.

St. John 11:20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

St. John 11:21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

St. John 11:22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

St. John 11:23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

St. John 11:24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

St. John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;

St. John 11:26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

St. John 11:27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

St. John 11:28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.”

St. John 11:29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.

St. John 11:30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.

St. John 11:31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

St. John 11:32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

St. John 11:33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.

St. John 11:34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

St. John 11:35 Jesus wept.

St. John 11:36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

St. John 11:37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

St. John 11:38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.

St. John 11:39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

St. John 11:40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

St. John 11:41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.

St. John 11:42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

St. John 11:43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

St. John 11:44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

St. John 11:45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

What exactly happens to the spirit/soul of the dead when they depart from this earth? Where do souls of dead people go to? The Lord Jesus told us, from the story of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus, that when people die, their souls either go to paradise or to hell, depending on the relationship they had with God while alive on earth here. If a person was saved and was in right standing with God, at death, their spirits/souls go to paradise, where they rest, while awaiting the resurrection of their bodies. Those who were not in right standing with God and were not saved go to hell or hades, a place of torment and sorrows, while awaiting the second resurrection and God’s judgement, and would eventually be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death. The soul’s destiny after physical death is thus contingent on its relationship with God while alive on earth. The wicked are cast into hell, as well as all the nations that forget God, while those who believe and trust in God and serve him faithfully end up in paradise. Paul talked about being absent from the body (physical death) and being present with the Lord as being a far better experience than being alive on earth. Death is simply the soul removing its garment of corruptible flesh, and putting on an immortal spiritual body.

St. Luke 16:19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.

St. Luke 16:20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores

St. Luke 16:21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

St. Luke 16:22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.

St. Luke 16:23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.

St. Luke 16:24 So he called to him, ’Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

St. Luke 16:25 “But Abraham replied, ’Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.

St. Luke 16:26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

St. Luke 16:27 “He answered, ’Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family,

St. Luke 16:28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

St. Luke 16:29 “Abraham replied, ’They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

St. Luke 16:30 “’No, father Abraham,’ he said, ’but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

St. Luke 16:31 “He said to him, ’If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Psalms 9:16 The Lord is known by the judgment He executes;
The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.
Meditation. Selah

Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell,
And all the nations that forget God (NKJV).

St. Luke 23:39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

St. Luke 23:40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?

St. Luke 23:41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

St. Luke 23:42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. “

St. Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

2 Corinthians 5:2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,

2 Corinthians 5:3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.

2 Corinthians 5:4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

2 Corinthians 5:5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

2 Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Philippians 1:20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!

Philippians 1:23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;

Philippians 1:24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

Philippians 1:25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,

Philippians 1:26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

We can thus see that the souls of the dead do not sleep with the body at death. The souls of the dead are alive and active after death, in their various locations. They are conscious, feel pain and torment, as well as enjoy peace and happiness. The souls of the dead are knowledgeable and aware of their surroundings and recollect things that happened while in the body. The concept of soul-sleep (the souls of the dead being asleep and unconscious in death, along with the body) as propagated by some Christian groups is therefore wrong and unbiblical.Though the physical natural body disintegrates in the earth and turns to dust, the real individual (the soul) is alive, conscious and will eventually answer for the deeds done in this body. But first, the soul of each person will go to a resting place (paradise for the righteous, and hell/hades for the unrighteous), while awaiting the resurrection of the body and final judgement for those imprisoned in hell. The saints in paradise will rise first in the first resurrection, and will reign with Christ, while the rest of the dead will continue to remain where they are in hell/hades, and will arise in the second resurrection to face God’s judgement and be sent to their final and eternal destination in the lake of fire.

Revelation 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.

Revelation 6:10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

Revelation 6:11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.

Revelation 20:2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

Revelation 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Revelation 20:5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.

Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

Revelation 20:13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.

Revelation 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

Revelation 20:15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

In conclusion, physical death, which is the separation of the body from the soul, is a necessary end for all humans. The fear of death is universal, and mostly stems from the uncertainties surrounding death and the fate of the dead. The devil uses this fear of death to torment and hold many in captivity, subjecting them to a lifetime of fear and bondage. This need not be so. Death is not the end of a person, but an exit from this world into another. There is life after death, for the soul of man is eternal and does not die with the body at death, being made in the image and likeness of the eternal God. Each person’s destiny after death depends on the life one lived here and the relationship the person had with God. The souls of those who had a right standing with God in this life go to paradise after death, while the souls of the wicked who did not know God nor feared him end up in hell/hades, a place of sorrow and torment. The soul of man does not go to sleep after death, but is alive, conscious, active and relates with its new surroundings, capable of feeling both happiness and sorrows, depending on its location. Life therefore continues after death, as well as the opportunity to give an account of the lives we lived here on earth, and to receive the reward/ punishment for our labours.

Romans 14:7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.

Romans 14:8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister ? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

Romans 14:11 It is written: “’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ’every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

Romans 14:12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Give No Offense To Jews, Gentiles Or The Church Of God: Living In Peace With All Men Is Key To Winning Lost Souls For Christ.

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New Revised Standard Version)

Isaiah 42:1 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations.

Isaiah 42:2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.

Isaiah 42:3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;

Isaiah 42:4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.” (NIV).

Today, it’s common to see some Christians (including ministers of the gospel) deliberately displaying rank hostility towards people of other faiths, as well as other not-so-conservative Christians. These “firebrands” are hailed by their fellow travellers as uncompromising Christian warriors, as they aggressively confront nonconformists and freely throw flames and bombs around, in their reviling and denunciation of people of other faiths. To such people, living at peace with infidels and unbelievers is a sellout and a sign of compromise and weakness. What does the Bible say about our relationship with people of other faiths? Is seeking peaceful coexistence with all men (as much as it lies with us) a sign of compromise and a selling out of the faith? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God,

1 Corinthians 10:33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, so that they may be saved.

The Apostle Paul, one of the greatest soul winners in the history of the Church, left some hard words for some Christian hardliners in Corinth who appeared to favour a more confrontational approach to the practice and spread of Christianity. Paul was quick to make these provocative firebrands realise that Christianity is fundamentally a religion of peace that seeks reconciliation with both God and man. The gospel we preach is called the gospel of peace, not of war, and the Lord we serve is the Prince of Peace. True Biblical Christianity does not stoke divisions and wars, but promotes peace and harmonious coexistence with all, in order to create a conducive environment for the preaching and acceptance of the gospel. Paul admonished the Corinthians (and by extension all Christians) to desist from practices that deliberately offend Jews, Greeks (heathens) and other members of the body of Christ. His reason was simple- to avoid roiling up non-believers and other believers unnecessarily, especially in the non-essential grey areas of the faith and matters of conscience, so that we can have the opportunity to access them easily and win them for Christ. Paul was seeking, not his own good, but the good of others. We see that view elaborated further in another portion of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them.

1 Corinthians 9:20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law.

1 Corinthians 9:21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law.

1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some.

1 Corinthians 9:23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.

Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!” (NKJV).

Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

Ephesians 6:15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (NKJV).

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (NKJV).

Paul further exhorted Christians to pursue peace with all men, as much as it depends on us. Following peace with all men and living sober righteous lives was seen by the original apostles as a necessary prerequisite for the successful preaching of the gospel. Even in the face of extreme provocations and malicious attacks, the apostles enjoined Christians to hold their peace, and not retaliate or return fire for fire. Like the example set by the Lord Jesus himself, when abused we’re not to return abuse, but we’re to commit all things to God who judges righteously. We’re told in the Scriptures that the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome, but must be kind and gentle, correcting with patience unbelievers who do not yet understand spiritual truths. After all, we were once like them, and we’re are what we are today by the grace of God. That same grace is available to all men to bring them into a saving knowledge of God.

Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.

Romans 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.

Romans 12:18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Romans 12:20 No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.”

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled.

