Adventures riding on the bus! Tales of miracle deliverances, all interspersed with accounts of cheating girlfriends—from the driver, no less. And the cheating gal tale happened after the miracle of the blue-eyed, blond-haired lady pulling him out from under a car he was repairing, and that suddenly dropped immediately after. Yet the cheatin’ heart was also his live-in at the time of her crime.
Do I recount this because he flirted with every female that boarded the bus except me? No. Actually, I complemented him on his encouraging stories as I got off; he was a good driver. But this talk of his miracles and the reality of a spiritual world and our engagement in spiritual warfare, did not correlate well with his admitted immorality.
Look at the account in John 8 of the woman caught in the act of adultery. The religious leaders hauled her in front of Jesus, saying, “Moses commanded us… Now what sayest Thou?” He responded to them, in light of their guilty consciences. They slunk off. Jesus was left alone with the woman who He would not condemn.
That’s nice. But He didn’t excuse, justify, or rationalize her sin. Nor did He delve into the circumstances that expounded her slide into adultery.
He finished this encounter by saying, “Go and sin no more.”
A similar denouement in John 5:14; Christ healed a lame man. That encounter ended with this:
“Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”
Can Jesus Christ heal, forgive and set free? We know He can and does.
Where do we take it from there?
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1-2).
Ah, there’s the rub.
There is a dangerous teaching that is prevalent in Christianity. One that says brothers and sisters in the Lord may not act saved—but if they have made a confession of faith, they have their fire insurance. Nothing to worry about. Go for it; indulge in sin. Halleluiah!
Some may even have a tantalizing ministry proclaiming the cheap grace that bailed them out. They may lead a church or drive a bus. They’re saved, maybe. But their works are due for the fires of judgment. We call them smoky Christians, based on 1 Corinthians 3:13-15:
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
I’m concerned that there is going to be more fire in heaven than there is in hell.
We all mess up. And there is a difference in the nature and consequences—both on earth and in heaven—of our sins.
True repentance results in a changed life; one under the control of the Holy Spirit:
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24-25).
Ponder this: If you want to be a writer, you have to be a fanatical reader—of books. If you want something to write about, pursue biblical acumen.
Then go walk amongst the lower classes. You know, people like the shepherds who got the first press release about the Savior’s birth; the unclean, unwanted and unloved—people no one takes seriously.
Then get on the bus and have an adventure.