In the previous issue, (in Part 1), we read of some people who resisted sin and others who did not. This article will continue from where the previous one ended last month. Jesus resisted sin with the words, “thus saith the Lord.” Brethren, the devil is real; he always watches for an opportunity to tempt you. “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” James 1:14
“A man is tempted to sin when some attractive object or indulgence is presented to him, and he is drawn to overstep principle, and to violate his conscience in doing that which he knows to be wrong.” –The Signs of the Times, December 18, 1893
“Without holiness, the Word of God tells us, no one can see the Lord. Without purity of life it is impossible for us to be fitted and prepared to dwell with the holy and sinless angels in a pure and holy Heaven. No sin can be there. No impurity can enter the pearly gates of the golden city of God. And the question for us to settle is, whether we will turn from all sin and comply with the conditions God has given us, that we may become His sons and daughters.” –The Review and Herald, April 12, 1870
“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 good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:4–6
“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.” Matthew 12:43–44
“The garnished house represents the self-righteous soul. Satan is driven out by Christ. But he returned, in the hope of finding entrance. He finds the house empty, swept, and garnished. Only self-righteousness is abiding there. ‘Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.’” –The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1093
“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. 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 them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:20–22. My brother and sister, we need to guard every step that we take, after knowing the truth. If we become careless, our end may be worse than our beginning.
Guard the Avenues of the Soul
The Lord Jesus wants all of us to guard the avenues of our soul. This is the only way we will be conquerors at last. The devil is on our track day by day, watching for every weak spot that we may have.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence;” is the counsel of the wise man, “for out of it are the issues of life.” As a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 4:23; 23:7
“Our only safety is to be shielded by the grace of God every moment, and not put out our own spiritual eyesight so that we will call evil, good, and good, evil. Without hesitation or argument, we must close and guard the avenues of the soul against evil.” –My Life Today, p. 87
“Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you.” Amos 5:14
“All should guard the senses, lest Satan gain victory over them; for these are the avenues of the soul.” –The Adventist Home, p. 401
“Yet we have a work to do to resist temptation. Those who would not fall a prey to Satan’s devices must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. The mind should not be left to wander at random upon every subject that the adversary of souls may suggest…. This will require earnest prayer and unceasing watchfulness.” –My Life Today, p. 85
Resistance Is Weakened by Opening the Door—“Do not see how close you can walk upon the brink of a precipice, and be safe. Avoid the first approach to danger. The soul’s interests cannot be trifled with. Your capital is your character. Cherish it as you would a golden treasure. Moral purity, self-respect, a strong power of resistance, must be firmly and constantly cherished. There should not be one departure from reserve; one act of familiarity, one indiscretion, may jeopardize the soul, in opening the door to temptation, and the power of resistance becomes weakened.” –Medical Ministry, p. 143
“If there is any way by which Satan can gain access to the mind, he will sow his tares, and cause them to grow until they will yield an abundant harvest. In no case can Satan obtain dominion over the thoughts, words, and actions, unless we voluntarily open the door and invite him to enter. He will then come in, and by catching away the good seed sown in the heart, make of none effect the truth.” –The Review and Herald, July 11, 1893
“We shall pass through this world only once. Let us, then, be careful how we speak and act. Let us be careful where we place our feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. Let us so live that God can make us partakers of the divine nature, enabling us to obtain victories, and to overcome as Christ overcame.
“God asks us to live only one day at a time. You need not look a week or a month ahead. Today do your best. Today speak and act in a way that will honor God. The promise is, ‘As thy days, so shall thy strength be.’” –Ibid., April 14, 1904
“God will accept nothing but purity and holiness; one spot, one wrinkle, one defect in the character, will forever debar them from heaven, with all its glories and treasures.” –Maranatha, p. 53
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23–24
“This life and death question is before the whole human race. The choice we make in this life will be our choice through all eternity. We shall receive either eternal life or eternal death. There is no middle ground, no second probation. We are called upon to overcome in this life as Christ overcame. Heaven has provided us with abundant opportunities and privileges, so that we may overcome as Christ overcame, and sit down with Him on His throne. But in order to be overcomers, there must be in our lives no petting of fleshly inclinations. All selfishness must be cut out by the roots (Letter 156, 1900).” –The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1112
“We are not to follow our own will and judgment and flatter ourselves that God will come to our terms…. That which looks unimportant to you may be of the highest consequence in God’s special plans for the preservation of your life or the salvation of your soul. God tests our faith by giving us some part to act in connection with His interposition in
our behalf. To those who comply with the conditions His promise will be fulfilled.” –In Heavenly Places, p. 150
Reach the Goal Set Before You
Jesus wants to. “present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:27
“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3
We should take a daily inventory of our lives and see to which group we belong. How many of us are sure we are on the Lord’s side and that God will finally take us to His holy mountain? The apostle Paul had this confidence because he wrote: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7–8
“No one will be borne upward without stern, persevering effort in his own behalf. All must engage in this warfare for themselves; no one else can fight our battles. Individually we are responsible for the issues of the struggle; though Noah, Job, and Daniel were in the land they could deliver neither son nor daughter by their righteousness.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 453
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12
Christ has given us the wisdom and strength to fight the foe. We have an eternity and a crown of life to win. We need to turn our eyes upon Jesus and read the Bible as our guidebook.
“It will not be safe for you to wait for a better time to come. It is while it is called today. If anyone will hear His voice, harden not your hearts. It is to listen today to the invitation of mercy. It is to yield your pride, your folly, your vanity, and make an entire surrender of your heart to God. Come to Him with your talents and all the influence you have, and lay all these without reserve at the feet of Him who died on Calvary’s cross to redeem you.” –The Review and Herald, April 12, 1870
Dear reader, the call is now—today; we must not wait for any better opportunity, because we never know what tomorrow holds. We need the transforming power of God today.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18
“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12–14
Finally, I encourage each one of you to examine your life with deep repentance in the fear of God. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1
God bless us all, Amen.