2 Timothy 2:22 Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

2 Timothy 2:23 Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

2 Timothy 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient,

2 Timothy 2:25 correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth,

2 Timothy 2:26 and that they may escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

1 Peter 2:21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.

1 Peter 2:22 “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

1 Peter 2:23 When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.

Christians do not win other people over by hurling verbal insults and missiles at them, or by demeaning others and making them feel little. We do not win people to Christ by displaying a holier-than-thou attitude. What convicts and converts unbelievers to the Christian faith is not provocative and demeaning utterances, but a Christ-like life of love, meekness and gentleness, and the use of words seasoned with salt that minister grace to the hearers. It is the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit in our lives and words that win the hearts and minds of unbelievers and turn them to Christ.

Colossians 4:5 Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.

1 Peter 3:1 Wives, in the same way, accept the authority of your husbands, so that, even if some of them do not obey the word, they may be won over without a word by their wives’ conduct,

1 Peter 3:2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing.

1 Peter 3:10 For
“Those who desire life
and desire to see good days,
let them keep their tongues from evil
and their lips from speaking deceit;

1 Peter 3:11 let them turn away from evil and do good;
let them seek peace and pursue it.

There was a time when some of the apostles of the Lord displayed such intolerant attitude towards opposition and resistance. In their misguided zeal for the Lord, these apostles were ready to call down fire from heaven to consume and devour all opposition and adversaries, like Elijah of old. They thought they were still operating under the old testament anointing of tit-for-tat and fire-for-fire, like a lot of Christians today still believe. But, did the Lord put them in check! What a stern rebuke they got from the Lord Jesus, who promptly made them realise that they were under a different covenant from the one Elijah operated under, and that the spirit he came with, which should now operate in his disciples, was different from the spirit upon Elijah! Jesus did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them! We need to take heed to that rebuke of the Lord more than ever today, because that incendiary spirit of those sons of thunder has possessed a lot of Christians! A lot of Christians today are operating under the spirit of Elijah rather than the Spirit of Christ!

Luke 9:51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,

Luke 9:52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.

Luke 9:53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.

Luke 9:54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

Luke 9:55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.

Luke 9:56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village (NKJV).

In conclusion, Christianity seeks to reconcile men to God and to one another, through the preaching and the out-living of the gospel of peace. As carriers of the gospel of peace, we should strive to be at peace with all men. Biblical Christianity does not seek to unnecessarily provoke, antagonise or ridicule people of other faiths. Christians are not rabble-rousers or bomb-throwers who delight in stoking divisions and encouraging strife. Our aim is to direct men to the Saviour and convince them, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to save themselves from the wrath to come, by embracing the Saviour Jesus Christ. Only a peaceful coexistence with our neighbours and a humble and godly interaction with unbelievers will bring them to Christ. Let us therefore seek peace with all men and ensure it. Let’s stop provoking one another. Instead, let’s follow the things that will promote peaceful coexistence with our neighbours. Like the Scripture says, let us give no offense to Jews, Gentiles or the church of God, for the sake of Christ and his gospel. There is a blessing to being peacemakers, and that is what children of God are!

St. Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Is Christian Nationalism A Scriptural Means Of Propagating The Gospel And Defending God’s Kingdom?

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New International Version)

Christian nationalism is the belief that a nation is defined by Christianity, and that the government should take active steps to keep it that way (Paul D. Miller). A troubling trend among some Christians is an increasing reliance on the use of political/social activism to enforce the practice of Christian values in the public space. This has sometimes resulted in hate speeches and xenophobic attacks against people of other faiths, as well as against other Christians not considered conservative enough. Christian nationalism is thus seen by some Christians as the only way to prevent the take over of Christian nations by liberalism and worldliness.

From the biblical point of view, is it lawful to use such means as political activism and coercion/intimidation in the evangelisation of the world and the discipling of men for Christ? Is the kingdom of God on earth to be established and expanded through political and cultural revolutions? We shall examine the Scriptures to understand the nature of God’s kingdom and how to occupy and carry on with the work of the Great Commission as we await the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

St. Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.

St. Matthew 28:17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

St. Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

St. Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

St. Matthew 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The Great Commission the Lord Jesus Christ gave his disciples was to go into the world, preach the gospel of salvation to all people, and make disciples for him among all nations. The means to achieve this mandate was clearly and unambiguously spelt out by the Lord. Winning souls from all nations for Christ is to be done through the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, Christ forbade his disciples from launching out on this mission without first getting filled with the Holy Spirit. Only the gospel preached with the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit will produce the kind of disciples Christ desires. Biblical Christianity is not to be grown or propagated by oratorical skills, humanistic psychology or by the use of force or threat of it. World evangelism is not to be achieved by activism or through political pressure groups. The Lord intended Christianity and its influence to permeate the world through only one means-the out-living of a gospel preached and vindicated by the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit!

St. Luke 24:46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,

St. Luke 24:47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

St. Luke 24:48 You are witnesses of these things.

St. Luke 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

The Acts 1:4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

The Acts 1:5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

The Acts 1:6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

The Acts 1:7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

The Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

St. Mark 16:14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

St. Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

St. Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

St. Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

St. Mark 16:18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

St. Mark 16:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

St. Mark 16:20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel —not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 2:1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.

1 Corinthians 2:4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,

1 Corinthians 2:5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

We need to understand that the kingdom of God is not of this world’s system. No country on earth is God’s country (with the exception of Israel that God chose in the Scriptures as his own nation and an example of a theocracy). Christians are not called to build theocratic Christian nations on earth that will form the kingdom of God. Our Commission is to get men and women saved out of all the corrupt and doomed nations on earth, and make them citizens of the heavenly country. We’re not to fight physically to take hold of earthly nations and turn them into the kingdom of God, either through activism or by force. We’re to save ourselves and others from the wrath of judgement coming upon the whole world and the whole nations on earth. One of the greatest evangelists of all times, DL Moody, captured this so wonderfully with his famous quote: “I look upon this world as a wrecked vessel. God has given me a lifeboat and said, ‘Moody, save all you can”. That’s what we’re called to do- to save all we can, and not to try to build “holy empires” for God on the foundations of condemned nations!

St. John 18:33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

St. John 18:34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

St. John 18:35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

St. John 18:36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

St. John 18:37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

The Acts 2:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

The Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Acts 2:39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off —for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

The Acts 2:40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

1 Thessalonians 1:8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia —your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,

1 Thessalonians 1:9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,

1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead —Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

Hebrews 11:9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.

Hebrews 11:10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Hebrews 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.

Hebrews 11:14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.

Hebrews 11:15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.

Hebrews 11:16 Instead, they were longing for a better country —a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

The danger of Christian nationalism is in assuming an earthly kingdom of God already in existence, within defined physical boundaries of Christian nations, that must be defended and protected at all costs from satanic invasion. Christian nationalists see their countries of sojourn as the kingdom of God already, and thus use all manner of unscriptural means to “occupy them for Christ”. They fight off every other group of people not adhering to the Christian faith, to silence and make them irrelevant. They think that by using any and every means to suppress others not believing in the Christian faith, they’re promoting the kingdom of God. Like the misguided Peter before the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Christian nationalists believe it’s okay to use the power of the sword and other carnal weapons to enforce the Great Commission and protect Christ’s interests. I’m sure the Lord’s response to Peter’s zeal without knowledge, as well as his response to Pilate, will help reveal his mind about his Kingdom and how not he intends to bring it about.

St. Matthew 26:48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.”

St. Matthew 26:49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

St. Matthew 26:50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

St. Matthew 26:51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

St. Matthew 26:52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

St. Matthew 26:53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

St. Matthew 26:54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

St. Matthew 26:55 In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me.

St. Matthew 26:56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.

2 Corinthians 10:4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

As long as the Lord has not returned to take over the kingdoms of this world and to rule and reign over all nations in righteousness, we can only pray and labour in soul-winning, to harvest and prepare citizens of the kingdom, while waiting for the coming of the Kingdom. As long as the kingdoms of this world have not become the kingdom of our God and his Christ, our reign on earth is still futuristic. The earth the Lord promised the meek for an inheritance is not this present sin-cursed world that’s headed for destruction. All we’re seeing now will be burnt up with fire, including all our beloved nations, simply because this is not yet the kingdom of God. All these kingdoms must give way first before the kingdom of God is established on earth. It’s not for us to know the times and seasons which the Father has set by his own authority to bring about his kingdom. Our task is to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit and to witness for Christ, not by activism but by evangelism; not by political revolutions, but by the preaching and the living out of the Gospel. That’s how we’re to occupy till the Lord comes back!

