Hearing and Not Doing

he real test of love is what we do with the truth we understand. It is really not very hard to convince people of what is right, but it is very difficult to convince them to obey. Doesn't that tell us something important? Satan knows that faith without works is dead, and he also knows that continued transgression grieves away the Holy Spirit. His most concentrated attack is upon the will, and obviously, he is having great success in causing people to postpone obedience. The longer they wait, the greater their chance of waiting longer, and the greater their danger of driving away the Holy Spirit.

Jesus faced the same problem in His own ministry. He had to taste the bitter heartache of seeing people turn away from truth. The crowd stayed until He got into some hard thing that required sacrifice and action. Then they all left. That is the most shattering experience for any preacher or teacher. I know because I've seen a few walk out too. I'm not comparing myself with Jesus, but every soul winner can empathize with Christ when He asked His disciples, "Will ye also go away?" Then Peter answered, "Where would we go?" What a question! Where do you go after hearing the full, unadulterated truth? Surely there is no need to look further for it, and additional light will only come after you obey what you have.

There is only one safe thing to do with truth—obey it! You cannot get over it, around it, or through it. It won't go away, and it will not change. We don't break God's law; it breaks us if we disobey it.

How can a person know if he has committed the unpardonable sin? The answer to that question is simple and easy. No one has grieved away the Holy Spirit who still has a conviction of sin and a drawing to God. Those who search and seek after truth have not yet passed the point of no return. But since the Spirit does not announce when the last pleading call is made to the heart, no one should be presumptuous enough to disobey willfully a single known truth. The most deadly danger facing anyone today is to insult the Spirit of God by refusing obedience to His conviction. The results are the same regardless of the words we might use to justify it. The end is always separation from God.

The most deceptive aspect of the unpardonable sin is the seeming comfort with which people are able to live without God. Their lives are finally free from the conflicting turmoil of struggling with conscience. It did not happen overnight, but the nagging convictions grow fainter and fainter, blending at last into a very comfortable, satisfied lifestyle.

No Christian should marvel at this amazing peace of mind which the unconverted seem to display. That deadly malaise is only apparent in those who no longer have two voices and two natures contending for the mastery. With the Holy Spirit gone, the flesh enjoys uncontested control over the heart and life. No more spiritual battles rage, and the unpardonable sin appears to have brought a measure of relief. But that mirage covers an empty soul, bereft of any capacity to pray or to trust.

Often, in my public crusade meetings, people express concern that they might have driven away the Holy Spirit. Even while they listen to the messages night by night, they are filled with fear that they have committed the unpardonable sin. To such I can give a clear and positive assurance that they are not guilty of this sin. If so, they would never be concerned about the things of God. Certainly they would not be found in the place of prayer and Bible study, expressing concern over their relationship to God. Obviously, the Holy Spirit is still drawing them and creating a desire for truth and salvation.

On the other hand, no one should feel secure from this sin who is walking contrary to the light God has revealed. Every person who is deliberately sinning will continue moving inexorably toward that fatal moment when the conscience is no longer able to respond to the Spirit's call. Our only safety, each moment, is to know that we are claiming the grace of God to obey every ray of light and truth which falls upon our pathway.

Library of Sermons

1.

Armageddon

2.

Can a Saved Man Choose to Be Lost?

3.

Does God's Grace Blot Out the Law?

4.

Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears

5.

How Evolution Flunked the Science Test

6.

Is It Easier to Be Saved or to Be Lost?

7.

Man's Flicker or God's Flame

8.

Satan in Chains

9.

Satan's Confusing Counterfeits

10.

Spirits From Other Worlds

11.

Thieves in the Church

12.

Why God Said Remember

13.

Why the Old Covenant Failed

14.

The High Cost of the Cross

15.

Hell-Fire

16.

Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning?

17.

Blood Behind the Veil

18.

Spirits of the Dead

19.

The Brook Dried Up

20.

Death in the Kitchen

21.

The Search for the True Church

22.

Is It a Sin to Be Tempted?

23.

Is Sunday Really Sacred?

24.

Heaven ... Is It for Real?

25.

Rendezvous in Space

26.

Christ's Human Nature

27.

Point of No Return

28.

The Rich Man and Lazarus

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