By Kenneth Allan Clark
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982, by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by permission, all rights reserved.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
This verse from the Bible is all good news, but to the people of the world (who mostly have little or no understanding of the bad news) this good news means nothing to them.
I will tell you this parable. There was a man who lived on an Island in the middle of a river. One day he was rung by a policeman who said; “I have good news for you, a helicopter will be landing on the island in 5 minutes, to take you and your family off the Island.” The man says; “How come that is good news?” The policeman answers; “the dam up river has broken and in 10 minutes a huge wall of water will hit the Island. We must get you and your family off the Island or you will all perish.”
If the policeman had not told the man of the coming wall of water, or if the man had not believed. The man and his family would not have got on the helicopter and they would have all perished. But because the man was told the good news and he believed, both he and his family were saved. So it is only when you understand the bad news that good news becomes acceptable to you.
“For God so loved the world.” Who is the world? The people of the world are the world. “For God so loved (the people of) the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
God loves the people of the world, and looking down from above He see as it were, the gates of hell open wide and a huge wave of sin pouring out, threatening to engulf all the people of the world and sweep them away, to perish in the eternal fires of hell where sinners suffer eternal torment. Seeing this, God sends His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Not just to die for our sin, but also to be as it were, our helicopter that saves us from the wall of sin and snatches us from the jaws of hell. Then God by His Spirit takes us out of the kingdom of darkness, and translates us into the kingdom of heaven, where we shall “not perish but have everlasting life.”
So the danger is sin, sin that threatens to engulf us and sweep us away into the pit of hell.
Many would say; “I have not sinned. Why should I be swept away into the pit of hell? But God’s word says,
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
It is no use arguing. God is the supreme Judge and He says that you have sinned. But you may ask; “How have I sinned?” or “In what way have I sinned?”
There are two very good ways to describe sin.
1: It is to fall short of the glory of God.
2: It is living one’s life according to one’s own will. For example, to live one’s life according to the will of God the Father is to live in righteousness. While to live one’s life according to one’s own will, is to live in sin.
Some would say that to obey the Law is to live in righteousness and to disobey the Law is to live in sin. But God’s Word says that there was sin in the world before the Law was given (Romans 5:13). Even before the Law was given, Adam, the first man on earth sinned.
The word sin comes from an old English word that was used to describe the fall of an arrow when it fell short of its target. The bowman would fire his arrow at the target, and if it fell short the judge would cry out sin! Our target is the glory of God, and without Jesus Christ as both our Savour and Lord we cannot hit the target. Our arrow will always fall short of the target and the Judge will cry out sin! And we will perish because of our sin. But if we know Jesus Christ as both our Savour and Lord, when we fire our arrow Jesus will always carry it to the target, and in the eyes of God the Father, our Judge, we will never miss the glory of God. Thus we will “not perish but have everlasting life.”
Has it always been this way? No. In the beginning, both Adam and Eve were created without sin. Therefore whenever they aimed for the glory of God, they always hit the target, they couldn’t miss. Until one day, in taking and eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam deliberately chose to fall short of God’s glory, allowing sin to enter the world and the Judge cried out sin!
Because Adam deliberately shot his arrow short of the mark, all mankind inherited a weakness towards sin. What we some times call the fallen sin nature of mankind. Now no matter how hard one tries to hit the target, his arrow will always fall short of the glory of God, the Judge will cry out sin! And the punishment for sin always has been and always will be eternal death, which is to be cast into the pit of hell to be tormented forever and ever.
I know many of you will cry, “Hay that’s not fair! If it is impossible for me not to sin, why should I be eternally punished for my sin?”
There was a grandfather who took his three grandchildren to the beach for the day. After a long enjoyable day together, granddad put his grandchildren back in the car and headed on back home. But granddad was not as fit and as young as he once was. He over extended himself. Then on the way home, just as the car was approaching red traffic lights, he fell asleep and drove through the red light. A large truck slams into his car killing all three of his grandchildren.