Philippians 3:18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.

Philippians 3:19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.

Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Philippians 3:21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

2 Peter 3:1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.

2 Peter 3:2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

2 Peter 3:3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

2 Peter 3:4 They will say, “Where is this ’coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

2 Peter 3:5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

2 Peter 3:6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

2 Peter 3:7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

2 Peter 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

2 Peter 3:11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives

2 Peter 3:12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

2 Peter 3:13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

To fight to seal off our “Christian nations” from infiltration by non-Christians does not promote the reaching out of all nations for Christ. In fact, that would amount to denying ourselves the opportunity of reaching out to people whom we could never have been able to make contact with. To seek to subdue all dissenting voices by force and intimidation is to miss the opportunity of engaging and converting unbelievers by the love of God and by the preaching of the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. What will secure our nations for Christ is not violent political activism, hateful bigotry or xenophobic attacks on foreigners of other faiths, but a revival of true religion. It was the great revival in Wales (1904-1905), midwifed by Evan Roberts, that led to the voluntary closure of pubs and night clubs, and their conversion to worship centres. That heaven-sent revival also resulted in a 50% reduction in cases of drunkenness recorded by the police during this period in Wales. This was not achieved through the carrying of placards or by physically attacking and harassing people inside pubs and clubs. The same revival emptied police cells and kept police men idle for a long period of time, because criminals had been converted to Christ and criminality had dropped significantly.

Paul’s effective Spirit-led evangelism in Ephesus also led to people giving their lives to God and subsequently destroying all tools of their previous devilish trades. No political activism or use of pressure groups was involved. No fighting with carnal weapons was needed in subverting the kingdom of darkness and liberating the souls of men here, just effective evangelism in the power of the Holy Spirit. Rather than carry placards and guns to threaten doctors and nurses in abortion clinics, let’s call down revival from above that will convert the hearts of men and women and make them stop patronising such clinics. Our prayers of faith, coupled with the preaching of the word in the power of the Spirit, will achieve more for the kingdom of God than the million-man marches and demonstrations against evil we often see in the streets. The early church were a minority with no political voice in the land, but they had a powerful voice in heaven, as well as the power of the Holy Spirit, through which they turned their world upside down for Christ. That’s the way the original gospel was intended to change the world!

The Acts 19:11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul,

The Acts 19:12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

The Acts 19:13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.”

The Acts 19:14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.

The Acts 19:15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?”

The Acts 19:16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

The Acts 19:17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.

The Acts 19:18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done.

The Acts 19:19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.

The Acts 19:20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

2 Chronicles 7:12 the LORD appeared to him at night and said: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.

2 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people,

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.

James 5:18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

In conclusion, the mandate of the Great Commission the Lord gave the Church is to be carried out only through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Christian’s task on earth here, while awaiting the return of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, is to preach the gospel to all creatures, win as many souls as possible for Christ and prepare those souls to be worthy disciples of Christ and citizens of heaven. We’re not called to use political activism or the power of the state to enforce Christian values on others who don’t believe in our faith. We’re not called to create theocratic Christian nations on earth that must be secured and defended by carnal means, to ensure unbelievers don’t come in or thrive inside. All we’re called to do is use the power of the Spirit to persuade men and women of every colour and race to turn from darkness to light, and from Satan to the living God, in order to escape the wrath of God coming upon the world of unbelievers. Christian nationalism (that leans on the state to enforce Christian values in the public space and seeks to create Christian theocratic societies) is thus not a scriptural means of propagating the gospel and spreading Christianity, because it relies on means not approved or endorsed by the Scriptures.

Lord, What Will You Have Me To Do?

(Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the American King James Version).

The apostle Paul is, arguably, one of the greatest ministers of the gospel, being the chief of the apostles, and the most distinguished preacher, evangelist and teacher in the history of the church. He lived an amazing life as a believer and as a servant of Jesus Christ, and did great exploits for the kingdom of God, eventually dying as a martyr. But, there was a time when Paul (then Saul) was a murderer of christians and a terror to the church of Christ. The turning point in his life occurred while on his way to persecute Christians at Damascus. His dramatic arrest by Jesus Christ, and his subsequent conversion to Christianity, shook him profoundly and set the stage for the life of total obedience and service to the Lord that followed. As dramatic as his conversion was, it was the question that Paul (then Saul) asked the Lord, after getting to know him, more than anything else, that set the tone for the great life and ministry he had in Christ.

The Acts 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,

The Acts 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

The Acts 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

The Acts 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why persecute you me?

The Acts 9:5 And he said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you persecute: it is hard for you to kick against the pricks.

The Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what will you have me to do? And the Lord said to him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told you what you must do.

The Acts 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

The Acts 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

The only question Paul (then Saul) asked the Lord, after getting to know him, was what the Lord would have him to do. Paul’s question revealed a profound understanding of the sovereignty of God and his predetermined purpose and plan for his intelligent creatures. God is not so much interested in what we want do for him as he is in our obedience to his will, to do what he has predetermined for us to do. If we recognise the fact that Christianity is intended to make people know and do God’s will, and not a means of getting divine backing for our own will, our perceptions and orientation will change. We will become more kingdom-minded and less self-centered. We will be praying more for God’s will to be done, rather than for us to have our ways.

God has a plan and purpose for each of us. That purpose for our life was conceived in the eternal mind of God even before we were born. God told Jeremiah that before he came out of his mother’s womb, he had already sanctified and ordained him as a prophet to the nations. Paul would later acknowledge the fact that God called him from the womb and separated him to be an apostle of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, before he was born. God told the Israelites who were about to go into captivity in Babylon that he had plans for them, which would bring them peace and prosperity, even in their captivity. For that reason, they were not to resist going into captivity, however unpalatable it looked. Recognising that God has a plan and purpose for each of us is key to living a fulfilled and successful life. Until we grasp that revelation, we’ll continue to insist on our own will and ways, which will ultimately lead to disaster. Our ways may appear right in our eyes, but they don’t always end well for us.

Jeremiah 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.

Galatians 1:13 For you have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

Galatians 1:14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,

Galatians 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

Galatians 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

Jeremiah 29:4 Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon;

Jeremiah 29:5 Build you houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;

Jeremiah 29:6 Take you wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that you may be increased there, and not diminished.

Jeremiah 29:7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray to the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall you have peace.

Jeremiah 29:8 For thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the middle of you, deceive you, neither listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed.

Jeremiah 29:9 For they prophesy falsely to you in my name: I have not sent them, said the LORD.

Jeremiah 29:10 For thus said the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Jeremiah 29:12 Then shall you call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Jeremiah 29:13 And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:14 And I will be found of you, said the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places where I have driven you, said the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place from where I caused you to be carried away captive.

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, said the LORD.

Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Like Paul, we must intentionally seek the Father’s will for our lives, in all circumstances we find ourselves. We must ask for what he’d have us do, and not try to force God to approve and bless our self-willed plans. We must come in humility to the Father who has the blueprint and masterplan for our lives, and inquire what he has foreordained for us to do, for only God’s eternal purpose for our lives will bring peace, joy and fulfilment to us. Jesus said his food was to do the Father’s will, and to finish the work the Father gave him to do on earth. To identify the Father’s will for us, and to accomplish that will, should be our food too, as children of God. Christ did not come to do his own will, but the Father’s, and likewise, we are not sent by Christ into the world to seek to do our own will, but his. Thus, until we are able to identify what our God-apportioned callings and purpose on earth are, we will only be doing our own will. Until we ask God and receive a definite answer to the life-defining question, “what will you have me to do, Lord?”, we will be living at cross purposes with God. Until Paul asked that question and got a definite answer, he was living contrary to God’s will, being a persecutor and destroyer of God’s church, while thinking he was doing some great service to God, in his misguided zeal. But, when he asked and received from God what he was born to do, the fiercest persecutor of the church turned around to become its greatest masterbuilder ever! Destiny was finally discovered and fulfilled!!

