34-36 Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave is a transient, who can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.
I was born a sinner according to Scripture, with a natural propensity to rebel against God's plan for my life.
Does that mean 'there ain't no other way?"
If I choose to embrace my 'sinner-heritage', because I was born this way, life would actually be quite simple for me. Just go with the flow. Do what I 'feel' like.
Think about it for a minute with me.
What if we all just went along with what 'feels so right' at the moment?
Do you cringe at some of the poor judgement you exercised at certain times of your life?
But it felt right at that time, didn't it? But looking back now, you know it was 'foolish'.
People kill, maim, wound, abuse others, because they went with the flow of their emotions, their current thought processes.
It almost seems that Lady Gaga is saying that anything goes, no boundaries exists, and that's what it means to be free.
But is it?
Or is it licentiousness, which according to the dictionary is:
1. sexually unrestrained; lascivious; libertine; lewd.
2. unrestrained by law or general morality; lawless; immoral.
3. going beyond customary or proper bounds or limits; disregarding rules.
(I found this really interesting blog post about this, here.)
The Bible says that choosing to stay in your sinful state, to disregard the moral law of God, leads you to a place where sin is full-blown: hell.
R.C. Sproul talks about hell in this article and says:
"...Almost all the biblical teaching about hell comes from the lips of Jesus. It is this doctrine, perhaps more than any other, that strains even the Christian’s loyalty to the teaching of Christ. Modern Christians have pushed the limits of minimizing hell in an effort to sidestep or soften Jesus’ own teaching. The Bible describes hell as a place of outer darkness, a lake of fire, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, a place of eternal separation from the blessings of God, a prison, a place of torment where the worm doesn’t turn or die. These graphic images of eternal punishment provoke the question, should we take these descriptions literally or are they merely symbols?...
...Hell, then, is an eternity before the righteous, ever-burning wrath of God, a suffering torment from which there is no escape and no relief. Understanding this is crucial to our drive to appreciate the work of Christ and to preach His gospel.
The suffering of hell is beyond any experience of misery found in this world.
- Hell is clearly included in the teaching of Jesus.
- If the biblical descriptions of hell are symbols, then the reality will be worse than the symbols.
- Hell is the presence of God in His wrath and judgment.
- There is no cruelty in hell. Hell will be a place of perfect justice.
- Hell is eternal. There is no escape through either repentance or annihilation.
Biblical passages for reflection: Matthew 8:11-12, Mark 9:42-48, Luke 16:19-31, Jude 1:3-13, Revelation 20:11-15...."
But God loved us so much, He provided a Way for us to be delivered from the inevitable end of going our own way.
John 3:16 (AMP)
16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
And to top it off, we don't have to 'do' anything to claim this deliverance, He provided The Way, through His Son as seen in this animation:
All we need to do, is say "no" to our natural sin-self, turn away from it, and say "yes" to the salvation offered to us and invite Jesus, in whom the very nature of God rests, to invade our hearts and give to us a new freedom, to bloom and flourish in true freedom within God's moral boundaries.
(Listen to Piper talk about freedom in Christ here.)
But really, if you have ever read C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, you know there is an intelligent being working full-time with great passion to deceiving the minds and hearts of the apple of God's eye, His most treasured creation: us, you and me.
What motivates him?
And he, Satan, as the Bible calls him, coats the the way to destruction as desirable to us and it caters to our sin-self, the self that wants to rebel, be independent of God's laws.
Just read the story of Adam and Eve:
Genesis 3:1-6: “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.”’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”
But, even though we know that, we still tend to be deceived because we do not arm ourselves with the truth of God's Word, our only defense against the lies of Satan.
Our college students are always in the height of battle even though they are mostly unaware. There is an insidious undermining of all spiritual values at a time where many are beginning to think on their own, away from their parents. There is a subtle teaching that their Biblical upbringing was holding them back from being who they really are, a subtle mocking of Bibilical values that lends itself to being ashamed and embarassed, a subtle leading to creating a self-righteousness that allows everyone to be what they feel they should be, to political correctness.
Listen to Ravi Zacharias as he talks about what our students face in university here.
So, if you have children in college, pray for them, their minds, pray that the truth of the Word they grew up with will become alive in Living Truth in their minds.
If your children are still at home, ensure you fill their minds with the Truth of God's Word, so that in the future they will live "...
9 How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed and keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to it].
104 Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Sing with me Jesus, Hope of the Nations by Brian Doerksen: