Day 38 – Sin Is Sin
“If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death” (1 John 5:16-17).
God uses four levels to move us to repentance: Each one more forceful than the one before it.
Level One is conviction. We sin and the Holy Spirit convicts us. We feel guilt and shame, and we respond in repentance. We renew our fellowship with God.
If we ignore the Holy Spirit’s conviction, however, God moves to Level Two. He let’s us experience the consequences of our sinful choices. We bring pain upon ourselves because of our frequent sinning and unwillingness to repent. It’s the boomerang effect of sin. It comes back upon us. We reap what we sow. The Holy Spirit grieves over us.
Level Three is discipline. If we’re stubborn, keep on sinning, resisting the convicting, grieving ministry of the Holy Spirit over us, not responding to the terrible consequences of our sin – the Lord will discipline us.
Discipline is more forceful, but it’s not punishment. It’s meant to restore us to a relationship with God. For whom the Lord loves, he disciplines (Hebrews 12:6).
If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you’ve experienced all three of these – conviction, consequences, discipline. I doubt whether any of us have come close to Level Four.
Level Four is aggressive. It’s God’s judgment. God who is merciful and patient has had enough. He can remove a Christian from their position. He can take them home to heaven before their appointed time. Their sin is not necessarily one particular sin, but continuous and persistent sin, without repentance, increasing in a sinful lifestyle.
I know some people and some situations that I’ve put a question mark next to, and I can only wonder if this is what happened to them. If so, it’s not the loss of their salvation, but it could mean the loss of their ministry and it could mean their life is shortened.
Action Step #1: Since God’s judgment is his last level to move us to repentance, resolve never to stray this far in your faith journey. Remember, “All wrongdoing is sin.” Resolve to respond quickly to the Holy Spirit in those first waves of conviction.
Action Step #2: More discussion revolves around the “sin that leads to death”. The most important emphasis here, however, is on intervening and interceding for someone you know who is sinning. Go to God on behalf of that person and pray, “God, give them life!”
This is God’s Word for you today,