In the world that we live in today we are always looking for someone to blame. Granddad was basically a good man who had nothing but good motives. A man who was trying to do the right thing, but then he fell asleep at the wheel of his car, drove through a red light and his grandchildren are all killed. Who is to blame? It’s not the truck driver’s fault. It’s not Satan’s fault. We cannot even blame God. There is only one person to blame and it is granddad. Granddad tried to do the right thing, he was aiming for the glory of God, but his arrow fell short of the mark and the Judge cried out sin.
Granddad knows that he did wrong. God knows that granddad did wrong. The rest of the family knows that granddad did wrong. As a result of this granddads peace with God and his family is shattered. How does granddad restore his peace with his family?
First he needs to admit that he did wrong and that he alone is responsible for the deaths of his grandchildren.
Secondly he is overcome by a Godly sorrow. He is not just sorry because he has been found guilty in both the eyes of God and his family. Being sorry because you have been found guilty is not godly sorrow. No, granddad is sorry because he loves his grandchildren and he loves his family who he knows are suffering just as much over the loss his grandchildren as he is.
Thirdly, in his grief he needs to express his sorrow to his family and ask for them to forgive him. Then fourthly, if the family can find it in their hearts to forgive granddad, peace will be restored to that family.
It is not until the issues of guilt and forgiveness are put behind them, the family can then go though the process of grieving and healing.
In the same way, granddad will know no peace with God, until he admits to God that he has sinned and confesses to God, “It is my fault and my fault alone that my grandchildren are now dead. Father please forgive me.” In his grief he needs to approach God, with an understanding that God is his Father. That God to is grieving over the loss of the children, and He to is sharing family’s loss and pain. As Granddad comes before God, he needs to be willing to share with God in this time of grief. And God will bring forgiveness, healing and restoration to that family.
What of the grandchildren? God’s word makes it clear, that we who are in Christ should not be sorrowful for those who sleep in Jesus. For death is not the end, but the door from this life to the next, and we shall all meet again in the resurrection.
I Thessalonians 2:14 For if we believe Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Yes we are sorrowful for the lost of the children, but we comfort each other with these truths. Our children are now with the Lord in a better place. And one day we shall all be together again.
If granddad’s family had just cried out, “it’s not fair!” And not found it in their hearts to forgive one another, that family would have become full of hate, anger and bitterness (All of which are sins). God’s word is clear, if we don’t forgive others for their sin, then God will not forgive our sin either. Through the parable of the unmerciful servant (Matt 18:21 – 35) Jesus tells us two things.
1: No matter how many times our brother (or granddad) sins against us, we should forgive him every time.
2: Unless we forgive our brother from our heart, neither will God our heavenly Father forgive us.
Then in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:12) Jesus teaches us to pray, Lord forgive us as we forgive others. Let us learn to love one another, let us learn to forgive one anther.
Let us not stand there crying, “that’s not fair!” while sin engulf us. Let us instead turn to God and cry out “Lord have mercy on us, for we have sinned and we have fallen short of your glory.” God who loves you very much will have mercy on you and through Jesus Christ - God will save you from your sin.
Colossians 1:13 God has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the of the Son of His love, 14 In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of Sin.
When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savour, we are redeemed from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Through the blood of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven of all our sins, past, present and future. We have all sinned and the penalty for sin is death. God, who is a just God, demands that the penalty of death for our sins be paid. But God is also a merciful and loving God towards mankind. That is why He has sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sin.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Earlier I said that there are two very good ways of describing sin.
1: It is to fall short of the glory of God.
2: It is living one’s life according to one’s own will. Example, to live one’s life according to the will of God the Father, is to live in righteousness. While to live one’s life according to one’s own will, is to live in sin.
In the beginning, when God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, He gave Adam authority under God to rule over the kingdoms of this world. But when Adam chose to eat of the forbidden fruit, he not only sinned by falling short of the glory of God. He also sinned by putting Satan’s will before God’s will in his life. In so doing, Adam handed over the kingdoms of this world, over to Satan.
