Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

Beware of excuses, when it comes to things spiritual they are inexcusable. Think for a moment, there is a steep icy slope which culminates in a great precipice. You place a foot on the slope and what happens? You begin to slide, even if you want to you cannot stop yourself now, you must go on. Why? The law of gravity you say. No, the unchangeable operations of God in everything, that is what pulls you down. God doesn’t stop because you place your foot on the slope, he doesn’t change. So for you to stop or reverse the slide would take a miracle. The slope we are speaking of here is of course sin. It could be any aspect of sin or sin in general, but it’s sin. You put your foot on the slope by making an excuse. You begin to excuse yourself from going to Church on the Sabbath day, just the evening service to begin with. You make the excuse others do, and you can’t see that it affects them too much. But your foot is on the slope. Or it could be lust, gluttony, alcohol, you name it, the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21).

You have begun to slide and no way can you stop, you are being pulled down. By the operations of God’s wrath that effectively works in and upon the world (Romans 1:18). It surrounds us, on every side. You begin to suppress the truth when you excuse yourself you place your foot on the icy slope. And immediately the operations of God’s wrath begin to carry you downward. He does not change. God, it is said, cannot be wrathful towards his own children, he loves them folk cry! Yes, he does. That is exactly why he is wrathful. Has the father who is angry with his children because they have done wrong stopped loving them? Of course not. It is because he loves them that he is angry. The father who is never angry with his children is the one who does not love them (Hebrews 12:6). Are there not times when a father has to say to his child, “if that’s the way you want to go, then go.” “You must learn the hard way”, and he pushes them out the door. He has loved them, gently chastened them, tried to reason with them, he has done everything to correct them, but to no avail. This is what Paul means when he says “God also gave them up” (Romans 1:24).

It began with an excuse. You knew that it was. But you are on the slope, you can’t get off. Now you believe the excuse to be the truth. You’re being pulled down toward the precipice. Who knows where it will end, religious folly, moral corruption? The further down the slope you slide the more sin, the more darkness, the more wrath. It is from the heart the issues of life spring (Proverbs 4:23). This is where the excuses begin “through the lusts of their own hearts” (Romans 1:24). You begin to desire something, then it becomes an ingrained lust, then our relish for God and the things of God diminishes, then God is abandoned altogether. Down, down, deeper and down towards the precipice of hell. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 1:21). “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1John 5:21).

Beware of making excuses in things spiritual (Luke 14:18-19). But let your heart burn with desire for God the fountain of living water. Let the hunger you feel within become a hunger for Jesus Christ. Let the thirst you feel be transferred to an insatiable thirst and panting for streams of living water that flow from out of the throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelation 22:1). He is able to satisfy your deepest longing, to fill your heart with the choicest, the best of heaven (Matthew 5:6). Do not draw back with excuses but draw near to him whom to know is eternal life (John 17:3). These are days of terrible darkness, when many are being drawn away from God, when men seek for excuses to fulfil their own desires. These are dangerous days for even the child of God when hearts have grown cold within the church. The holiness and the house of God are no longer paramount. The world has flooded the Church, I mean the hearts of many of God’s people. It begins in the heart with excuses.

(© James R Hamilton, 24th December 2013)
Sermon Audio

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