Football Without Lines?
Now is the time many thousands have turned their attention to the game of football (Junior, High School, University, Professional, etc.). No doubt football fields all over this land are now clearly marked with yard lines. Progress for a team is measured by how many yards it moves the ball downfield, and whether rain or shine, mud or snow, the lines are essential to a successful game. I have even seen snow plows used to clear off yard lines so that a game might continue.
Football yard lines drawn by men are not as important as moral lines drawn by God. “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 homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV). These are clearly-defined actions that are condemned by God and no amount of time or circumstance has changed their descriptions! Some of these God-drawn sin lines are: “thievery” is a crossing of the line of personal possession by taking what belongs to someone else (It does not matter the amount stolen, whether it is taken from an individual or a corporation, whether it is stolen from a rich person or poor, or whether the thief is on or off drugs); “adultery” is stealing a spouse someone else’s marriage partner; “drunkenness” is ignoring personal responsibility, thus, stealing from one’s time, money, family and friends for no positive purpose; “idolatry” is the action and attitude of giving oneself to anything other than God, thus stealing one’s complete devotion from God; “homosexuality” is softening the male identity by his acting as if he were a female; “sodomy” is ignoring the male/female birth identity by having sex with one’s own kind! These, and the other words, describe lines of sinful conduct that God will not, nor has He ever, consider acceptable behavior. A moral life before God must respect these lines.
These lines, like the lines of a football game, need to be clearly re-enforced, and if need be, scraped off, so that people can see how to live as God’s rules demand (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8). That’s why the statement: “Do not be deceived” is included. Our courts, lawyers, state or federal laws, movies, television programs, and endless psychological psychobabble have obscured, overwhelmed, and even obliterated God-drawn lines which identify such sinful behavior. But, without these God-drawn lines, how can any individual know whether or not he/she is making spiritual progress without these moral guidelines to show it? The answer should be obvious. Little wonder, then, that suicide rates have soared among those who are guilty of these sins but whose consciences have been told their actions are somehow acceptable, when inside their souls, they know they aren’t! Judas Iscariot knew he had wronged Jesus Christ by betraying Him, when he returned to those who had made him think such betrayal was “acceptable” because they paid him to do it, they refused to help him repent, so he “went and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:3-5). Deep down, everyone has a desire to know where God’s lines have been drawn (Romans 2:12-16).
This sinful behavior mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 was not permanent, for those in Corinth had heard Paul “preach Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:23). From this they knew that God “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30), and then upon “hearing, believed and were baptized” (Acts 18:8). They turned away from their Devil-inspired behaviors to follow Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11). Since sin and its solution hasn’t changed, and Scripture hasn’t changed, then sinners today must do what sinners did then to be rid of their sins, and they must not be deceived by anyone that it is any other way!