Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever told a little white lie? Of course, you have. We all have. And, of course, we all know that it is a sin to lie.
Have you ever stolen anything? As a child, did you ever take a piece of candy from someone else? Most of you reading this probably have taken something you were not supposed to. Stealing is a sin.
Have you ever murdered anyone? Probably not. However, have you ever felt hatred toward someone? Jesus said in Matt. 5:22 that someone that has hatred is deserving of the same judgment as a murderer. Hatred and murder are sins.
Have you ever committed adultery? Maybe, maybe not. However, have you ever looked at someone and had a lustful thought? Jesus said in Matt. 5:28 that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Looking at someone with lust is the same as committing the physical act with them. Just thinking about it is a sin.
Keeping yourself sin-free is like keeping the law of the OT. James 2:10 (NKJV) “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one [point], he is guilty of all.” If you sin, even just a small white lie, you are guilty of it all.
Our God is so perfect, mighty, and Holy, that to Him, a small white lie is the same as murder. It is sin. Therefore, because our God is so Holy, any sin that we commit makes us worthy of nothing but death. Romans 6:23 (NKJV) “For the wages of sin [is] death, but the gift of God [is] eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” No human is righteous. Romans 3:10 (NKJV) “As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;” No matter how good we try to be, our righteousness is useless. Isaiah 64:6 (NKJV) “But we are all like an unclean [thing], And all our righteousness [are] like filthy rags;”
There is no big sin, and there is no small sin. Sin is sin. No matter if you are a church leader, preacher, or death row inmate, you are guilty of sin and deserve nothing but death and eternal separation from God.
What can you do? What can you do to make yourself worthy? What can you do to make yourself sinless? Can you pray enough to remove your sin and remain sinless? Can you fellowship enough? Can you submit yourself enough? What can you do? NOTHING. There is nothing you can do to make yourself worthy. You can’t pray enough. You can‘t sacrifice enough. You can’t fellowship enough to make yourself worthy of God’s favor or presence. Galatians 2:16 (NKJV) “that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified”
According to the workers:
1) Neils Jorgensen – It is done one stitch at a time, and as you work on it, the pattern takes shape. We have to work on our salvation daily and one bit at a time. Unless we work on it, it won’t get done. [Walla Walla WA 1970]
2) Leonard Hawkes – Someone asked my companion once, “What could I do to be worthy?” Finally, he replied, “Are you willing?” That’s what makes us worthy. When the reckoning time comes, the willing people will be there. Those who are unwilling won’t be there. [Pulaski VA Conv 9/1/95]
Neils seems to think that if you work on your salvation, eventually you will get done. Leonard preaches that simply being willing makes you worthy. Willing for what? Leonard is preaching the common theme of the 2×2 system: self-sacrifice by obedience to the ministry and the meetings in the home will make you worthy. These are simply not in line with the Bible. No matter what you do, no matter how good you live your life, no matter what church you attend, no matter how well you treat the workers, if you commit the least little sin, you are guilty of it all and are worthy of death.
What can we do then? What hope do we have for eternal life? What can save us? You know the answer. It is probably the most quoted and most well-known verse in the Bible.
John 3:16-17 (NKJV) “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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
These verses do not need explaining, but I will anyway. Although we are undeserving, unworthy, dirty sinners, God loves you and I so much that He sent His Son to earth to die for our sins and to save us. Jesus is THE ONLY WAY that our sins are covered. By His grace, He sent His son. This is the Gospel message.
1 Cor.15:1-4 (NKJV) “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”
What hope do we have? Our hope is in Jesus. 1 Tim. 1:1 (NKJV) “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,”
What can we do? We can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 16:30-31 (NKJV) “And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
What does it mean to “believe”? “To believe” is putting your faith and trust in Jesus to cover your sins to save you from death and eternal separation from God.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” This verse clearly states that it is not of ourselves. In other words, salvation is not by anything we do. It is a gift from God. We can do NOTHING.
John 14:6 (NKJV) “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Jesus is the way. There is no other way. There is no one else who can bring you to the Father. No preacher, no Pope, no worker, no one except for Jesus. There is nothing you can do for your own salvation. Jesus has already paid the price. It is his blood that covers our sins. God is so Holy, he can’t turn to us or look upon us if we have sin. The blood of Jesus is necessary to cover our sin and make us white as snow. This is what allows us to be in the presence of God.
So, what can we do? We can believe that Jesus came to this earth, died to cover our sins, and was raised from the dead. We can believe and have faith that Jesus is the way and the only way. Our hope is in Him.
By Jano Mitchell
December 21, 2009