What You Cant Afford To Leave Off
Text: Ps 36:1-3
1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
One of the greatest things you will ever see is to for a person to get saved, become a new believer, and see that person grow in his walk for God. He or she started out well but has cooled off and no longer has any appetite for the things of the Lord.
Verse number three reminds us that there is the awful and dreadful possibility that deterioriation and degeneration may set in on a persons life.
The kind of life that I am talking about is one that showed so much promise of being a dedicated and true disciple of the Lord Jesus, and yet was duped and decieved by Satan himself and the carnal nature.
It is a tradegy when a soul turns back on God.
Jesus said:in Luke 9:62, "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
Those who turn back on God are never really happy in life--they never find fulfillment, true and lasting joy, or satisfaction.
You can get saved and go back to your old ways, your old companions, back to all the world has to offer, trying to stifle that inward voice of the Holy Ghost that is on the inside of the Christian, but the conscience cannot fully be stifiled in those who have truly known what it is to be wise and to do good.
Backsliding is something that should be constantly avoided by the children of God. What hell and the demons would love to see this year is for you to backslide, to move backward rather than forward. It is the will of God that you go onward and forward in His divine will for your life.
The backslider is more miserable than the man who is lost, because the backslider knows what is right and often the lost man doesnt.
Once you have enjoyed something that is good, it is hard for you to move down to something less satisfying than you really enjoy.
After riding in a Chevy Van and a Chrysler New Yorker, I do not believe there is any way I could ride in one of those little Metropolitan cars that use to be built. Those little things were really a rough ride. Do you know why? The good ride has spoiled me. A glorified go cart would be difficult to accept now since knowing what a good ride is about , first hand.
God wants you making progress and making a spiritual advance in this new year. If God spares our lives, we should make sure that we be wise and do good.
Illustration- 1 Sam.13:13-14
There was a time in the life of Saul, that Samuel told Saul that he had done foolishly, he had not kept the commandment of the Lord. He went on to inform King Saul that God would have established his kingdom forever, if He had not left off doing what He should. 1 Sam. 15:26 tells us that since Saul had rejected the Word of the Lord, that God had rejected him from being King of Israel. When the Spirit of the Lord withdrew his influences from Saul, an evil spirit began to trouble him (1 Sam.16:4).
Heb 10:39 says, "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul."
I Jn 2:18-19 declares, "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
CONTINUING IN THE THINGS OF GOD IS A SIGN , A MARK, OR AN EVIDENCE OF A TRUE, GENUINE CHILD OF GOD.
It pays not to leave off what we should be doing.-It is a dangerous thing to put off what should do for God. WE SHOULD BE WISE AND DO GOOD.
You might asked , "What is someone is not doing right?" Well, you just be wise and do good. You do not have to answer for them but you do for yourself.
Why do people that look like such good prospects for glorifying God, that start out so hopefully, turn back and go away from the things of the Lord?
There are several reasons why this can happen:
I. A DEFECTIVE START
If a person leaves off it is obvious that he or she has made a start somewhere , sometime. How can a person give up what they have not started? You can start and it be a defective thing in the first place. There are so many people who attended the house of the Lord, who too part in some form of Christian service, who in fact were never born again. You have to start out right to be wise and to do good. It involves a new birth. ONE OF WISEST PERSONS IN THE WORLD IS THE ONE WHO MAKES SURE THAT HE OR SHE HAS EXPERIENCED A BIRTH FROM ABOVE.
It is possible to have a form of godliness, but have no inward reality, and fail to know the real power of God.
JESUS DEALT WITH NICODEMUS ON THIS ISSUE:
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
In describing the people of the last days, Paul described many as:
2 Tim 3:5 by saying, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
Again , 1 Jn. 2:19 says:
I Jn 2:19,"They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
There are many who started out, confessed their allegiance to Christ but did not really get into the kingdom of God.
Jesus told a man in Mark 12:34 "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God." It is possible to be close and yet not be close enough.
So many people are Christians in a nominal and outward sense, and have never recieved the Lord Jesus in a way that would transform and change their life from darkness to light.
Acts 4:12 states: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
II. NEGLECT OF PERSONAL DEVOTION AND CORPORATE FELLOWSHIP
So many lose out spiritually for this reason. Start out well in the Christian life and then flounder for the simple reason they do not feed upon the Word of God.
Col 3:16 reminds us: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
We must spend time along with the Lord in a prayer life. Lk. 18:1 declares: "Men ought always to pray and not to faint."
"Faint" means to become discouraged and lose heart.
It is a joy for Gods people to meet together and pray together.
Heb 10:25 tells us: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Is it any wonder that those who do neglect the church, Bible reading and prayer, break down spiritually.
Anyone will break down spiritually if they do not eat right. If you neglect food, fresh air, and exercise, you will soon break down physically----it is inevitable--you can look for it.
We can prevent a spiritual break down by doing what we should about church attendance, prayer, and Bible reading.
If you knew your car were going to break down somewhere down the road, if you were wise, you would fix the part that would be defective, and cause the problem, if you knew which one it were.
WE SHOULD DO NOT LESS SPIRITUALLY.
III. SUCCESS , PROSPERITY, AND THE LURE OF THE WORLD
Many Christians get slack when they begin to prosper in a material sense. Might have gotten promotion on job, moved to larger house, more influential community, bought a bigger can, and have become what the world calls sucessful.
Often when that happens a person becomes lifeless and cold.
God knows how much to allow you to have. Some could not handle having a lot, it would handle them.
God does not give you destructive things.
The worlds lure is powerful. It is easy to go worlds way rather than Gods way.
2 Tim 4:10, "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia."
I Jn 2:15-17 says to us, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."