You doubt that that Satan is the ruler over the kingdoms of the world. In Matthew chapter 3 verses 8 – 9 we read that Satan offered the kingdoms of this world to Jesus Christ to rule over, if He would only fall down and worship Satan. In John 12:31 & 14:30 Jesus recognizes Satan the ruler of this world. Then in Revelation 11:15 we are told that it is not until the second coming of Jesus Christ, that the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.
So until the second coming of Jesus Christ, the people of this world remain subjects of Satan, and slaves to sin. They cannot help but sin because they are slaves to sin. You don’t need to teach a child to sin. It comes to him naturally; it is his inherited nature to sin. That is why we need to train our children to live their lives according to God’s will and not according to their own will. So that when they understand the will of God, they can choose to repent (turn from sin to righteousness) and ask Jesus Christ into their lives as their Lord and Saviour. Then they will be born again, out of the kingdom of darkness (where sin reigns) and into the kingdom of heaven (where righteousness reigns).
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slave to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
You may say, “I am no one’s slave, I am my own boss, no body tells me what to do, I’m not governed by either God’s will or Satan’s will, I am governed by my own will, I do my own thing, I go my own way and no body tells me what to do.”
You know why Satan fell? He did not want to live his life according to God’s will, he wanted to live his life according to his own will, to go his own way and have no body to tell him what to do. That is why in the end Satan is going to be thrown into the lake of fire, to be tormented forever and ever. Satan does not want to go there alone he wants to take you there with him. That is why it is Satan’s will, that you like him choose to live your life according to your own will and go your own way.
Do you know the number one and the number two sin in the world today? They are following the crowd and going your own way. You say, “But everyone is doing it, they can not all be wrong.”
But Jesus Christ says in Matthew chapter 7, verses 13 & 14,
Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many that go by it. 14 “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Why follow the crowd, for they are heading to the gates of hell and on to destruction? Follow Jesus Christ, because He is the way to life and He is the gate into the kingdom of heaven.
In New Zealand they have many sheep and sheep have this habit of following the crowd. If one sheep runs off, no matter whether it runs towards safety or towards danger, all the other sheep will follow. Knowing this, most meat works have a number of trained sheep. So that when they want to sift a large number of sheep to the killing floor, all they have to do is put one of these trained sheep in with the other sheep. The trained sheep will then run straight to the killing floor, and all the other sheep will follow to their destruction.
The people of the world are not much different. It only takes one person of influence to change the direction of the crowd and we all want to follow the crowd. Yet when someone in authority tells us not to follow the crowd, we tell them, “You can’t tell me what to do, I just want to do my own thing and follow the crowd. Everybody else is doing it, it can’t be wrong.”
It is written in God’s Word,
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
In plan English, this it what it says. We have all gone astray. We are all following the crowd and heading towards destruction. We have turn from living our lives according to God’s will. Therefore Jesus Christ is no longer our Lord and we are no longer living in God’s kingdom. Instead we are now going our own way, living our lives according to our will.
Therefore we are now living in Satan’s kingdom and have become slaves of sin. Because we are slaves to sin, we cannot help but sin, even when we try to do good. But wait there is good news, we have a redeemer and His name is Jesus Christ. God has laid on Him the punishment due to all of us. Therefore you need not perish for your sin. Instead by repenting and accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour your sins will be forgiven, you will be delivered from the kingdom of darkness and conveyed into the kingdom of heaven. You will no longer be a slave of sin. Instead from now on you will be a slave of righteousness.
What are the steps to salvation?
1: Recognizing that you are a sinner and that Jesus Christ is the only way by which man may be saved.
2: Confess your sins. (Confess that you have fallen short of the glory of God, that you have lived your life according to your own will and that you have followed others on the road to destruction) Confess your sorrow that you have sinned and caused grief and suffering to others.
3: Repent (Turn from sin to righteousness). Tell Jesus that you no longer want to be a slave of sin. Instead, from now on you want to be a slave of righteousness.
4: Confess your willingness to accept Jesus Christ has your Lord and Savour and ask Jesus to become your Lord and Saviour.
