Questions inevitably arise when someone starts naming sins. What’s wrong with going to movies? What’s wrong with taking a drink, so long as I don’t get drunk? What’s wrong with beautifying the body God gave me? What’s wrong with having fun, as long as I don’t hurt anybody?
No, not everything is a sin. But if it is not of or for God, then it either is sin or eventually will lead to sin. If it is not of the spirit, then it is of the flesh. The path to eternal life is straight and narrow, and only a few will find it. Only a faithful few will cleanse themselves of all impurities, all hindrances, and all sin-breeding perversions, and prepare for His soon return.
In some circles, not many years ago, naming sins was popular. Preachers thundered against smoking; chewing; dipping; drinking; swimming; movies; ballgames; make-up; jewelry; long hair; short dresses; sleeveless blouses; cooking on Sunday; etc. “It is holiness or Hell-fire and brimstone,” they bellowed. In those days, apparently many feared the wrath of God because, to a great degree, Christians then lived much cleaner lives.
Excesses developed. Like our Puritan fathers, a few became overzealous in their efforts to stamp out all personal sin. The list of sins grew until it included such things as women crossing their legs, drinking soft drinks, or having indoor plumbing and electricity. To their credit, the overzealous had good intentions, for they recognized that sin must be eliminated from their lives if Heaven were to be their eternal home. Perhaps they were wrong, but at least they were wrong in the right direction.
Today, just the opposite is true. Hardly anything is considered a sin anymore, and society suffers for it. Our lax attitude toward sin makes us wrong in the wrong direction.
My book America's Role in Armageddon is for those who are serious about holiness and are determined that no sin shall have dominion over their lives. In that book I discuss some of the popular American perversions that pose as respectable pastimes but are in fact promoters of inner impurities. In so doing, it is not my intention to condemn those who are involved, but rather to inform, warn, and urge us to purge the offensive activities.
It is impossible to know and name every externality that is conducive to sin. As we work out our own salvation, God Himself has to personally reveal some things that He knows will harm us. Pleasing God should not even be a matter of good or bad, right or wrong, but of truly expressing Jesus Christ to the world with every word and every deed.
For the purpose of this article, here is a brief synopsis of the ways in which we may be led astray:
Pleasure – Paul prophesied that in the last days “… men shall be … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:2, 4). How true that is of America today. Ours is a nation possessed with its pleasure.
Entertainment – This primary medium of worldly swill and humanistic slime has penetrated and corroded every aspect of our lives, tantalizing the flesh to fornicate with the world and break our communion with God.
Worldly Worries (Weights) – Like entertainment, the cares and affairs of life are not necessarily sinful acts, but, because they are not movements toward God or His holiness, they must be put off. Because they retard the Christian’s spiritual growth and prevent him from bearing fruit, they must be set aside: “… lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
Fashion – Lust and pride always manifest themselves in our dress, in the way we adorn and present ourselves to the world around us.
It is past time for a holy remnant to once again set the standard for holiness. It is time to lay down our sins, to cleanse ourselves of this world’s filth, to purify the vessel of even its sin-producing seeds. We may scrub too hard in some spots, but at least the vessel will be clean.