“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God (Heb. 10:26-27).”
The text is not declaring that if you sin once after receiving the knowledge of the truth, then you are condemned. Many within the early church would not get baptized until right before their death because they thought that if they sinned, God would not spare them. 1 John 1 tells us that if we say we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Scripture is clear that we will wrestle with sin until we enter God’s kingdom.
Let’s categorize two types of sinners. The first sinner is one who loves God, but stumbles, makes mistakes, and then repents and asks for forgiveness. The intentional, deliberate sinner that will not be forgiven is the one who shakes his fist at God and says, “I will have nothing to do with Jesus.” That person is defiant, hardened, and unwilling to forsake their sin. An example would be the difference between Peter and Judas Iscariot. Both of them denied the Son of God and betrayed their Master. However, Peter had godly sorrow and repented while Judas committed suicide.
So everyone does sin. That is correct, but believers who have been born again do have victory over their sins and repent over time. Jesus said you will know my disciples by their fruit. Does that mean that God judges us? Yes, He does judge us, and we can be confident that if one is not living a holy lifestyle, they don’t really know God. 1 Corinthians teaches that those who are practicing drunkards, idolaters, slanderers, homosexuals, adulterers, or liars will not enter the Kingdom of God. If you know someone who continues to get drunk and it’s a lifestyle for them, then don’t comfort them by saying God will save you. You need to lovingly tell that person to stop or He will be judged by a Holy God.
There is another “respectable sin” that professing Christians are prone to committing, and that is slander. There is a legal definition for it. Slander is a form of defamation that consists of making false oral statements about a person which would damage that person’s reputation. For example, If I spread a rumor that my neighbor has been in jail and this is not true, I could be held liable for slander. Another word, Defamation, is a form of publication which tends to cause one to lose the esteem of the community. This is injury to reputation and a person is liable for the defamation of another. I have heard and witnessed professing Christians defame state representatives and Presidents that they disagree with. Sadly, they justify it by the Scripture as if they were experts in the book of Revelation and know unequivocally who the beast, false prophet, and antichrist are.
All of us are capable of saying dumb things. We know it. That doesn’t mean you’re lost and on the path to Hell. I will say this though. If you make a deliberate intent to destroy a person’s character or reputation, this type of lifestyle will send you to Hell. Make no mistake about it. You might state, “We just say these things for fun. It’s not like one should take it personally.” Isn’t that what the bully’s excuse is right before a kid commits suicide? It’s a serious matter. Does that mean your telling me I need to get rid of the radio talk hosts that I listen to in my car and at work? Pardon me for being a legalist, but yea, maybe you do need to stop listening to those who continually defame others who they disagree with. Aren’t we called to love our enemies? Let’s not be hypocrites.
Application – Begin to pray for your enemies. Ask God to humble and remind you of the grace that was given before you came to faith in Jesus Christ. For the whole week, think of that one person you dislike and pray for their good. God bless.