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God’s Attitude Toward Sinners

17

Wang Yan

The last days are here, the prophecies in the Bible have basically all been fulfilled, and brothers and sisters all look forward to the Lord coming to receive us into the kingdom of heaven. But many brothers and sisters in the Lord are asking: Although we go to church every week to give worship, and we often read the Bible and we expend ourselves and work for the Lord, we are always committing sins in the daytime and then confessing in the evening, living in this vicious spiral, and we can never free ourselves from the bonds of sin. If things carry on this way, will the Lord really forgive us, and receive us into the kingdom of heaven? How exactly does the Lord treat sinners?

committing sins in the daytime and then confessing in the evening

When we talk about God’s attitude toward sinners, brothers and sisters all understand this subject differently. For example, some believe that when the Lord Jesus was crucified, He absolved us of all our sins. They believe that, whether they are previous sins or sins that we will commit in the future, they have all already been absolved, the Lord doesn’t see us as sinners anymore and we will surely enter into the kingdom of heaven; some brothers and sisters believe that if we believe in the Lord Jesus in our hearts and acknowledge Him with our mouths, then we have been justified by faith, and we are forever saved, and that when the Lord returns we will surely be raptured up into the kingdom of heaven; then there are those brothers and sisters who believe that the Lord is merciful and loving, and that no matter how great our sins, the Lord will forgive us and absolve us of them, that ultimately the Lord will surely lead us into the kingdom of heaven, and on that day we will enjoy the blessings of the heavenly kingdom together with the Lord. I also used to believe that the Lord had taken all our sins upon Himself, that we were no longer sinful, and that the Lord would absolve us of any sin we committed. Because I took this view, I didn’t think much of the sins I committed every day, to the point where I even indulged myself, and my sins grew apace. But when I saw God says, “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Lev 11:45), and these words in the Bible: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb 12:14), I felt very uneasy, and I thought: Yes, God is holy, and how can I, the sinner that I am, who commits sins every day and displeases the Lord, earn the Lord’s praise? How will the Lord treat such a sinner as me? Later, through an investigation of the Bible, I came to some new light which I’d like to share with you.

 Lord Jesus

I saw that the Lord Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever” (Jhn 8:34-35). And Hebrews 10:26-27 says: “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” When I read these verses of scripture, I then knew what God’s attitude toward sinners is. To God, whether people believe in Him or not, all who commit sin are the slaves of sin, they all belong to Satan and are the enemies of God, and people like this can never enter into the kingdom of heaven. Moreover, if someone intentionally commits sin after they’ve come to believe in God, there is no longer any sin offering they can make and their sins will not be absolved by God. People like this are not only unable to enter into the kingdom of heaven, but they will also be destroyed by God for their sins, and will suffer the appropriate punishment. This made me think of these words in Revelation: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Rev 22:11-12). From these words, we can see that God determines people’s ends according to their deeds; those who do righteous deeds are rewarded, and those who do evil are punished. Thinking of how we believe in the Lord, although our sins were absolved, we still commit sins despite ourselves, we often lie and cheat for the sake of fame, fortune and status, we make excuses and quibble when we encounter issues and, so as to avoid taking responsibility, we can even frame others and shift the blame onto others; when we encounter natural or man-made disasters, trials and tribulations, we blame God and betray Him; in particular, when God’s work is at odds with our own conceptions, we deny God, condemn God and defy God; though we may nominally believe in God, we still worship and follow people; if we come to have status, then we exalt ourselves and bear witness to ourselves like the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees of old, and we take God’s place and make others worship us and look to us, we envy those who are good and able, and we act on our own personal preferences; some also covet the pleasures of sin and follow the evil trends of the world, and so on. We are still living out the image of a sinner, and we are still the servants of sin, so how can we possibly enter into the kingdom of heaven? Especially over the past few years, we are all able to perceive that the church has lost the work and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and our God-fearing hearts have become weaker and weaker. We can clearly feel that we are keeping the Lord Jesus’ words less and less, our dispositions are becoming increasingly arrogant and conceited, crooked and deceitful, selfish and greedy, haughty and capricious, we are unable to put the Lord’s teachings into practice, and we can’t even stop ourselves from doing things we know to be sinful. As we all know, God is holy and God’s disposition is righteous and unoffendable! The kingdom of heaven is the holy land that permits no filth or stain—this is determined by God’s disposition and essence! As for us, who are mired so deeply in sin that we cannot extricate ourselves, if we are incapable of casting off our corrupt dispositions and being cleansed, then how will we obtain God’s praise and be led into the kingdom of heaven? Isn’t that just a pipe dream? What’s more, the Lord Jesus never said that man could enter into the kingdom of heaven because their sins had been absolved and they had been justified by faith, but instead He demanded that we confess and repent, and take on the likeness of new people. Therefore, the God we believe in, who will forever pardon our sins, who will not remember any of our sins no matter how many we commit, and our belief that when the Lord returns we will be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven, are just our own conceptions and imagination, and simply do not tally with the Lord’s will.