John 4:31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.

John 4:32 But he said to them, I have meat to eat that you know not of.

John 4:33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Has any man brought him ought to eat?

John 4:34 Jesus said to them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.

Hebrews 10:5 Why when he comes into the world, he said, Sacrifice and offering you would not, but a body have you prepared me:

Hebrews 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no pleasure.

Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, See, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do your will, O God.

Hebrews 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin you would not, neither had pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;

Hebrews 10:9 Then said he, See, I come to do your will, O God. He takes away the first, that he may establish the second.

Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Luke 22:39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.

Luke 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said to them, Pray that you enter not into temptation.

Luke 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.

1 Corinthians 7:20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

Too many Christians there are who are busy imagining their life’s work and just feeling their way through life, without a definite word from God as to what their specific work and mission on earth are. Too many of God’s children are wandering aimlessly through life, lurching from one self-willed decision to another, just trying out anything that feels good and that seems to work, without a definite knowledge of God’s purpose for their lives. Until we have a clear revelation of the specific work we’re called to do in the kingdom, we will fail to fulfill destiny. Until you discover what your destiny is, how can you fulfill it? Thats why we frequently find a hand in the body of Christ struggling to be a leg, or an ear trying so hard to be an eye. But, if we discover who we are, and our position and place in Christ, we will fulfill God’s purpose for our lives in our generation. Thus, the greatest question, after salvation, is to ask God to reveal to us his will and purpose for our lives. That must be the starting point for whoever wants to live a fulfilled life in Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.

1 Corinthians 12:15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

1 Corinthians 12:16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

1 Corinthians 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

1 Corinthians 12:18 But now has God set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased him.

1 Corinthians 12:19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

1 Corinthians 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

1 Corinthians 12:21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

1 Corinthians 12:22 No, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

1 Corinthians 12:23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

1 Corinthians 12:24 For our comely parts have no need: but God has tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked.

1 Corinthians 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

1 Corinthians 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

1 Corinthians 12:28 And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

1 Corinthians 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I to you a more excellent way.

In conclusion, deliberately seeking to know and to do God’s will for our lives, like the apostle Paul did on his first encounter with Christ, is key to living a fulfilled Christian life. God has a specific will and plan for all his children. He has a specific role and function for each member of his body to perform in his church and in his kingdom. Like parts of the human body, each member of the body of Christ has his/ her unique position and function in the body. The onus is on every believer to find out their position and role in the body of Christ, and to play that role accordingly, for the edifying of the church and the advancement of God’s kingdom on earth. Locating our place and purpose in God’s plan requires asking the Lord the same question that Saul asked him when he encountered Christ on the way to Damascus—”Lord, what will you have me to do?”

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The Unpardonable Sin: What Is It, And Who’s In Danger Of Committing It?

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New International Version).

There is a sin which is unpardonable, and it behooves us all to know what it is, as committing it will not be forgiven, both in this life and in the next. Many Christians are puzzled and troubled by what the unpardonable sin is, and they should be, because of its mortal consequences. In this article, we’ll try to throw some light on the nature of the unpardonable sin, highlighting what it is, who’s susceptible to committing it, and whether or not it can be committed in ignorance. We’ll explore relevant portions of the Scriptures in order to address these issues.

St. Matthew 12:31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

St. Matthew 12:32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

In the passage above, the Lord Jesus Christ gave a hint as to what the unpardonable sin is. He told us it’s blasphemy (slander) against the Holy Spirit. What the Lord Jesus was saying at that time that he had not been glorified was that anyone who spoke ill of him, including calling him a devil, would be forgiven. But, as soon as he was glorified (died for sin, resurrected and ascended to heaven) and the Holy Spirit sent down to take his place among believers, anyone who would speak evil of the Holy Spirit would be in danger of committing the unpardonable sin.

Thus, insulting or reviling the Holy Spirit is a sin that should be dreaded. But, is it all categories of people who blaspheme or speak ill of the Holy Spirit that are in danger of committing the unpardonable sin? It doesn’t appear to be so, as the Scripture makes room for forgiveness for those who blaspheme as ignorant unbelievers. God overlooks and readily forgives all sins committed by unbelievers in their days of ignorance, once they repent when they come to the knowledge of the truth. That’s what makes God just and fair. Paul, before his conversion, was a blasphemer who reviled and spoke ill of the Holy Spirit, the risen Christ and the church, yet he was forgiven and received grace to be the chief of the apostles.

St. Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

The Acts 17:29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone —an image made by human design and skill.

The Acts 17:30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

The Acts 17:31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

1 Timothy 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.

1 Timothy 1:13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.

So, if a prominent blasphemer and persecutor of the risen Christ and of the church such as Paul could be forgiven, because he did it ignorantly as an unbeliever, it only means that the unpardonable sin cannot be committed by unbelievers! It means people who have not come to the knowledge of the truth cannot commit the unpardonable sin! This view is corroborated by Scriptures which link the unpardonable sin to those who have once been enlightened and have come to the knowledge of the truth, who have tasted of the good word of God and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit. These are the people who cannot be brought again to repentance if they abandon the faith, revile or insult the Holy Spirit and tread underfoot the blood of the holy covenant by which they were previously sanctified.

Hebrews 6:4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,

Hebrews 6:5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age

Hebrews 6:6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

Hebrews 10:26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,

Hebrews 10:27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

Hebrews 10:28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

Hebrews 10:29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Hebrews 10:30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”

Hebrews 10:31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Peter made the same point in his second epistle, stressing the fact that those who had previously escaped from the pollution of the world may backslide and get entangled therein again. Such people are compared to dogs who go back to their vomit, or washed pigs who return to wallowing in the mire. They are in danger of committing the unpardonable sin because, having had a previous knowledge of the truth, if they blaspheme or revile the Holy Spirit, it would be unforgivable. Paul also spoke of some believers whom he handed over to Satan, so that they would learn not to blaspheme, as the consequences of blasphemy for someone who once knew the truth are grave.

2 Peter 2:12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

2 Peter 2:13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.

2 Peter 2:14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed —an accursed brood!

2 Peter 2:15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.

2 Peter 2:16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey —an animal without speech —who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

2 Peter 2:17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.

2 Peter 2:18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.

2 Peter 2:19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity —for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”

2 Peter 2:20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

2 Peter 2:21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

2 Peter 2:22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

1 Timothy 1:18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well,

1 Timothy 1:19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.

1 Timothy 1:20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.

The Lord Jesus made the context of the unpardonable sin very clear. He wasn’t talking to unbelievers or heathens who didn’t know God, when he made the remark about the unpardonable sin. He was talking to the Scribes and the Pharisees who were leaders of God’s people, and therefore well informed about spiritual truths and the things of God. Unfortunately, the Pharisees and the Scribes who should have known better were the ones who were busy attributing the works of God through Christ to demonic powers, out of envy and jealousy. They knew Christ was of God, for no man could do the things he did if God wasn’t with him. Though they knew it was the power of God at work in Christ’s life and ministry, they deliberately and maliciously attributed the wonderful works of God he did to satanic powers! To deliberately and knowingly attribute an act of God to Satan is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit doing those works. To maliciously speak evil of the Holy Spirit working through any servant of God is to revile the Holy Spirit. Jesus referred to such acts of blasphemy as constituting the unpardonable sin.

St. John 3:1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.

St. John 3:2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

St. Matthew 12:22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.

St. Matthew 12:23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”

St. Matthew 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

St. Matthew 12:25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

St. Matthew 12:26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?

St. Matthew 12:27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.

St. Matthew 12:28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

St. Matthew 12:29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.

St. Matthew 12:30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

St. Matthew 12:31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

St. Matthew 12:32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

St. Matthew 12:33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.

St. Matthew 12:34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

St. Matthew 12:35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

St. Matthew 12:36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.

