Just today, I was talking with another inmate who was telling me about things he had done in his past. In the process, he expressed how much more exciting it is to do something when you know it’s wrong. I know what he is talking about. I remember thinking those same thoughts when I was a much younger man. I would bet that most people, if they were honest with themselves, have had similar thought at some point in their life.
The thing that concerns me though, is that this is a symptom of a sin-sick heart. That is, a heart that is diseased with sin.
The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 2:15b, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
I’m just going to come out and say it – If you still get excited thinking about sin, then you are not born again, or at least there is a serious problem with your heart. To love the things that God hates is a vile and repulsive thing.
Even born-again Christians are going to struggle with sin. In the very same letter, the Apostle John said, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). So, because a born-again Christian still has the old sinful nature, he will still have a part of him that wants to sin.
That brings me to a question I heard someone ask a pastor. They said, “How can I tell if I am a true Christian that is struggling with sin; or if I am a false convert, deceiving myself into thinking I am a Christian?”
The pastor’s answer was very good. He said, “You can tell by your attitude toward sin. Do you still love your old sin when you give into it, or when you just think about it? Or, on the other hand, do you hate the same sin you used to love? A truly born-again Christian should now hate and despise the sinful part of their heart that draws them away from God.”
The Apostle Paul struggled with this same thing. Romans 7:15 says, “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” Paul is saying that even though he still finds himself sinning on occasion, he hates that sin.
That is a new thing. No one struggles with this before they are saved, because they love their sin. The only thing they might struggle with is the idea that they know they should not love it, or that their friends and family would not approve, or that they will get in trouble.
Instead, a Christian’s primary concern should be for the heart of God. But not only that – if God has saved you, then He has given you a new heart. Your new heart will love God and hate anything that brings dishonor to Him, or shames Him. You will hate anything that you are tempted to exalt above God. Essentially, that is what you do when you sin. You know God has forbidden it, but you say in your heat, “I think I know better than God, so I’m going to disobey Him.”
How arrogant can we be?
We should be appalled with the wickedness in our hearts when we get excited by something that God hates. Even worse, if you find yourself being even more excited about something specifically because it is wrong, you should fear for the state of your soul.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” (2 Corinthians 13:5a)
“Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;” (1 Corinthians 13:6)
We all need to examine ourselves. We all need to make sure that we really belong to Christ.
The best way to know whether you belong to Christ is to examine your heart, and see if you rejoice in iniquity. In other words, do you love to sin? If so, be very afraid for your soul. I urge you to come before God in prayer, and confess the wickedness of your heart, and beg Him to give you a new heart that rejoices in truth and despises sin.
Hebrews 10:29 makes it clear that the person who knows the truth of the lengths God went to in order to save us, and still treats it as if it is nothing, will receive a far worse punishment than even the people who never knew about Christ in the first place.
“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29)
That means that if you claim to know Christ, claim to be born again, yet your heart is still in love with sin – you are worse off than the people who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah.
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)
Examine your heart, I beg you! Weep over your evil heart that finds pleasure in sin.