Records of Sin

On Judgment Day, many are going to be surprised when God displays their record of sin throughout their life. The depiction above are just some filing cabinets filled with your sin record to give you some semblance of what actually transpired. The cabinets would fill a warehouse for just one sinner. The white cabinets can denote what we see are small sins, simple disobedience, white lies, etc. The black cabinets can denote more serious sins we have committed.

The devil on the other hand makes a sinner think there is merely a shoe box with some posted notes on your sins, no harm no foul. Compared to God’s holiness, there are sins you are not even aware such as absolute perfection to the commandments, not just some of the time, but each and every moment. So when the sheer multitude is displayed, as I said, some will be quite surprised at just how many laws which were broken. Each file God has will have clear facts and evidence, the time the offense was committed to the second. There are sins such in our thoughts and lusts and selfishness of which we merely passed off, but God didn’t forget.

Some will foolishly argue with God and say “that’s not a sin”, as IF they can tell the Almighty what broke His laws. Some will also foolishly attempt to pass the blame, “it wasn’t my fault”. Some will be angered that God kept their record of sin, or try to sheepishly say “sorry God, I really didn’t mean to do that”. But WHAT NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO DO is tell God to “look in the mirror at your sins”, because He has no such record.

This grand multitude of sin caused a debt to God. His justice on just one sin is His eternal wrath, and He doesn’t even need to open up more than one page in one filing cabinet. But I suspect that won’t prevent some to try and continue to argue each case of a sin.

Catholics will attempt to call on Mary, she’ll be nowhere to be found. I suspect some will try to blame their priests and popes, but that argument fails when God shows them their warehouse full of cabinets of their own sin records. Some will plead with God, “but Lord Lord, what about my church attendance, and all those good works I did in your name, and the sacraments I religiously participated in?” And sadly they will hear what Jesus already warned them about “I NEVER KNEW YOU, be gone you workers of lawlessness” (referencing Matt 7:21-23).

Without understanding the sheer DEPTH of your sin record against God, you will never fully realize just how NECESSARY a Savior is needed. You will shirk that call of the Mediator for your sins, His name is Jesus Christ, and try to argue your way into heaven instead which ends in failure! Your sin record does not get paid outside of the blood of Jesus!

Those saved also have the same amount of cabinets filled with sin, however in their case each file is stamped “PAID IN FULL”. Yes, the Good News is that Jesus already PAID the debt owed on your behalf IF you place your total faith alone in Him. There is NO OTHER WAY this record will be pardoned. If saved, God won’t even open up these cabinets because His word says  “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:17) There is no need to because each file says in this depiction “PAID IN FULL by the blood of Jesus Christ”.

So it is up to you, there are just two paths on Judgment Day. The wide path by which many will try and argue their way out of this record of sin, or the narrow gate where you surrender to the fact that Jesus is the ONLY way this record of sin can be paid.

Understanding the Holy Standard

I has been quite evident, especially in today’s culture there is a vast difference between what human beings expect as a standard to go to heaven, and what the actual standard is.

I will attempt to demonstrate the Holy Standard by an analogy. Let’s say a parent of a child invoked a perfection standard on his or her children, such as if they failed in any way to meet this standard, the rule is the child would be kicked out of the house no matter how young they were or what their intelligence level was. It is simply, if they break one rule of a long list of rules, the child could no longer reside in the house. The child might have kept 100 of the rules, but one day broke just a minor rule, and that parent said “off you go, you are hereby evicted”.

Unbelievers and scoffers of God or those who don’t quite understand God’s holiness will instantly see it as unjust. Children are imperfect, so you would see that parent as being cruel, instead of the child’s rule breaking. There might be second, third, fourth chances we give to our children, but God doesn’t do this, His ways are not our ways. And it doesn’t make Him cruel, or non-understanding, it makes Him holy. Sin is His enemy, He cannot dwell in it, or Satan would also be seen as holy in this respect as well.

So the Holy Standard is ABSOLUTE perfection. You could say this is impossible to achieve, and you would be correct. And one misstep, one sin, and you are kicked out of His Kingdom not temporarily, but eternally! Ask Adam and Eve if you don’t believe me. Their simple disobedience caused them to be booted from the Garden, no second chance, no chance to make amends or restitution, God’s justice is perfect and holy, and there was no appeal.

If you don’t believe the Holy Standard from God, you then will scoff and mock at the remedy He provided. While knowing no human being could meet this impossible standard, God sent a Savior, His name is Jesus Christ. Jesus MET that Holy Standard on behalf of those who could not! Those who place their faith alone in Him, who entrust their soul to Him, instantly meet the standard thus satisfying God’s justice. They are now looked as meeting God’s Holy Standard!! This in a nutshell is called the Gospel, the Good News. Jesus died for you so that you now meet God’s sinless standard. You cannot be kicked out the Kingdom now, because of the absolute perfection Jesus graced you with! He not only pardoned you of all your sins, but He gave you His name as your Mediator which means that perfection standard has been met.

