“For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
Sometimes the man of the world gets offended by the righteous and the Godly. The called or rather those who respond to God’s call can be an affront to him. The pride and ego of the man of the world rises up against the Godly. It must if it wants to defend and justify itself and its unclean ways.
“Who does he think he is?” is often the response of the man of the world to those who respond to the call of righteousness from God. The man of the world then looks for shortcomings of the called. He may even have known the Godly before and remembers all of the ungodly things they had done in the past.
Sometimes the pride and ego of the man of the world gets so enraged at the Godly that he decides to, “Put him in his place!”
But the reality of the situation isn’t so much as the righteousness of the Godly shining forth as it is the unrighteousness being reflected back to the man of the world. Cleanness doesn’t offend the man of the world, his uncleanness does. And the stark realization of his condition makes him realize, “that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9). But maybe that doesn’t matter to him. The man of the world usually lives in the here and now. Heaven is a future event so why worry about it now?
But as time goes by the man of the world, aware of righteousness and aware of his unrighteousness comes to understand something. Sin is like a cigarette. It is addictive and costly and eventually kills. A smoker may feel like he is control but in fact the cigarette is in control of him.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)
The man of the world who thought himself free and easy and in control starts to understand that in fact he has been a servant of sin and the devil. And just like trying to put out a cigarette for the last time, leaving a life of uncleanness becomes more of a challenge than once thought.
At this point the man of the world starts to rationalize. As he presses, “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14) he attempts to hang on to aspects of the world that he loves so much, or better put; too much.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26).
Not only are we to give up the whole world to gain our souls, but every rock, pebble and grain of sand of it as well.
It can be extremely difficult to give up this entire world for life righteous and eternal. We try to hide away things precious to us. Sin covered up and tucked away for our pleasure. But God sees all. There is nothing hid from the Lord.
We have a wonderful example of an attempt to keep things personally precious although ungodly in the Book of Joshua. Achan went against the will of God while attempting to live righteous among the holy.
God told Joshua to destroy Jericho. He told him that the, “city shall be accursed”.
“And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord: they shall come into the treasury of the Lord” (Joshua 6:18-19).
But Achan could not resist temptation. He tried to do both his will and the will of God. After the defeat and down fall of Jericho he thought to keep a little something he most desired, primarily a wedge of gold from the city.
“And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it” (Joshua 7:20-21)
Achan was stoned to death for his sin.
“For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad” (Luke 8:17).
“O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me” (Psalm 139:1).
“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13).
Do you have a wedge of gold hidden away somewhere in your tent?
Post your comments below about sin and uncleanness.