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Losing a sense of God’s holiness is the first warning sign of entering a spiritually dangerous place.
Externally, everything might look fine: Our families might be well, our ministries might be flourishing, we might be receiving recognition and walking powerfully in our spiritual gifts. But inwardly, we’re wandering.
Phenomena - Health - Families - Ministries - Reasons
External phenomena do not reliably indicate our spiritual health. Families and ministries can struggle and go wrong for reasons that have nothing to do with our spiritual states. And history is full of examples of men and women who exercised spiritual gifts with great power for a period of time — even when involved in gross secret sin. Besides that, externals are usually lagging indicators of spiritual decline. By the time our decline starts surfacing, it often has reached a serious state.
The thing to watch is our sense of God’s holiness.
Knowledge - God - Holiness - Something - Place
I don’t mean our doctrinal knowledge of God’s holiness. That’s something we might affirm and even teach when secretly we are in a place of decline. The doctrine of God’s holiness is real to us only when we have real fear of God. And one clear evidence of this is our fear of sin. The loss of the sense of God’s holiness always produces the loss of the sense of sin’s sinfulness. When God is not feared, sin is not feared.
A tolerance of habitual indulgence of sin — a lack of fear over what slavery to sin might imply (John 8:34) — is an indictor that the fear of God is not governing us. And when we are in such a state, Jesus tells us what we need to do: cut off our hand.
Matthew - Read - Jesus - Consequences - Sin
Matthew 18 is a sober read. Jesus gets very serious about the extremely horrible consequences of sin. And he says this:
Note the words eternal fire in verse eight. For most of...
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