Does it mean when one sins after they had been saved, do they still meet the Holy Standard? Yes! Because justice has been satisfied, the sinner STILL meets God’s Holy Standard. It doesn’t mean one has a license to sin however, the saved sinner realizes what Jesus did on their behalf and naturally repents of sin, nor do they seek sin or desire sin. By His death, He paid the debt of each and every sin you committed, are committing, and will commit in this lifetime. NO BETTER NEWS than this! He placed you on the Holy Standard by His person and His work alone!

Trials are Actually Trails

James 1:2-3 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

Etymology is the study of the origins of words, so if you look carefully at the word “Trial”, if you switch the i and a, you come up with “Trail”. And if you study this further trials are actually trails.

It dawned on me today as I took my dog for a walk on a trail, that trials are trails. The premise is getting from point A to point B on a trail as well as a trial in your life. I have ignored this trail for a couple of weeks, because of the snow we had. Once we got on the trail, it was easier than I thought it would be. And we do this with various trials in our life as well, the same premise from getting from point A to point B. Some trials/trails are going to be easy, some will be VERY difficult.

Which leads me to the next word “try” which comes from the word “trial”. A criminal is tried in court, where prosecutor describes a trail, point A to point B of which the criminal committed. Or when faced with a trial in our life and we gave up, the response might be “well, I tried”. The trying is our action in the trial/trail.

And my personal opinion is that when faced with difficult trials/trails in our life, women have a much better “try” than men. Men think of a trial as a competition, women think of it as a completion. I think of a woman I know who had her third operation now for breast cancer. Her trail is a mud ridden swamp in the analogy, quicksand. On the other side of that swamp are her children who she will never give up trying to get to. I think of my Mom, faced with a terrible car accident and financial difficulty, never giving up on that extremely difficult trail which is like climbing a hill in 20 feet of snow. I think of the women with Jesus, faced with immediate persecution did not give up trying and were there with Him at the Cross as He died, while every Apostle except for John were cowering in their homes, and probably regretted this for as long as they lived.

Sometimes on a trial/trail in your life, where that be a relationship, financially, a death, a crisis, a serious health issue, you will look behind or look back and see that you had no trail behind you, no footsteps, and that is when God literally CARRIED you on that trail. Sometimes during a trial, the enemy whispers “just give up, you’ll never make it”, and sometimes he wins.

One thing about trials/trails is they don’t vanish. You can’t ignore them thinking “just go away”, they remain and we are tasked to go on them. The key is to completing ANY trial, whether it be easy or difficult is that you turn to God to help you through it. Sometimes He’ll give us a trail as that mud ridden swamp or 20 foot of snow to trudge through so that we have NO PLACE OTHER TO TURN, than to Him.

As James mentioned, “count it all joy” because the trial/trail produced something, your faith and patience. I am the type of person who at times when given a trial, I get so obsessed in the completion of it, that sometimes I miss that part about patience. And if you aren’t patient, frustration will come on the trail.

Some trails like a trail my dog and I go on will be difficult every day. There is one which gets snow blown in every day and we have to trudge through it making it new again. The same can be said for our many trials. We might have thought the trial was over, only to realize it wasn’t over and we must do it all over again. “Count in all joy”, and learn that you already completed the trail, so you can do it again.

Thanks be to God for the trials/trails we complete! If not for Him, we’d still be stuck at point A instead of ever even attempting to get to to point B, the completion.

Lastly, I think of Jesus Christ’s trial/trail. Born in a lonely manger, His trail was leading to His ultimate death on the Cross. And even He faced much difficulty, as He asked that this trial be removed in my estimation NOT because He feared death, but because He would be seperated from the Father and Holy Spirit while He took on our sins so that we could be forgiven. So yes, God understands your difficult trials, He can empathize with every tear and heartache and anxiety you are feeling. Turn to Him, and turn to Him alone and He will help you through the end of the trail!

Are You Ready to be Enlightened

When I was reborn, Scripture suddenly was understood. The words were literally jumping off the page. There was a newness as I kept asking myself “HOW DID I MISS THIS?”

The only way this occurred was that my mind was opened by God. His enlightenment was awesome. Before this time, I really didn’t understand His word outside of importing my own presuppositions mainly from what I was taught by the Roman Catholic Church. A presupposition is our personal conditions placed on a teaching, preconceived notions as to what that teaching in Scripture is supposed to say. And if that presupposition is WRONG, you can find yourself in a juggernaut. Many parts of Scripture will not make sense, and it is disjointed.