St. Matthew 12:37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

The unpardonable sin is actually a sin against the atonement, for those who had once been saved. When we despise and revile the atonement, after getting to have a knowledge of it, there is nothing else that can save such a person. Like the sons of Eli (priests of the Lord) who despised the atonement by desecrating the sacrifice and God’s temple, nothing could atone for their sins. They had trampled upon the atoning sacrifice which alone could save them, so they were eternally doomed. Their sins could not be forgiven nor atoned for, for all eternity. They had committed the unpardonable sin! It’s the same as those who trample underfoot the son of God and count the blood of the covenant whereby they were sanctified an unholy thing, and have reviled or insulted the Spirit of grace.

1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

1 Samuel 2:23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours.

1 Samuel 2:24 No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the LORD’s people is not good.

1 Samuel 2:25 If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the LORD, who will intercede for them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the LORD’s will to put them to death.

1 Samuel 2:26 And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the LORD and with people.

1 Samuel 2:27 Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ’Did I not clearly reveal myself to your ancestor’s family when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh?

1 Samuel 2:28 I chose your ancestor out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your ancestor’s family all the food offerings presented by the Israelites.

1 Samuel 2:29 Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’

1 Samuel 2:30 “Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ’I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.’ But now the LORD declares: ’Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.

1 Samuel 2:31 The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age,

1 Samuel 2:32 and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, no one in your family line will ever reach old age.

1 Samuel 2:33 Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.

1 Samuel 2:34 “’And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you —they will both die on the same day.

1 Samuel 2:35 I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always.

1 Samuel 2:36 Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and plead, “Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat.”’”

1 Samuel 3:11 And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.

1 Samuel 3:12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family —from beginning to end.

1 Samuel 3:13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them.

1 Samuel 3:14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ’The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”

In conclusion, the unpardonable sin is blasphemy or slander against the Holy Spirit. It involves insulting or reviling the Holy Spirit and attributing his works to Satan, by people who should know better. The unpardonable sin is not a sin that’s committed in ignorance or unbelief, and so cannot be committed by unbelievers. God readily forgives all sins committed by unbelievers in their days of ignorance, when they eventually repent after coming to the knowledge of the truth. It’s therefore believers who are in danger of committing the unpardonable sin. If such people who once knew the truth and were partakers of the Holy Spirit now turn to revile and maliciously slander the Holy Spirit and tread underfoot the blood of the covenant that once saved them, there’s no more sacrifice to atone for their sins, since they have sinned against the atonement. There’s no forgiveness for such people in this age or in the age to come. Such people have committed the unpardonable sin. May we then, as believers, be careful how we speak and respond to works of the Holy Spirit, for our words concerning the Holy Spirit and his works can lead us to commit the unpardonable sin and to eternal condemnation.

Can A Spirit-Filled Born-Again Christian Be Possessed With An Evil Spirit?

Within pentecostal and charismatic circles, it’s common to see Spirit-filled born-again Christians undergoing deliverance or exorcism on account of demon-possession. These evil spirits are thought to be responsible for inducing born-again Christians to commit various sins. Is it possible for someone filled with the Holy Spirit to be possessed by evil spirits at the same time that the Holy Spirit is dwelling within the person? Can the Holy Spirit coexist with evil spirits within the same person? What’s responsible for making born-again Christians to commit sin? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these pertinent questions.

James 3:11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

James 3:12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water (NIV).

The Apostle James asked these rhetorical questions above to point us to the fact that it’s against the law of nature for two diametrically opposite entities to coexist in the same place at the same time. Salt water and fresh water cannot flow from the same spring. A fig tree cannot bear olives, neither can a grapevine produce figs. It’s just not natural and it’s therefore impossible for such occurrences to happen.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He is holy and divine. He fills and indwells believers in Christ. Evil or vile spirits are spirits of demons who are unclean and impure. They possess people who are unholy and impure. These are people who do not know God, who have not experienced the new birth, or people from whom the Holy Spirit has departed, having previously dwelt in them. Because these two spirits are diametrically opposed to each other (one is holy and the other unholy; one is from God and the one from demons), they both cannot co-exist simultaneously inside the same person.

1 Samuel 16:11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, Are all your sons here? And he said, There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep. And Samuel said to Jesse, Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.

1 Samuel 16:12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him, for this is he.

1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

1 Samuel 16:14 Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.

1 Samuel 16:15 And Saul’s servants said to him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.

1 Samuel 16:16 Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.

1 Samuel 16:17 So Saul said to his servants, Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.

1 Samuel 16:18 One of the young men answered, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.

1 Samuel 16:19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.

1 Samuel 16:20 And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul.

1 Samuel 16:21 And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer.

1 Samuel 16:22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.

1 Samuel 16:23 And whenever the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him (ESV).

The Scriptures present us with an interesting story in the passage quoted above. The moment David was anointed by Samuel to be king in Israel, God’s Spirit (the Holy Sprit) came upon David. At about the same time, God’s Spirit that was upon Saul (who was previously anointed king by the same Samuel) departed from him, and an evil spirit came upon Saul from that moment. Let’s note something important here: before an evil spirit could come upon Saul, the Spirit of God previously upon him had to depart from him. The evil spirit could not possess Saul while the Spirit of God was still upon him. The Holy Sprit and evil spirits are diametrically opposed and cannot coexist in the same person at the same time. One must give way for the other to take hold of a person.

We’re told in Scriptures that when an evil spirit is cast out from a demon-possessed person, such a spirit has the potential to come back to inhabit that person, if the person is not filled with a contrary spirit (in this case, the Holy Spirit). This means that evil spirits cannot possess or fill someone who is filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit and evil spirits cannot coexist at the same time in the same person. For the Holy Spirit to come into a person, every evil spirit in that person must depart first. For an evil spirit to come upon someone previously filled with the Holy Sprit, the Holy Sprit must depart from that person first. One cannot serve two masters at the same time. It’s either one is filled with the Spirit of God and is a servant of God, or one is filled with vile spirits and is a servant of the devil. We cannot serve God and the devil at the same time!

Matthew 12:43 When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none.

Matthew 12:44 Then it says, I will return to my house from which I came. And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order.

Matthew 12:45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation (ESV).

Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (NKJV).

If the Holy Spirit and evil spirits cannot coexist in the same person at the same time, what then is responsible for a Spirit-filled believer sinning? If it’s not evil spirits residing in the Spirit-filled believer that inspires him to sin, what is at work? What we must understand about the Spirit-filled believer is that he has a dual nature. Every born-again Christian who’s filled with the Holy Spirit also have their own innate sinful nature still resident in them. We all have our flesh or “old man” still alive in us. It is the flesh or the “old man” in us, the sinful nature, that induces us to sin, not evil spirits inhabiting us. That sinful nature or the “old man” in us is what we all struggle with in our sanctification process. Sanctification is mortifying the flesh or carnal nature in us, and allowing the Holy Spirit and his fruits to dominate and control our lives. The daily battle for believers is between the Holy Spirit and the flesh in us. When we fail to mortify the flesh, through the Holy Spirit in us, we become overwhelmed by the flesh, and it will manifest his works, which are sinful. Sin then is not the work of evil spirits in us, but the manifestations of the flesh or old nature still resident in us, which will only be removed when we’re glorified and clothed with our immortal bodies. That’s when we will have and manifest sinless perfection.

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

Romans 7:19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.

Romans 7:20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (NKJV).

Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God (NKJV).

Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

Galatians 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

Galatians 5:21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another (NKJV).

So then, it’s not deliverance that will make a born-again Christian to stop sinning, because there are no evil spirits possessing him or her. To stop sinning, a Christian needs to deal with the sinful nature (the flesh or the “old man“) which is still alive in every Christian, despite our new birth experience. And, dealing with the “old man” or the flesh is not a one-off thing. Crucifying or mortifying the “old man” is a lifelong process of sanctification. It involves filling our hearts and minds with the word of God, meditating on the word of God, praying, fasting, separating ourselves from sinful associations and sinful environments, etc. We’ll never be sinless on this side of eternity, because the “old man” will never completely die, until we’re glorified. However, we’re expected to sin less and less as we grow more and more in grace. It’s as we discipline and pummel the flesh that the Holy Spirit is allowed to dominate and guide and lead us in the path of righteousness and holiness. Working out our sanctification involves working on the flesh to subdue it and bring it into subjection to the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, however high we rise in our sanctified walk, we’re all still capable of falling and sinning. And when we fall and sin, it will not be because we’re possessed by evil spirits; it will just be because the flesh which has always been there in us was released from its suppression by the Holy Spirit and broke through, because we allowed it. What we need to do at such times is not to undergo deliverance, but to repent and rededicate ourselves to God, and continue with the daily work of mortifying the flesh.

