You’ve seen those pictures of men or women who are about to be executed by hanging, right? The gallows, designed to take their life, consists of a wooden structure that has a thick rope suspended from it. That rope is meant to be looped around the individual’s neck. The unfortunate individual then is forced to stand on a trap door that will drop from beneath the feet. When that person drops down, his entire body weight is suspended by the rope around his neck, causing his neck to either snap or totally impede his ability to breathe. That person dies by asphyxiation. If he is saved and his heart is right with God, through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, he will immediately go to Heaven. If the opposite is the case, however, and he is not saved, and his heart is not right with God, he or she will immediately arrive in Hell. You would think that no one who knows the outcome of falling into Hell, and who is in his right mind, would intentionally and willingly step upon that trap door. He wouldn’t attach the rope around his own neck and pull the lever that will drop the door from beneath his feet. He certainly would not send himself or herself to a burning Hell. Yet, spiritually, that is happening every day.
I am addressing this warning to a particular group of people who have been saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost. Then, for whatever reason, choose to reject the peace, sanctity, and safety of life in Christ and turn from the Lord back into a world of sin. No one is forcing them to do it, they are doing it to themselves. The Bible says they are drawn away by their own lusts and enticed.
James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
They know of God’s goodness and His love for them. They realize that Jesus sacrificed his very own life for them, yet they walk away. Why would an individual do such a thing? The Bible tells us that no man can pluck us out of the hand of the Lord. Yet, it does not say that we cannot leave Him or remove ourselves from the Lord’s hands.
John 10: 28 says And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
I have bad news for those who think that just because they have lived for the Lord for a length of time that their past history will get them into Heaven. All of the living holy that you lived, your witnessing, sacrifices, and all of the good that you have done will be forgotten if you die in unrighteousness.
Don’t die like Millie Sue died. When Millie Sue’s Pastor/husband of 40 years passed away she saw her opportunity to go to’Vegas and have a fling, then go back to her home and church and resume living for the Lord. She had been saved as a young child, never drank alcohol, or smoked a cigarette. She was saved but secretly embraced the idea that one day she would have her “fling” in “Vegas. God spoke to her on many occasions that if she would resist the devil and his evil thoughts he would flee. However, she refused to do so. She longed for the opportunity to do what she secretly wanted to do.
She helped many people to be saved and appeared to live the Christian life. But there was that yearning desire to go to ‘Vegas. So, once her husband died, she was presented with her opportunity to step into willful and open sin. She went to ‘Vegas and had a rip-roaring time of gambling, drinking, spending the weekend with a young gigolo and “got it out of her system”. After all of those years as a Pastor’s wife and living the life of a Christian, she felt that she deserved one “fling.” “Surely God will allow me this one “fling”. He knows how I have lived for Him all of these years,” she told herself.
On that Sunday evening she boarded the plane for her hometown. “No one will ever know”, she thought, “because what happens in ‘Vegas stays in ‘Vegas.” She forgot that we serve a God who never sleeps nor slumbers. She also forgot to repent. She thought she would do it later. Unfortunately for her, she fell asleep on the plane due to the alcohol that she had consumed the night before. She only woke up as the plane crashed in a fiery blaze. Because of our loving God, and if she had a chance to repent, perhaps she avoided Hell. We can only pray that she did.
Ezek. 18:24 says But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
Let me reiterate this fact. When an individual who was once saved turns his or her back on God and willfully goes into sin, he is akin to one who climbs the steps of the gallows, affixes the rope around his own neck. He intentionally pulls the lever that drops the trap door, plunging himself into that awful place called Hell.
This is my plea to the individual who is playing around with sin. Please don’t think that you can repent at the last minute before you die. That opportunity may not be available to you. Also, please don’t believe that you will go to Heaven based on your past righteousness. Know this. Beloved, you know too much about God, and you have been saved too long to go out like that. Imagine the terror of an individual who jumps from a bridge or a high-rise building, which, in mid-fall, realizes that he should not have jumped. It’s the same with that trap door. Once you’ve pulled the lever, it will be, in all likelihood, too late to change your mind. It’s the devil that is trying to entice you to leave God, but you don’t have to yield to him. Committing sin when you know better is the same as putting the rope around your own neck and pulling that lever. James 4: 7 says
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Please, I beg of you, step away from the trap door and take your hand off that lever. Repent and turn back to God.