Listen: 59 Question 1

It is so sad and it’s a dishonor to the Lord when those who profess to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior go back to living a sinful lifestyle.  As Christians, our behavior should reflect the teachings of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  Our light, or our testimony of salvation through Christ, should cast a favorable light upon the works that we do for Him so that our Father is glorified.

The Lord had called men to follow Him in Luke, chapter 9.  We find the reply of one of these men in Luke 9:61-62, “And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”  It’s not that the Lord wants us to disregard our families, but the lesson here is that when following the Lord, there is no room for looking back.  This looking back is in reference to what happened to Lot’s wife in Genesis 19:24-26 which says, “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”  To look back shows a reluctance to break from the world and its systems.  It shows that the person is more concerned about what he has left behind that what lies ahead.  When plowing a field, looking back will cause the rows to become uneven.

It is a very serious thing to try to follow the Lord but still enjoy the things of the world.  Actually, it just can’t be done.  The Lord teaches us in Matthew 6:24 that, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”  In Acts 2:46, Ephesians 6:5, and in Colossians 3:22, we have the expression “singleness of heart.”  To truly trust in Christ and to follow Him, we must have a single heart for Him.  How can we have a heart for the sinful world that the Lord died to save us from?

Many of those who profess to know the Lord Jesus Christ, but go back to live sinful lives may not really be saved at all.  The Apostle John warns us about such people in 1 John 2:19 where he says, “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.”  This shows the reality that some who say that they are followers of Christ are not truly saved.  Some can pretend to be Christians for a long time, fooling even their closest friends, but they are not able to fool the Lord.  We learn in 2 Timothy 2:19 that, “…The Lord knoweth them that are his…”  The Lord knows the heart and He knows those who only pretend to be saved.

Is it possible for a true believer to get away from the Lord and become the servant of sin?  Yes, it is possible.  We see examples throughout the Bible of Godly men that failed the Lord by allowing sin into their lives.  Lot, Samson, Jonah, and Peter are just a few of those that, at one time or another, failed the Lord.  Reading about the awful life of Lot in Genesis, chapter 19, we might suppose that Lot was not a saved man.  However, we know that Lot was saved because of what we read in 2 Peter 2:4-10, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.  This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.”  However, knowing the love and power of the Lord; knowing that He has saved us through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, may we seek to be faithful to Him and honor Him with our lives.  Let us all hear the Word of God and follow its instructions as we read in Colossians 1:10 to, “…walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”