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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Such Were Some Of You"

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

As I prepare today's message I have a man on my heart. He's heavily trapped in alcoholism and mockingly declares that he's beyond hope and God would never love him.  At this point he's totally unreceptive to the gospel and any attempt to share the Lord is met with scorn. I suppose many of you know people like this whether it's alcohol, sexual immorality or some other bondage to sin. And I am quite sure some of you were once like this.

Tom, a long time reader from Arizona, shared his testimony with me and gave me permission to share it in a message. I believe it will bless you as it did me.

For thirty years I was a drunk, an intelligent drunk.  I always worked and was good at my job, but I drank every day, from the time that I got off work until I went to bed. And on weekends from the time I got up until I passed out.  I admired good drinkers and only hung out with other drinkers. I wouldn't go anywhere that I couldn't drink.  It's not as uncommon as you might think. No matter where I went, I was able to find people just like me.  It was a way of life and I liked it.

The only problem was, I couldn't do anything else --- at least, not very well.

I loved wood carving, but could only do it for a few hours at a time. I knew myself well enough to know that I could never do it for a living. It would get in the way of my drinking.
My wife started going to church sixty miles away in Phoenix. She always asked me if I wanted to go, but never pushed. 

Eventually I said OK, so she packed me a six-pack; three beers on the way to church and three for the ride home. A pretty good deal for me!  I was content and my wife was glad I was going to church.

But then, after several months of this, on Super Bowl Sunday 1997, half way to Phoenix I started to cry. I told my wife I had to be prayed for; that I had to quit drinking.
That very day I was prayed for and I confessed my sins to Jesus and accepted the Lord into my life.

That was the last day that I drank any alcohol!  I had no side effects, no shakes, no bad dreams, no sleepless nights and no desire to drink.  Jesus took it away and I'm free today!

As I read Tom's testimony I rejoiced and recalled the daily passage.  A lot of people squirm at it. It's not politically correct. Man either wants an excuse for evil or he wants to redefine it. But the Scriptures forthrightly declare, "the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Emphatically the text proclaims, "Do not be deceived."  But so many are deceived today.  Among the list of sins that exclude from the Kingdom of God is drunkenness. Even as I prepare this message reading and examining the text closely I am aware how this passage chafes so many. It tells us the truth and so many just don't want the truth. They are deceived and want excuses. They want to be told that evil is good.  Amazingly the logic is so twisted that for many in today's world a passage like this is considered unloving and even hateful.

But note the glorious gospel in this passage in the last verse. "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." 

I delight in stories of changed lives like Tom's. Jesus Christ continues to save, wash, sanctify and justify people all over the world.  Many of you have a story like Tom's, though our testimonies vary in the nature of God's deliverance. 

But if we've turned to the Lord we all can joyfully declare, "I am washed, I am sanctified, and I am justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of God." 

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's Prayer:  "Jesus, it is by Your amazing grace that I rejoice in the glorious transformation that has changed my life completely and forever.  For You delivered me from the domain of darkness and transferred me into the Kingdom of Your Son in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  Thank You for Your glorious deliverance and heavenly transfer – and it is all because of Your love for me.  Amen.

We especially prayed for readers today who have loved ones trapped in alcoholism, drugs addictions, sexual immorality and other types of sinful bondage that they would turn to the Lord and be set free.

We sure would be blessed to hear from readers who have a testimony of deliverance and freedom. Merely send your testimony through the contact form.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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