5: Your sins will be forgiven, you will be born again and you will be delivered from the powers of darkness and conveyed into the kingdom of heaven.
To the reader,
If this book has challenged you to turn from sin to righteousness, why not take the five steps to salvation. Your sins will be forgiven and you will be born again into the kingdom of heaven. Talk daily to God and read your Bible daily. Find a Christian Church that believes and teaches that Jesus Christ is God come to earth in the flesh, born of the virgin Mary, and that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of all mankind, He rose again on the third day and is now seated with God the Father in the heavens. A church that believes in speaking in tongues, casting out demons, the laying on of hands for the healing of the sick, and a church that baptizes all who repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savour. Ask them to baptize you by immersion under the water, as a public declaration of your repentance for the forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus Christ. Tell your friends and family of your knew found faith and belief in Jesus, ask them to come to your baptism, and your life will never be the same again.
May God bless you and keep you.
From God’s servant and yours
On “Sin, Godly Sorrow, Repentance & Forgiveness”
This book, just like any other book that helps us understand God, the kingdom of heaven and above all God’s plan of redemption through Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God, will have it’s critics, both positive and negative. These notes are to counter some of the possible negative criticisms.
Does God punish us for accidents? Some times accidents happen, because of our own or some body else’s stupidity. Maybe a child who is playing close too a cliff and falls over the edge. Does God punish the child? I believe not, but as a consequence the child may be killed. Maybe someone is to blame, maybe not, but it is our fallen human nature to blame someone or even blame God. Consequently, on top of our grief and can become full of an anger and bitterness. Because of this we need to forgive those whom we blame and seek God’s forgiveness for our own sins of judging others, hate, anger and bitterness. God grieves just as much as we do over the victims of accidents and wars as we do. But our sins are often found more in how we handle our loss or guilt than in how the accident happened.
Is the accidental taking of life a sin? In today’s world we usually charge a man who deliberately takes a human life with murder, while we charge a man who accidentally takes a human life with manslaughter. While a man who found guilty of murder can expect the full wrath of the law, a man found guilty of manslaughter would not be charged so harshly. Never the less he would be found guilty of taking a human life, and would suffer some penalty.
Under Old Testament Law a man who took another man’s life, either deliberately or accidentally, faced death. For example, if two men are fighting and one accidentally hurts a woman with child, causing the woman to give birth to her child, resulting in either the death of the woman or child, then the man who caused the accidental death should also die (Exodus 20:22-23 & Lev 24:21).
But even in the Old Testament we see the grace of God being extended towards those who accidentally take the life of a man, to whom he has shown no hate towards in the past. In such cases the man who accidentally cause the death of another could flee to a city of refuge and there take refuge from the avenger of blood until his trial. If found guilty of murder he would put to death but if found guilty of manslaughter he was to remain in the city of refuge until the death of the high priest. If the man found guilty of manslaughter should leave the city of refuge before the death of the high priest, the avenger of blood could legally take his life, because he did not remain in the city of refuge (Nu 35: 6-34; Dt 19: 1-14 & 4: 41-45).
Deuteronomy19:32 And you shall take no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may return to dwell in the land before the death of the priest. (N.K.J.V.)
Is it a sin when we unknowingly do wrong? In Leviticus chapter 4 verses 27 to 31 it is made very clear that if we unintentionally do anything that is against the law we sin. However, it is also made clear that we can seek forgiveness from God.
Even Jesus Christ taught that unintentional sins would be punished (Luke 12: 47-48).
Are we under law? Or are we under grace? If Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour, we are under grace and God no longer punishes us, as He ought. Never the less, in Romans chapter 6 it is made very clear that we are either slaves of sin or slaves of righteousness. Therefore let us not use the grace of God as a licence to do evil.
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL. P.O. BOX 144 WYNNUM QLD 4178 AUSTRALIA.
e-mail: email@example.com web: www.endtimes-tribulations.com
Copyright © 2000 & 2011, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means without the prior permission of the author Kenneth Allan Clark.
Scripture taken from the “Clarks English Translation” © Copyright 2011 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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