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Miranda Writes: Spiritual Physical, Part 4




by Omar Miranda



Over the past several weeks we’ve turned our attention to a very important subject—allegiance. We’ve been focusing on the importance of systematically looking at every facet of our lives and making sure we meet God’s standards for being and remaining saved. The truth is that becoming a Christian is the easiest thing in the world to do, but remaining a true Christian and staying saved is a more difficult work of a lifetime—but we can win the war against ourselves, sin, the devil, and the world. It will take constant surrender to God and the power of His Holy Spirit combined with our own will to do it, but it can be done. For if we are to win this world for Jesus, we’ve got no other choice than to work hand in hand with Him in order to get it done.

This week we’ll take some time to examine what happens when we totally turn our backs on God, refusing to acknowledge Him as Lord of our lives. God’s Word tells us very clearly: “You cannot fool God, so don’t make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant. If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life” (Galatians 6:7, 8, CEV).¹ This passage makes it abundantly clear that there is a logical consequence for living your life outside of the bounds of what God has said is OK.

The author of Hebrews paints a clear picture of what this type of “Christian” has to look forward to. Hebrews 6:4-6 says this: “But what about people who turn away after they have already seen the light and have received the gift from heaven and have shared in the Holy Spirit? What about those who turn away after they have received the good message of God and the powers of the future world? There is no way to bring them back. What they are doing is the same as nailing the Son of God to a cross and insulting him in public!” (CEV). This passage speaks about a Christian who isn’t a “baby” in Jesus anymore—in other words, this person didn’t just recently become a Christian. This person has had an increasing depth of knowledge and intimacy with God and has decided, “Nah, even though going with God is the way, I’m still going to do my own thing anyway.” This passage is serious. It’s important for somebody who is considering going their own way to think about this. Also, this passage is describing somebody who has once received salvation, but is not actively resisting the impulses and desires of their flesh (the evil inside of them) and who consistently and consciously chooses to sin.

Here’s the bottom line: it is our decision to fall away from a relationship with Jesus and thereby lose our salvation. Our decision to fall away is not sealed with one sinful decision; it is sealed because of a lifestyle of consistent and purposeful sin and progressively worse and worse attitudes toward God. The further we get from God, the less and less we’re able to hear His voice as He continues to call for us to come back home. However, there will come a time when we will tell God by our attitudes and our behaviors that we don’t want anything to do with Him, and as I’ve said before, we’ll be excluding ourselves from heaven. If we’re sinful and selfish, we would hate heaven. Heaven is a place of perfection and peace. In fact, for a sinful, selfish person, heaven would be hell!

When you sin willfully and purposefully, it’s as if you spit in God’s face. The Bible says that you insult God! Why do you insult God? Because you’re basically saying that the life that His Son Jesus gave for you is really worthless! Again, that’s pretty serious stuff! Let me ask you a question: Are you falling away? Have you fallen away? Here’s a hint: if you’re concerned about falling away, then you probably haven’t done it. But have you been insulting God with the way you’ve been living your life? If you have, make changes right now. Don’t wait another second.

The Bible goes on to specify what a purposeful sinner has to look forward to in Hebrews 10:26-29: “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us” (NLT).²

If we’re striving to be genuine Christians, we shouldn’t be sinning on purpose! When we have an unrepentant attitude, we reject and trample God under our feet, in effect treating God’s sacrifice of His Son as an unholy or worthless thing. When somebody has reached this point in their spiritual walk and they don’t turn back, there’s only one place left to go—and it’s not heaven. They wouldn’t be happy anywhere else, actually. When my children act a fool and become disrespectful or consistently defiant, they typically receive discipline (a spanking) from me and are sent to their room for a period of time to “cool down.”  When I give them these consequences, they’re usually really mad at me! But I find myself telling them more and more “I love you, but don’t get mad at me; you brought this down upon yourself through your behavior! Everything I do is in response to you.”

God is our heavenly Father, and when we’re consistently disobedient and defiant toward Him, He’ll either give us discipline or He’ll step back and allow some very painful consequences to come our way.  Why?  Because we have free will, and God loves us too much to force us to do anything that we don’t want to do. When God doesn’t apply His Son’s salvation to our behalf, it’s not because He doesn’t want to; it’s simply because He can’t.  We’ve made our choice through our bad behaviors and bad decisions! And after the consequences comes the “time-out,” but unfortunately, this one isn’t temporary, but eternal! Oh how it will grieve the heart of God for ceaseless ages to have to give you your heart’s desire and let you be destroyed by hellfire and eternally separated from the beautiful eternal relationship that can be had with Him!

Why would any of us choose sin over God?! If I’m speaking to you, then don’t wait another second—get right with God and stay right with God. He’ll give you the motivation and the power to do it! Hebrews 12:14 says: “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord” (NLT). God wants us to pull out all the stops and give it everything we’ve got! He wants us to take this holiness stuff seriously. God wouldn’t ask us to be holy if He didn’t give us the motivation, power, and focus to be able to do it. Let me ask you another question: Are you striving to be holy? If you are, are you trying to do it with or without God’s power?
Next week we’ll take a look principally at what the apostle John wrote in his last book of the Bible and what lessons we can learn from the so-called Christians in the church of Laodicia.

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912


¹Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.
²Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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