In both cases if one is the living embodiment of Christ, forgiveness will enter the picture and things will continue as if nothing happened. But what if these incidents were continuously repeated? Again, as a Christian you would forgive like Jesus said to Peter: “Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” And we do that because the Father always forgives us.
But the real question is why would anyone WANT to put a fiancé or neighbor through the emotional stress of dealing with these sins? If you really loved your betrothed or appreciated your neighbor you would not. (I hope.) Only a fool (or someone brainwashed by false teachings) would believe they can continue to behave badly and never suffer any consequences.
It has to do with sincerity. Yeah, you gave your heart to Christ but did you do so sincerely? (Only God knows this answer — you may think you know, but it will be your actions that really determine this for you to know for sure.)
When you make a commitment to anything, the sincerity with which you commit determines its outcome. No marriage ever works unless both the man and the woman are willing to be true to the vows — the public commitment, they made to each other. If they want to make their marriage work they stay true to their vows. No marriage would ever survive if either the man or the woman kept trying to live the single lifestyle.
This is what Paul was telling the Corinthians: If you want to be the bride of Christ you will want to commit yourself to Him and His doctrines.
But the devil wants to convince you that the church is telling you you have to give up all the fun in life if you follow Jesus. And the devil wants to serve as the definer of what fun is.
And it seems to be working. Look back on that list of unrighteous behaviors and think about how many proclaimed Christians you see daily participating in one or more of those activities, never stopping or repenting of them. Would you question their loyalty to you if they were “committed” to you? What makes you think God doesn’t? Sure He will forgive you. But if you ask forgiveness with the same heartedness you apparently committed to Him, do you think He really believes you’ve repented? There is no forgiveness without repentance — honest repentance. (Luke 3:13, Acts 3:19)
Ultimately as a devout Christian we should want to conform to what our God wants us to do; if we do, at the marriage ceremony we will be awarded eternal life. Hell is the default destination of everyone of us. You ARE going unless you choose to commit to living your life for Christ.
If we commit and have questionable behavior afterwards it begs the question: have you really made a commitment or do the material pleasures of what the world puts before you obscure a promise that can often seem too far away? In other words are you “all talk and no walk”?
Does this mean we will not mess up? No. You will. God knows you will. So He sent His Son to atone for the sins of all the times when you do. Your job at that point is to honestly apologize by asking forgiveness and repent by not actively seeking out the temptation to sin again.
If your sin is drinking too much, don’t go visit your buddies at the local pub. If your sin is pornography, don’t look for it when you’re cruising the internet. The truth is if you’re seeking the sin you’re not seeking the Lord, you haven’t repented and you lack the strength of your conviction. You don’t join a seminary and go out partying on the weekends with your friends. It’s that simple.
But you’re not a failure. You are deeply loved and the work He has begun in you He will finish. Remember what Timothy tells us: “An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.” 2 Timothy 2:5 ESV Follow His lead. Pick yourself up and go after Your Savior.
You have to pursue Christ; keep in mind the crowds went after Him. He makes Himself available at the well but he can’t drink for you. (John 4:4–42).
The works in these posts are written by either Randy S. Gerardot or Gregory C. Jones, web masters for betheone.co. Guest writers will be credited individually for their work.