How gross and revolting, but it is from the Bible teaching us the importance of standing firm in our commitment to the Lord. Let’s look at these verses on the subject.
2 Peter 2:20-21
“If they have escaped the corruption of this world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then turned their backs.” In another verse turning your back on the Lord after knowing His mercy is likened to a dog returning to his vomit.
There are several lessons in these verses we need to look at. First, we are told when a person is cleansed from their sins, the demon within was pushed out and his house was swept and put in order. However, the demon does not like this and will try to come back with seven other demons to the place he was driven from. So it is very important to stay on guard and close to the Lord who promises to keep us safe.
However, these demons are probably not the monsters you see in the movies hiding in the closet ready to jump out and attack you. Most commonly they are the desires that are within you, still apart of your sinful nature you have not yet surrendered to the Lord. Our journey of maturing faith, for most of us, is a life long process of gradually turning over parts of our life to Christ so He can fill us with the fruits of the Spirit. As a Christian, you are not automatically immune to the pressures of sin that is all around us and as we well know, it is easy to fall to these temptations. It is only through our ever-increasing faith, knowing that the Lord has a better way for us, are we able to live more like Christ.
Secondly, if you look at these verses, it makes two references to being worse off at the end than when they started. It goes on to say, they would have been better off never knowing righteousness. For thousands of years, people have spent their entire lives studying the Bible and there are parts that are still a mystery. The reason for this is because the Lord chose to keep parts of it hidden until we are ready for it. If we knew everything all at once, it would just be too over whelming. So once we know God’s forgiving grace, we are to stay vigilant and stand firm in our commitment to Him.
Thirdly this shows the love of the Lord as He looks over His flock. As Christians we understand the Lord will most certainly judge us, but not all by the same standard. A new Christian will not be expected to have the same measure of faith as that of a mature Christian. We will be judged by the content of our hearts and not just on the fruit we produce. Everyone is in a different place on the path of maturing faith and it is wonderful to know our Lord takes that into account. Only He knows our intentions and our desire to obey His commandments. However the bottom line is, once we know and understand what the Bible teaches us, we are to follow it.
Steve Childers is the author of Catholic or Protestant What our Churches Should Be Teaching. Visit http://catholicorprotestant.com/
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