I recall the person witnessing to me as she said “maybe we shouldn’t read Romans, it is a very hard book, very convicting”, as if I was not ready to be enlightened. Little did she know, that was all that was needed for me to say “no, let’s READ IT NOW”. And she was correct in one respect, it was very convicting for me personally because of what I had been taught and believed before this enlightenment. Each time I was tempted to import my personal presupposition, I stopped myself, only by the grace of God.

The only correct presupposition to have while reading or studying Scripture is that this is God’s holy word, His revelation, His inspiration, and that He is God, all knowing, omniscient, sovereign, omnipotent. Without that correct presupposition, again Scripture will turn into a gobbly gook of misunderstood doctrines.

I have viewed many testimonies of the saved, and they all mirror my own. There was a point in time when Scripture started to make total sense!

Are you ready to be enlightened? Only you and God would know the answer to this question. But I can say if you aren’t ready, you will continue to be closed minded on your invented presuppositions. When that day comes for you, and I pray it did, or will come, you will be totally AMAZED, totally FLOORED, at just how BEAUTIFUL Scripture actually is and you will then see a systematic tie from Genesis all the way to the end of Revelation of ONE person, His name is Jesus Christ. If you aren’t seeing that tie, you are still importing false presuppositions.

Does Prayer Need Perfection?

Thinking about the Almighty God and our prayers this morning, it dawned on me that many don’t pray because they were taught, told, or believe that there is some secret formulation of words to God that must be said, or God won’t listen.

The number one thing you should understand, is God knows everything. And part of this knowing everything is that He knows you are an imperfect human being and your prayers no matter what you say, are never going to be perfect. God isn’t some snot-nosed teacher red-lining your grammar, no, He is a God of pure love. And in this love He accepts your prayers no matter how long, how broken, how convoluted, how short, how disjointed, and yes your bad grammar as well, because He understands your heart, your intent, what you actually are trying to tell Him well before you thought He did.

So when Paul said “pray without ceasing”, the only way this could be possible is if God does accept imperfection in those prayers. To me, prayer is COMMUNING with God, you believe you are speaking to Him right with you each and every step. God doesn’t take appointments on just Sundays as is the mindset by some, His office is ALWAYS open, day and night. So when for example one says “please pray for”…you can do so instantaneously, you don’t need to wait until work is over, or when you get home, or this coming Sunday, pray NOW.

And it doesn’t have to be well thought out, again God knows what you are asking, He can discern your intent. It is more important in my view that you are communing with Him instead of placing conditions on non-existent things God might demand.

Now this doesn’t mean we should pray frivolously or with any disrespect, it means don’t overthink your prayers. God knows your thoughts, He knows everything, so tell Him, talk to Him day and night! He is never going to be too busy, His light is always on!

The more you pray, the more your relationship GROWS with God! If you talk to Him once a week or once a year for some, don’t expect that relationship to be a close one. Grow your relationship by praying without ceasing!

Newness of Life

The Psalmist implores, “SING A NEW SONG”, meaning the Lord desires NEWNESS. That “new song” for you could be a repentance of sin, a new way of walking in your life. The old worn out tired prayers need a newness from you. If something has shown that it wasn’t working such as a sinful lust, rid yourself of it! Try something new!

I recall Phil Robertson’s testimony, he said when he was reborn a preacher came and told him the Good News. He asked “now what do I do? I am such a sinful person” The preacher said “well, try something new for a change, try to be good”. And Robertson’s response was “gee, you’re right, I never tried that before”. The old ways were getting him nowhere, so he’d try this “new song” and his life has been spent 40-50 years now sharing the Gospel each and every day.

I can relate as well in my own testimony. My old song was Roman Catholicism, trying to be moral and pious once a week out of guilt wasn’t working. The rest of the week I was ungodly immoral. My walk was granted a NEW song by God in 2011 and I never looked back. I left Roman Catholicism and my evil ways and tried this new walk. I have been in joy and peace ever since!

So if you haven’t done so, try a NEW way! Out with the old, and in with the NEW. Have you ever played the same song over and over again? After awhile it gets worn out, it lacks luster and appeal. That is the analogy towards sin. It might give you temporary fleeting joy, so you play it over and over again. Over time there is no joy, it is boring.

I think of political figures who repeat the same old song at their rallies and speeches, over time it gets boring and worn out and people lose interest. Again, TRY A NEW SONG!

Forget about useless New Years resolutions which last a day, a week, a month, and sing the Lord a NEW SONG. Repent and follow Him. Try reading and studying His word and making that your FIRST and LAST priority, and I promise a peace without total understanding will come to your life!