Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Can we ever be completely without sin?

Over the years, I have struggled to understand this concept:

In Heaven, there is NO sin; so, how can I (even in my glorified form) ever be completely free from sin, and still be anything that “resembles” myself? Can we still have free will in Heaven? If we have the freedom to make choices, doesn’t that mean that it is possible for us to sin?

Our sin nature runs deep. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and is desperately wicked.” ~Jeremiah 17:9. All humans have broken God’s Commandments countless times, and we all sin virtually every day. This is why we need God’s grace, and this is why Jesus came to Earth and died on the cross: so that our sins can be forgiven when we repent and trust in Him.

I believe that virtually all sin is rooted in unfulfilled human desires. Whether we struggle with greed, vanity, substance abuse, arrogance, anger, selfishness, laziness, pride, lust, envy, gluttony, deceitfulness, and/or anything else; I believe that we sin when we feel that our basic desires are not being met. Satan, the “father of lies,” (John 8:44) tricks us into believing that these sins will fulfill our desires better than doing what is right, and we choose to sin.

I believe this analogy gives a partial glimpse of how we can be without sin while maintaining free will.

Imagine that you and your family are homeless, starving, and living on the street struggling to survive.  Imagine walking by a bakery which has dozens of loaves of bread sitting on a window with no one guarding them. Stealing is wrong, and stealing is a sin, but I’m willing to bet that you would be willing to steal a loaf of bread if it meant saving your family from starving to death!

Now, imagine that you and your family are exceedingly wealthy, and that you have hired a private chef who prepares a five star dinner for your family at your mansion every night. When you walk by the exact same bakery with the unguarded bread, will you be tempted to steal a few loaves? No! Because your basic need for nutrition has been fulfilled in such a way that you have absolutely no need or desire to steal bread.

In Heaven, I believe that our every need, want, and desire will be so wonderfully, amazingly, completely, and exceedingly fulfilled that ANY form of sin will seem infinitely more worthless than a stale, moldy piece of bread is to a wealthy person coming home to a five star meal.

So, what does this mean for us now? Jesus said in John 10:10, “The devil comes only to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that you may have abundant life.” Jesus loves us, and He wants what is best for us. Our enemy, the devil, wants our lives destroyed. When we realize that sin stems from unmet desires, and that the devil is constantly trying to lead us into destruction by tricking us into believing that these sins will meet our desires, then we can look to John 10:10 and trust and wait on the Lord for Him to give us what is best in His timing.

When we truly believe in our heart that God loves us and wants what is best for us, it is much easier to resist the temptations of the devil!

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