God’s Attitude Toward Sinners

Some brothers and sisters may raise questions, and will say: “We’ve believed in the Lord for many years and have worked very hard for Him. We can’t count how many churches we’ve established, and we’ve even been sent to prison. So even if we do commit sin, God will surely not abandon us!” If this was truly the case, then wouldn’t those Jewish Pharisees who traveled all over the lands and seas to spread the gospel, and yet defied and condemned the Lord Jesus, all have been able to enter into the kingdom of heaven? Why were they still condemned and cursed by the Lord Jesus? Wasn’t the Lord Jesus the loving and merciful God? How was He still able to condemn and curse them? Moreover, these people worked hard for God, so why didn’t the Lord Jesus pardon their sins? Regarding this question, these words of the Lord Jesus come to mind: “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Mat 7:21-23). And a book of truth also says: “Some people will end up saying, ‘I’ve done so much work for You, and though there may not have been celebrated achievements, still I have been diligent in my efforts. Can’t You just let me into heaven to eat the fruit of life?’ You must know what kind of people I desire; those who are impure are not permitted to enter into the kingdom, those who are impure are not permitted to besmirch the holy ground. Though you may have done much work, and have worked for many years, in the end if you are still deplorably filthy—it is intolerable to the law of Heaven that you wish to enter My kingdom!” (“Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Reading these words, I suddenly saw the light. It turns out that those who will enter the kingdom of heaven must indeed be those who cast off sin and are cleansed, who follow God’s way, and who obey God, worship God and love God. Those who spread the gospel and cast out demons in the Lord’s name but who don’t follow God’s way are evil-doers in the eyes of God. Just like those Jewish Pharisees—although they appeared pious on the outside, and they worked for God and suffered greatly all their lives, and paid much price, yet when the Lord Jesus incarnated to perform His work of redemption, they refused to accept it, much less submit to or practice the Lord Jesus’ words. Instead, they judged and condemned the Lord Jesus’ work, frantically resisted the Lord, and they even spread notions and rumors to deceive people and obstruct them from accepting the Lord Jesus’ work, and they nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross—by doing this, were they not openly opposing and contesting God? People like this, who simply will not repent, are truly Satan’s partners in crime and are Satan’s lackeys. They worm their way into the church especially to disrupt and demolish God’s work, and people like this have a God-defying essence, they are the enemies of God, and God will never allow hated enemies or the wicked to enter into His kingdom. From this, we are able to see that all who are incapable of practicing God’s words or of obeying God’s work are all unclean and unrighteous; if someone is unable to repent or to cast off their God-defying corrupt disposition, and they go on living in sin, then they are unclean, they are not a righteous person praised by God, but instead they are condemned. The kingdom of heaven is God’s kingdom, and God is holy, so if someone is unclean then how could they be qualified to enter into God’s kingdom and live together with Him? God is merciful and loving to man, but God is also righteous, and will never lead filthy and corrupt people into His kingdom. That is to say, whether or not we can enter into the kingdom of heaven in the end does not depend on how much work we do or how much we suffer, but most importantly it depends on whether or not our corrupt dispositions are changed and cleansed, whether or not we can practice God’s words, do God’s will, and whether or not we are people who love God, obey God and fear God. If we only rely on our own ardor to give things up, expend ourselves, spread the gospel, build churches and support other believers, but our own corrupt dispositions are not changed in the slightest, we still frequently commit sin, defy God and rebel against God, and we are unable to follow God’s way, then we will be evil-doers, and will be unable to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Thinking more about it, although we run all around expending ourselves, and we suffer and give everything up so as to spread the Lord’s name, yet we still conceal our own ulterior motives within us, and we don’t do these things to satisfy God or out of consideration for God’s will, but rather we wish to exchange our hard work for a beautiful destination in the future, to enter into the kingdom of heaven and be rewarded and given crowns. This kind of expending carries with it a deceptive nature, and is entirely us making deals with the Lord; in God’s eyes, this is us doing evil, and however much we suffer, God will not commend it. Furthermore, we don’t know God, and we don’t have God-fearing hearts. When God’s work is at odds with our conceptions, we act like those Jewish Pharisees, we arbitrarily judge and condemn God’s work, and we stubbornly cling to our own notions, deny God’s work and defy God. It can therefore be seen that, if we do not resolve our sinful natures, then we will be capable of committing sin, and defying and betraying God at any time and in any place. Our deeds can then only be condemned by God, so how could we possibly then enter into the kingdom of heaven? Only those who love the truth and can pursue the truth, whose belief in God no longer relies on their satanic dispositions or on their conceptions and imaginations, who can seek the truth and practice in accordance with God’s words in all things, who have achieved true obedience to and love for God, and who truly know God, can earn the Lord’s praise and be led by God into the kingdom of heaven. For example, those whom we know well—Abraham, Job and Peter—who had true faith in God, who sought to love and satisfy God, and who submitted absolutely to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, even though trials and tribulations befell them, they still didn’t blame or betray God. Moreover, they sought God’s will and practiced in accordance with God’s words in all things, and they bore beautiful and resounding witness to God—they were the ones most in keeping with God’s will.

Now we know God’s attitude toward sinners, and therefore we also naturally come to know how God sees us. So from now on, we should pursue the truth, cast off our corrupt dispositions and be cleansed, for only then can we win God’s blessings and be led by Him into the kingdom of heaven. So how can we free ourselves from the bonds of sin? I recommend everyone watch the movie The Moment of Change, and you will be shown the way.

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