Psalms 119:9 How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.

Psalms 119:10 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!

Psalms 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You (NKJV).

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (NKJV).

1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

1 Corinthians 9:26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air (NIV).

Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God (NKJV).

Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

Colossians 3:6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

Colossians 3:7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.

Colossians 3:8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices

Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (NIV).

1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (NKJV).

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us (NKJV).

In conclusion, the Holy Spirit and evil spirits cannot co-exist at the same time in an individual, just as fresh and salt water cannot flow from the same spring. It’s impossible. It’s therefore unscriptural and incongruent to be conducting exorcism on Spirit-filled born-again Christians for whatever reasons. When Holy Spirit-filled Christians sin, it’s not because they were induced to do so by evil spirits residing in them. Christians sin simply because every born again child of God still harbours the sinful nature (the “old man” or the flesh) in them, despite the new birth experience. As long as the “old man” still remains in us (and he will continue to remain in us until we’re glorified and clothed with our immortal bodies), we will still be susceptible to sin. The “old man” in every Christian can be tempted to sin, and it will succumb every now and then. In fact, those who rise the highest in their walk with God and think they’re now standing should take heed, because they can fall at any time if they’re not careful. The safeguard against sin is to mortify the flesh and its lusts, through the Holy Spirit residing in us. This is done by filling our hearts and minds with the word of God and meditating on it day and night, through prayer and fasting, and by separating ourselves from sinful companions and environments. This sanctification process is lifelong and will never be complete on this side of eternity, as we can never achieve sinless perfection in these vile bodies of ours. However, we’re to sin less and less as we grow in grace and in our walk with the Lord. When we sin and fall short of God’s glory (which will happen every now and then), what we need is not deliverance or exorcism, but repentance, confession of our sins and a rededication of our selves back to God. A Spirit-filled Christian doesn’t need to undergo deliverance each time he sins, simply because he is not possessed by evil spirits!

What Kind Of Anointing Makes People Violent And Destructive?

(All Bible Quotations, Except Otherwise Stated, Are From The New International Version)

Many in pentecostal and charismatic circles are used to witnessing chaotic scenes during anointing services. The sights of people falling and tumbling under the anointing, getting violent and hurting themselves and others in the process, are all too familiar. All these are usually attributed to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and of believers being filled with the Spirit. Are these normal manifestations of the anointing with the Holy Spirit? Does the Holy Spirit make people violent and destructive when he fills them, or are there other forces at work here? We shall examine the Scriptures to understand how the Holy Spirit manifests, as well as the spirits that make people violent and destructive.

To begin with, we must understand that the human spirit, which is the seat of emotions and passions, can be influenced by many different spirits- the Holy Spirit, angelic spirits, demonic spirits and spirits of other human beings. Holy angels operate in obedience and subservience to the Holy Spirit, whose messengers they are. Their influence on the human spirit is therefore the same as that of the Holy Spirit. Demonic spirits are spirits of fallen angels who align with satan, God’s chief adversary, and work in tandem with the devil to oppose and resist God and his works. Their main purpose is to deceive, to kill, to steal and to destroy God’s creations. The human spirit can be influenced and controlled by either the Holy Spirit (directly or through holy angels), or by evil or demonic spirits. The manifestations displayed by an individual will reveal which spirit is influencing the person. The Holy Spirit will manifest his gifts and fruits when he comes upon an individual, while evil or impure spirits will display evil and destructive tendencies through the vessel they possess or anoint. We will now examine a few instances in the Scriptures when various spirits came upon people and the manifestations they displayed.

1 Samuel 18:5 Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.

1 Samuel 18:6 When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres.

1 Samuel 18:7 As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”

1 Samuel 18:8 Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?”

1 Samuel 18:9 And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

1 Samuel 18:10 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand

1 Samuel 18:11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

1 Samuel 18:12 Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had departed from Saul.

1 Samuel 19:8 Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.

1 Samuel 19:9 But an evil spirit from the LORD came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre,

1 Samuel 19:10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.

In the accounts above, we see an evil spirit coming upon King Saul and the impact it had on his behaviour. Though the anointing of the evil spirit made Saul to prophesy, it also made him mad, furious, intensely jealous and hateful. It induced a murderous rage towards David and provoked Saul’s many attempts on David’s life. We learn from these encounters that the anointing of evil spirits comes with destructive tendencies, confirming the Scriptures that the devil has only come to kill, to steal and to destroy, and that he’s a murderer.

St. John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

St. John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Other instances where violent and destructive behaviours were displayed in the Scriptures also involved demon-possessed people. When demons take hold of people, they not only manipulate their minds (leading to insane behaviour), they also induce violent and destructive tendencies. Demons are supernatural spirits that possess supernatural strength. Those they inhabit may display such supernatural strength, causing harm and destruction both to themselves and to others around them. We see a clear example of that with the demoniac in the region of the Gerasenes. Possessed with a host of impure and violent demons who twisted his mind and imbued him with supernatural strength, the demoniac lived a tormented and destructive life. However, upon deliverance from the influence of those demons, he came to his right senses and was calm and well behaved. When the same vile spirits that had possessed him earlier entered into a herd of swine, they drove the enraged pigs down a steep slope and into a lake, where they all drowned. Such is the destructive effect of evil spirits!

St. Mark 5:1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.

St. Mark 5:2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him.

St. Mark 5:3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain.

St. Mark 5:4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.

St. Mark 5:5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

St. Mark 5:6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.

St. Mark 5:7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!”

St. Mark 5:8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

St. Mark 5:9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.”

St. Mark 5:10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

St. Mark 5:11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside.

St. Mark 5:12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.”

St. Mark 5:13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

St. Mark 5:14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened.

St. Mark 5:15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.

Further examples of the violent and destructive effects of evil spirits in the Scriptures are seen in palsies caused by these spirits in those they possess. These vile spirits can induce convulsions in people, throw them into water or fire (with the intent to kill them), and make their lives miserable. Such demons cause much sufferings and pains to both the people they possess and their carers. And even on their way out of those they possess (during exorcism), they inflict so much injuries that they leave their victims almost dead.

St. Mark 9:14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them.

St. Mark 9:15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.

St. Mark 9:16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.

St. Mark 9:17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech.

St. Mark 9:18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

St. Mark 9:19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

St. Mark 9:20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

St. Mark 9:21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered.

St. Mark 9:22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

St. Mark 9:23 “’If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

St. Mark 9:24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

St. Mark 9:25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

St. Mark 9:26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.”

St. Mark 9:27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

In contrast, when the Holy Spirit comes upon people, he anoints them with gifts of the Spirit and does not bring about violence or destruction. People do not shake and convulse, even if the buildings they are inside are shaken by the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. He may come down in the form of a fire or a whirlwind, but he does no violence to the people he fills and possesses, neither does he induce violent and disorderly behaviours in them. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of gentleness and meekness, not of violence and destruction. He doesn’t torment the people he possesses, rather he brings peace to them. He brings healing and deliverance, not bondage and sufferings. Even when he came upon the people for the first time on the day of Pentecost and made them speak in foreign languages they had not previously learnt, they were not disorderly. When he refilled these same people later and granted them more boldness to preach the gospel, though the building they were inside shook, he did not induce convulsions in the people! What a contrast to scenes we observe today in a lot of pentecostal and charismatic churches! Nowadays, it’s the people that do the shaking and convulsions under the anointing, rather than the building!

The Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.

The Acts 2:2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

The Acts 2:3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

The Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

The Acts 2:5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.

The Acts 2:6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.

The Acts 2:7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?

The Acts 2:8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?

The Acts 4:23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.

The Acts 4:24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.

The Acts 4:25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “’Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?

The Acts 4:26 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one. ’

The Acts 4:27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.

The Acts 4:28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.

The Acts 4:29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.

