You know what keeps you locked in a cage of doing what you know is wrong when there's a clear way out? A total ignorance, a total unawareness, a total blindness, a total denial of the times.
When a person knows their about to die you know what they don't do? They don't say, "You know what, I'm gonna die tomorrow so today I'm going to cheat on my husband, destroy my marriage, break trust with everyone I know, defame the name of Christ that I carry around in the title "Christian", abandon my kids, rob a bank, and do every other vile and deplorable thing I can think of that for a fleeting period of time might give me some sense of pleasure, or freedom or vengeance because tomorrow I'm going to die and that's the way I want to spend the rest of my life. That's what I want people to remember me for when I go. That's what I want them to think of when they think of a Christian."
No one says that!
But many do it.
And the only reason we do it is because we're in total denial. We refuse to believe there's no time for such things. We refuse to believe the end of all things is at hand. We refuse to believe we're going to die and leave a reputation behind and face the One who made us, the One we've been naming ourselves after so easily.
Christian. Really? Are you really? Am I really? Am I a Christ-ian? A "little Christ"?
I am. I say I am. I carry around His name. And One day I'll meet him face to face.
The end of all things is at hand. I do not get to stay here this side of that day forever. I only get a time. A very short time.
So many of us in the Disneyland of America are in a tangled web- abandoning our vows to each other, indulging in sexual pleasures outside of marriage, consuming images for our pleasure, ignoring the needs of those around us- we toy with sin and wrestle with whether God will forgive us if we chose to keep toying, and we argue with each other about various doctrines... and we're fools! There's no time!
There's no time to caress our pity party about our less than ideal marriage and feast ourselves on the cocaine of a forbidden relationship. There's no time!! We carry the name of Christ. We will see him face to face one day. We won't just live this life forever apart from a day of reckoning. We don't have time to toy with sin. We have wasted enough of our lives on those lies and traps and temporary pleasures (that are really chains)!
We only have a short time here to pray and watch the God of all the earth do amazing things through us! Us!
You know, I hear the call from godly men and women to stand for the unborn and those enslaved in human trafficking. I hear the call to be willing to stand out as "hateful" in a world that will hate you for loving them and unashamedly confessing that God designed marriage between a man and woman. I hear a call for embracing all races and ethnic groups as equally bearing the image of God, and for pointing to the blood of Christ as the only hope for any man. I hear the call to abandon comfort and ease to go to an unreached people group, bringing them the light and truth of Christ. I hear their calls and I think we're over here wasting our lives on sinful pleasures and desires, arguing amongst ourselves about what the Bible says and our seconds and minutes and hours and days and years tick by and we trample under our feet the blood of Christ, clinging to our sin, mocking God and declaring we can continue in sin because grace abounds. All the while those who rightly call themselves Christians are spending their minutes and months and lives fighting to stand against the devil's schemes, putting their own lives in the way of those marching to slaughter and giving up domestic life for a very uncomfortable life reaching people who've never heard of their Savior. And it's not just those "glamorous" calls that Christians are spending their lives on. They're bending their knees to raise up a child day in and day out with prayer and teaching and nurture in the Spirit of Christ They're denying themselves to love a world-weary man who doesn't love them well. They're laying down their lives to tender-heartedly love a woman whose bitternesses are spreading.
So you're not called to sell all your possessions and move to the Congo. But, when those thoughts come, "He's never going to change... I don't deserve to be treated like this... I'm not loved like I long to be loved... No one cares what I want, what I desire... What about me?..." When those poisoned-laced darts of sweet lies penetrate my brain I need to declare: THERE'S NO TIME FOR THIS!!
I need to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God and destroy that lying worm with 1 Peter 4.
So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.
Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead. The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. - 1 Peter 4:1-5,7-11
You and I need to let the pain of the battle to stand in Christ free us when our husbands don't love us like they should, and our children require us to constantly give our time and energy and life, and our bosses fire us because of our expressed beliefs when asked, and our neighbor rejects us because of our refusal to celebrate same-sex unions, and our friends cut us off because we won't pat them on the back and join in with encouraging them in the sin that is destroying their lives. When those things happen, you and I need to let those pains, those sufferings come so we can be one battle closer to being done with sinning! We need to let those trials come and hurt us so we can stop spending the rest of our lives chasing our own desires but rather wake up every day on edge to do the will of God! Instead of running away from the pain and suffering that comes with following Christ, we need to let it free us from the chains of sin and to a life abandoned to his will.
And if we find ourselves in the pit of the sinful mess we've made of our lives, right now, there is time to turn around, and stop denying the truth, and let the blood of Christ be enough for us to stop wasting our lives on our own desires and spend our lives on HIS! There's no time for anything else!