by: MILTON GREEN
The Sin Unto Death
Carnal doctrines and false teachers are
leading congregations into a form of godliness. A form of godliness gives
congregations a false security and leads them to destruction. They will
not receive the discipline and reproof necessary to purify and sanctify
their hearts. Their hearts become hardened and the Word can have no place
We are warned that "false
prophets.. . false teachers... who privily (not easily discerned) shall
bring in damnable heresies, (forms of godiness)... and many shall follow
their pernicious (lascivious, sensual) ways; by reason of whom the way of
truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with
feigned words make merchandise of you, whose judgment now of a long time
lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not (God's judgment is on
them NOW). For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure
through the lusts of the flesh.., while they promise them liberty (no
judgment or curse will come upon you), they themselves are the servants of
corruption (flesh nature)" (2 Pet. 2:1- 3, 18, 19).
These false teachers will lead people
to turn away from the Word of God through fleshly desires and turn back to
the ways of the world: "For if after they have escaped the pollutions
of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse
with them than the beginning" (2 Pet. 2:20).
False teachers, through fleshly
desires, will lead congregations from the Word of God back to loving the
ways of the world. As they receive a false security and their hearts
return to loving the things of the world, their hearts then become
hardened to the Word of God. When this happens, the Word cannot sanctify
and purify their hearts because they are not led by the Spirit of God.
This is how a church falls away from the faith.
II Peter 2:21 says: "For it had
been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than,
after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto
Since they once knew the ways of
righteousness and have now turned away from their first love, they will
die in their sins because they have been overcome and captured again by
the ways of the world. "For if we sin willfully after that we have
received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for
sins" (Heb. 10:26). They die in their sins and rebellions.
Since they have put their trust in
false teachers and a false security, the Holy Spirit cannot lead them out
of darkness. If they had not first known the way of righteousness and then
hardened their hearts to God's Word, there would still be an opportunity
for them to yet learn God's righteousness. But, having learned God's
righteousness and having hardened their hearts to the holy commandment,
their hearts have now become too hardened to return to God's Word. They no
longer have a repentant heart. They cannot be perfected in love. They have
fallen away from the faith. THIS IS THE SIN UNTO DEATH!
"For it is impossible for those
who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were
made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the word of God, and the
powers of the world to come, if they should fall away, to renew them again
unto repentance (because they chose to love the very things which God
commanded them to turn from)" (Heb. 6:4-6).
Those who have fallen away are those
who have become so hardened to the Word of God they will no longer receive
the Word into their hearts. They now love other things more than they love
God. This is idolatry.
Listen carefully to the Word: "For
if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the
truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful
looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the
adversaries (as it did the children of Israel). For we know Him that hath
said, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And
again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into
the hands of the living God. Now the just shall live by faith (he
preserves, endures and overcomes): but if any man draw back, my soul shall
have no pleasure in him" (Heb. 10:26, 27, 30, 31, 38).
Only the ones who love the Lord with
all their hearts will not shrink back. They will receive the mercy and
blessings of God. God waits patiently for all others who have these idols
to repent and turn to God. If they do not turn, they are destroyed in
Paul said, "What if God, willing
to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much
longsuffering the vessels (children) of wrath fitted to destruction: and
that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy,
which He afore prepared unto glory" (Rom. 9:22, 23).
God endures with much patience as He
waits for us to come to the light and be perfected in love. If our hearts
are turned toward other things which we love more than God, we will resist
His Word and His Spirit and break His laws.
Therefore, His wrath permits the powers
of darkness to continue placing more and more bondage in our lives until
we are destroyed. The opposite of this is the vessel of mercy who does not
shrink back from the Word of God, but walks in faith as he perseveres,
endures and overcomes to be perfected in love.
Everyone who shrinks back from God does
so cause his heart has turned from God to love other things more than He
loves Christ. This, of course, is the falling away. If he does not repent
and turn back, he will be destroyed. "For ye have need of patience,
that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise But
we are not of them who draw back unto perditition; but of them that
believe to the saving of the soul" (H 10:36, 39).
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