The Acts 4:30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

The Acts 4:31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Isaiah 42:1 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations.

Isaiah 42:2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.

Isaiah 42:3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;

Isaiah 42:4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

Finally, we’re told in the Scriptures that God is not an author of confusion or disorder. We’re admonished to do things decently and in order in our Christian assemblies. Even while under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of a prophet is still under the control of the prophet. Disorderliness in Christian assemblies will only send the wrong message to unbelievers- that we’re mad and have lost our minds. The Holy Spirit does not make people act mad or out of control. He is the spirit of divine order! Let us then beware of the frenzy in our anointing services. We must not roll on the ground and foam at the mouth, scattering benches and chairs, and injuring ourselves and others in the process, to prove that the anointing of the Holy Spirit has come upon us. Such manifestations are not evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, but of possession with impure spirits.

1 Corinthians 14:26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

1 Corinthians 14:27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two —or at the most three —should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.

1 Corinthians 14:28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.

1 Corinthians 14:29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.

1 Corinthians 14:30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.

1 Corinthians 14:31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.

1 Corinthians 14:32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace —as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

In conclusion, only evil spirits induce violent and destructive behaviours when they possess people. The same violent manifestations are seen when evil spirits are being cast out of people, through the power of the Holy Spirit. In contrast, the Holy Spirit is a spirit of calmness and gentleness, and he does not cause rowdiness when he comes upon people. Thus, it is okay to see violent and destructive manifestations during deliverance services, when evil spirits are being cast out of demon-possessed people. However, violence and rowdiness cannot and should not be attributed to the infilling or outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon God’s people, simply because the Holy Spirit is not a spirit of violence, but of calm, gentleness and orderliness.

Did Jesus Condone Adultery By Refusing To Condemn The Woman Caught In Adultery?

(All Bible Quotations, Except Otherwise Stated, Are From The New King James Version)

When Jesus refused to condemn the woman caught in adultery, was that an affirmative action on his part in support of adultery? Did Jesus mean adultery or sin should not be condemned generally? What exactly did the Lord mean by his statement: “woman, neither do I condemn you..”? To understand the meaning of the Lord’s statement on that issue, let’s examine the relevant Scriptures closely to extract their meaning in context.

John 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

John 8:2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.

John 8:3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,

John 8:4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.

John 8:5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”

John 8:6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

John 8:7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

John 8:8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.

John 8:9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

John 8:10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

John 8:11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

When the woman caught in the very act of adultery was brought before Jesus, the hypocrites who brought her for judgement at the Lord’s feet (while allowing the man with whom she committed the act to conveniently escape) wanted to test Jesus on whether or not he would go along with the demands of the Mosaic law concerning adultery. In the law of Moses, the penalty for adultery was death by stoning. The law had no mercy and no room for repentance for adulterers. Adultery in the law was one of the sins that could not be atoned by sacrifice of any kind. It was an unpardonable sin!

Leviticus 20:10 ‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.

Deuteronomy 22:23 “If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her,

Deuteronomy 22:24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor’s wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you.

We see that adultery, under the law, was a very grave sin with mortal consequences. Now, we must understand Jesus’ perception of adultery before we go any further here. The Lord Jesus had an even stricter view of adultery than Moses. In the Mosaic law, while the act must be committed before a diagnosis of adultery can be made, Jesus taught that just by thinking about a person lewdly and lusting after the person in one’s heart one has committed adultery already! According to Jesus, one doesn’t have to be physically involved in the act to be considered guilty of adultery: the conception and nurturing of the idea in one’s heart is as good as committing the act physically!

Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’

Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So, Jesus considers adultery a sin and has an even stricter definition of adultery than Moses. We have to be very clear about that. Adultery is as much a sin in the new testament as it was in the old, with an expanded scope in its definition in the new testament. Therefore, there should be no doubt that when Jesus told the woman caught in adultery “neither do I condemn you”, he wasn’t exonerating her of the sin of adultery, nor was he trivialising her sin, because Jesus considers adultery a sin! What exactly did the Lord mean by his “neither do I condemn you” statement then? Simple: Jesus refused to condemn the adulterous woman to death by stoning as demanded by the Mosaic law! The law demanded her to put to death immediately for her adulterous act. However, while the law of Moses had no mercy for the adulterer (and some other categories of sinners), Jesus came with grace and truth. Though he condemns adultery as sinful, he gives the adulterer space to repent. He makes mercy available to the adulterer, like all other sinners. Jesus hates sin, but he loves the sinner and doesn’t want him/her to perish in their sins. That’s why the Father sent him to the world of sinners in the first place. That’s why he willingly gave his life as a ransom for the salvation of all men who would place faith in him as Lord and Saviour. There was no mercy with Moses, but abundant mercy is available in Christ!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 1:15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”

John 1:16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Revelation 2:20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

Revelation 2:21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.

St. Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

To show that Jesus did not exonerate the woman from adultery and that he did not condone her adulterous act (but that he only refused to condemn her to instant death by stoning as prescribed by the Mosaic law), Jesus gave her this parting rebuke..“go and sin no more”. He didn’t waste any opportunity to make the woman realise what she had done was sinful. Even though he didn’t allow her accusers to stone her to death as required by the law, he sternly rebuked her (after they had dispersed) not to indulge in the sinful act of adultery again!

John 8:10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

John 8:11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

In conclusion, the Lord’s statement about not condemning the woman caught in adultery simply meant he did not approve of her being stoned to death as was the penalty for all caught in adultery under the Mosaic law. Though Jesus condemned adultery as a sin and had an even more stringent definition of adultery than Moses gave in the law, he did not subscribe to the instant death penalty for adulterers as prescribed by Moses. Whereas there was no mercy and no atonement for adultery under the law, Jesus came with grace and mercy for all sinners, including the adulterer. By refusing to condemn to death the woman caught in the very act of adultery, Jesus effectively abolished immediate judgement for adultery as prescribed by Moses, making adultery no longer an unpardonable sin. Adultery still remains a sin under the new testament, but the blood of Christ can atone for it and there’s mercy available to the adulterer. Thus, no one needs to be stoned to death any longer for adultery. This is one of the benefits of the grace and truth that came through Jesus Christ.

Let’s Pray For Our Leaders, Whatever Their Political Or Religious Philosophies May Be!

The natural tendency after one’s preferred candidate loses an election is to try to undermine the new leader, looking for faults in the way he or she handles issues, and wishing them ill, just to justify our position that they shouldn’t have been elected in the first place. Such behaviour may be okay for the natural man, but, what does God expect from Christians in our relationship with our leaders? Are we to support and pray only for leaders we align with politically and philosophically? How are we to relate with leaders we don’t agree with, in policies, politics and even religious beliefs? We shall examine the Scriptures for a clear understanding of our responsibilities as Christians towards our political leaders.

1 Timothy 2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people —

1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

1 Timothy 2:3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

1 Timothy 2:4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (NIV).

The Scripture urges us to pray for kings and all those in authority, so that we may live in peace as we carry on with our pursuits in life. It’s instructive to note that Paul was soliciting prayers for dictators, autocrats and heathen rulers here, not for democratically elected leaders. These were the same emperors, kings and governors who were the foremost and fiercest persecutors of Christians and Christianity in the time of Paul, yet he called for prayers for them to govern well, so that there would be peace and security, to enable Christians carry on with their business of worshipping God and evangelising the world. The different and divergent religious philosophies of the kings and those in authority wasn’t a hindrance to pray for peace and prosperity during their reign. Their wickedness towards Christians didn’t induce a reciprocal hatred and sabotage of their government by Christians. However evil they were, Paul still urged prayers for them and their regimes, for peace to reign. Paul’s focus was on the Great Commission, not the ideologies of those in power. Paul was more interested in the Kingdom of God and how to use every opportunity to promote it, not in the kingdoms of this world which would soon pass away.

