Sins For Which There is No Temporal Remedy

I remember hearing an outdoorsman talk about the fact there are some mistakes a person can make in the wilderness that cannot be overcome. He mentioned a person being in a canoe in one of the huge lakes up in the boundary waters area. The water is bone-chilling cold and if the canoe overturns, you’ll die of hypothermia before you can reach land. For this reason he advised people to take great care when trekking in the wilderness because there are some mistake that just can’t be repaired.

We have all read about or known of situations where a very wealthy man had a child that was a spoiled brat and constantly got into trouble. The child would flaunt the law, disregard the rights and property of others and just go through life with reckless abandon. Why? The child thought that daddy and his money would fix everything. All the child needs to do is show some mock sorrow and daddy will write the check and make it all better. Often, however, there comes a point of no return where the child gets into the kind of trouble that dad can’t buy him out of. There is no remedy for it, he is in the hands of the law and has to pay the piper.

I fear that in today’s culture, there are many Christians who view God in the same way the spoiled child views his father. Many want to live their lives in sin and be able to come to God and ask forgiveness and God will make it all better, wipe the slate clean and then they’re good to go for another week of pursuing the lust of the flesh and worldliness. Such is a very dangerous attitude and fails to take into account the truth expressed above. That is, there are some sins that we can commit for which there is no temporal remedy, and in some cases, no eternal remedy (Heb. 6:4-6). This fact should sober us up!

It is true that God is willing to forgive all sin if we will come to Him in contrition with a believing and obedient heart. This does not mean, however, that the temporal consequences of my sin will automatically disappear. If this were the case, then everyone in the world would become a Christian for the sole purpose of undoing the consequences of their foolish sins in life. Here is a woman who is married to a louse and a loser who is lazy, won’t work and does nothing but play video games all day. “Do you mean to tell me that all I have to do is become a Christian and automatically God will undo my foolish decision? Sign me up!” she says. Of course we know that is not how it works.

Many people have tangled themselves up in multiple divorces and remarriages with wanton disregard for God’s marriage law (Matt. 19:1-9) with the expectation that becoming a Christian will make everything right. This attitude makes a mockery of God’s intention for marriage and is dangerously presumptuous. If we come to God in true repentance, faith and obedience we can and will receive His forgiveness and His blessings. We do not however receive from Him a license to continue in sin. Nor do all the temporal consequences of our sins disappear. If I have engaged in bad habits, the cravings for those habits are not going to just automatically disappear because I am now a Christian. I do however receive grace from God to resist and escape the temptations (1 Cor. 10:13).

There is another danger of which we must be keenly aware. Habitual sin has a hardening effect upon the heart. The more one commits sin willingly, the harder their heart becomes and true repentance becomes more and more difficult. A person can reach a point of no return, not because God is unwilling to forgive, but because this person is so hardened he is unwilling to repent, (Hebrews 6:4-6, II Peter 2:14). Let us not be cavalier about sin. Let us flee sin and follow righteousness (2 Tim. 2:22).

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