When we pray for those in authority over us, we’re praying for our own good also. When we pray for God to give our leaders the wisdom to administer our nations well, for peace and prosperity to reign, we’ll become partakers of those benefits too. If chaos, anarchy and hardship reign in the land, we all will be affected. As Christians, we must recognise that every authority, however autocratic and despotic, operates with divine permission, for no authority rises to power without God’s permission. God appoints and removes rulers according to his will and purpose. Wicked rulers have all served God’s purpose at various times in human history, and the ultimate evil ruler who’s yet to appear on the scene (the anti-christ) will also serve God’s purpose in his time.

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

Romans 13:2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.

Romans 13:4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

Romans 13:5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.

Romans 13:6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.

Romans 13:7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor (NKJV).

1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,

1 Peter 2:12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

1 Peter 2:13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme,

1 Peter 2:14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.

1 Peter 2:15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—

1 Peter 2:16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.

1 Peter 2:17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king (NIV).

Daniel 4:28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel 4:29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon.

Daniel 4:30 The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”

Daniel 4:31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!

Daniel 4:32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.” (NKJV).

Psalms 75:6 For promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.

Psalms 75:7 But God is the judge: he puts down one, and sets up another (AKJV).

As Christians, we’re not supposed to get involved in politics in partisan ways, for our kingdom is not of this world. The Christian party is neither Republican, Democratic nor Socialist. In fact, there is no Christian political party, for Christianity is not a political philosophy, but a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ, the son of God. The Christian belongs to Jesus’ party, and is Christ’s ambassador here on earth. Our citizenship is in heaven, from where we wait for the Saviour to come and change our vile bodies. Here on earth, we’re just pilgrims passing through a strange land, on our way back to our heavenly home. Therefore, we’re enjoined in the Scriptures not to be entangled with the affairs of this world. Yes, we’re expected to be good citizens of the places we live in, and we’re to play our civic role in ensuring good governance, by participating in the political process. However, our participation should not be that of hyper-partisans who get so entangled with the various political parties that we lose our identity and focus as heaven’s ambassadors here on earth. As Christ’s representatives, we’re expected to be independent and neutral (like all other ambassadors are expected to be, in relation to the various groups and factions in the countries where they serve), focused completely on projecting heaven’s truths and values and reconciling men back to God. That way, we can justly condemn evil wherever it’s found in any political party, and praise any righteous/godly policies wherever they’re found. We’re to stand and defend heaven’s values, and not become the religious wing of any political party or the mega phone of any politician.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

John 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (NKJV).

Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Philippians 3:21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body (NIV).

2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” (HCSB).

2 Timothy 2:4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him (ESV).

Our obligation as Christians is to pray for a conducive socio-economic environment for peaceful and godly living, and for the propagation of the gospel without hindrance. For this reason, we’re to partner with every government in power, no matter their political philosophy, to ensure law and order exist, and liberty and prosperity reign, for in the peace of our nations shall we find peace. When Israel was in captivity in Babylon (a heathen nation), God enjoined them to pray for the peace and prosperity of their place of captivity, for in the peace of that place would they find peace. The same injunction is given to the Christian today, to pray for those in authority and for the peace and prosperity of the various lands we’re sojourning in, for in the peace of these nations shall we find peace to live and preach the gospel.

Jeremiah 29:4 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:

Jeremiah 29:5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.

Jeremiah 29:6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.

Jeremiah 29:7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (NIV).

Finally, let’s not forget that the heart of every king and every ruler is in the hand of God. He controls them as he wills. That is why we must look up to God in prayers to effect the change we need in our nations in order for the will of God to be done. Our focus should be on the will of God being done. And, the will of God at a point in time may be to allow a wicked Pharoah to rise up so that God may display his power through him. The rise of the anti-christ and the new world order are all the will of God, to usher in the millennial reign of Christ, for without the reign of the anti-christ, there will be no millennial reign of Christ. To fight the establishment of the conditions that would lead to the reign of the anti-christ is therefore to oppose the will of God! We’re enjoined to pray for the will of God to be done, not to oppose it, however unpalatable it may appear to us. That’s the commandment of God!

Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,
Like the rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes (NKJV).

Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth (ESV).

2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,

2 Thessalonians 2:2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,

2 Thessalonians 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

2 Thessalonians 2:6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,

2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,

2 Thessalonians 2:12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (NKJV).

Luke 22:40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Luke 22:41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,

Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (NKJV).

Matthew 6:9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.

Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven (NKJV).

In conclusion, we’re enjoined in the Scriptures to pray for all our leaders, no matter their religious or political philosophies. This is to enable us live peaceful and godly lives in quietness, as we worship God and evangelise the world. We must honour and lift up every authority in prayer, because every authority comes from God, and every authority rules with God’s permission. As Christians, we’re heaven’s ambassadors on earth, and we must remain politically neutral in the various lands of our sojourn here on earth, as we try to project heaven’s values and reconcile men back to God. We must not jeopardise this ministry of reconciliation (the Great Commission) by getting politically entangled with the affairs of this world, thus becoming the religious wing of political parties. Our obligation is to pray for God’s will to be done on earth, even if it’s against our own will. It’s as we align our will with God’s will that we’ll become worthy and effective ambassadors for God here on earth. Let us then desire and embrace God’s will- nothing more, nothing less and nothing else! Let your kingdom come, Lord, and let your will be done on earth! Amen!

God bless you for visiting and reading!

Jesus Commands Those He Has Saved To Stop Sinning!

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New International Version).

We’re told in the Scriptures that Jesus Christ came to save his people from their sins. In fact, his name Yehshua means saviour or salvation in the Hebrew. His coming is to deliver his people from both the guilt, penalty and power of sin. He came to set men free from the bondage of sin, as well as to give those who believe in him the power to become children of God. Thus, we see Jesus forgiving people their sins and warning them never to go back again to a lifestyle of sinning. This means that those who are saved by Jesus are supposed to stop living deliberately sinful lives!

John 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

John 5:2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.

John 5:3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.

John 5:4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.

John 5:5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.

John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”

John 5:7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

John 5:8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”

John 5:9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
And that day was the Sabbath.

John 5:10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”

John 5:11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’”

John 5:12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?”

John 5:13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” (NKJV).

John 8:1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

John 8:2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.

John 8:3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst

John 8:4 they said to him, Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.

John 8:5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?

John 8:6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

John 8:7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.

John 8:8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground.

John 8:9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.

John 8:10 Jesus stood up and said to her, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?

John 8:11 She said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said, Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.]]

It’s instructive to note that in both cases above, Jesus warned the people he saved and pardoned to stop sinning. To the man who had been paralysed for 38 years, Jesus admonished him to stop sinning, otherwise something worse than what he had experienced would happen to him. To the woman caught in adultery, he forgave her, refused to condemn her to death by stoning, but admonished her to stop that sinful lifestyle. God is holy, and he expects his children to be holy even as he is. Jesus delivers and saves people from sin, but he also empowers them so that they would become holy and flee from sin. He requires us to use the grace and the resources he’s made available to us to purge and separate ourselves from ungodliness in this present world. He will only make use of those of his children who purge themselves and abstain from iniquity, while discarding those who continually and habitually live a life of sin. Don’t be deceived! God cannot be mocked. Whatever a person sows, that’s what he will reap. If you sow to the flesh, you will reap destruction. If you sow to the Spirit, you will reap everlasting life.

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

1 Peter 1:15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;

1 Peter 1:16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.

1 Peter 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,

1 Peter 1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

2 Timothy 2:20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.

2 Timothy 2:21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Galatians 6:8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Romans 8:5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Romans 8:6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Romans 8:7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

Romans 8:8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.

Romans 8:10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.

Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Romans 8:12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation —but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it.

Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

Hebrews 10:26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,

Hebrews 10:27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

Hebrews 10:28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

Hebrews 10:29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Hebrews 10:30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”

Hebrews 10:31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

In conclusion, Jesus not only forgives and saves people from sins, he demands also that they stop sinning after their deliverance. Contrary to some liberal theologians who teach that a righteous walk is not a necessary requirement of the saved Christian, Jesus makes it abundantly clear that those he has saved from the condemnation of sin should stop sinning. He expects them to live a holy and a sanctified life henceforth, because he himself is holy. The believer is expected to purge himself from the desires and lusts of the flesh in order to have a fruitful walk with God. That’s the only way we can be vessels of honour fitted for good works.