Isaiah 5:11-12 ESV
“Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
that they may run after strong drink,
who tarry late into the evening
as wine inflames them!
They have lyre and harp,
tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts,
but they do not regard the deeds of the Lord,
or see the work of his hands.”
Someone who rises early in the morning to run after strong drink, and who tarries late in the evening as wine inflames him, is mostly likely an alcoholic, someone who is addicted to being inebriated (drunk, intoxicated). But this is not exclusive to alcoholics. We can be intoxicated to many things in this world. Some people are intoxicated to drugs or to excessive food or to coffee or to being entertained continuously or to sexual immorality, etc.
For when people are intoxicated their lives are out of control. They are driven by whatever is captivating them, and common sense and good judgment usually “go out the window.” They become totally obsessed with self and self-pleasure, and so their addiction of choice takes over their lives and nothing else really matters. And they will hurt anyone who tries to stand in their way, for they totally lose all compassion and conscience about what they are doing to other people and to themselves.
The Bible calls “addiction” “slavery to sin.” And Jesus Christ died for us on that cross to deliver us from our slavery to sin. So not one of us has an excuse if we continue to be enslaved to sin and not to God and to his righteousness. And the Scriptures teach that if we continue to make sin our practice, and if obedience to our Lord is not what we practice, that we don’t know God, and he doesn’t know us, and we do not have eternal life in him regardless of what faith in Jesus we professed with our lips.
And when we have to have something non-essential to survive, outside of the realm of God and his kingdom, and so we will stomp on other people’s hearts to get what we want, this is also called idolatry. For the addiction of choice is the idol that we serve and not God. And again that is enslavement to sin because it is making other things our god, and we are bowing to and worshiping those other gods, too, by our undivided loyalties and obsessions with the god of choice.
And addicts are known to hide their sins, and to cover them up with lies, and if anyone else gets too close to the truth, they will take them out. For they are all about protecting their idols of choice to make certain that their idols will always be available to them. And they will use all kinds of trickery and mind games and such to try to throw off anyone who is getting too close to the truth. And they will vilify the righteous in order to make them look bad and to make themselves look good by comparison.
So, they have no fear of God before their eyes. And many professing Christians are right there still enslaved to sin, still worshipping their idols, and they do not regard the deeds of the Lord or see the work of his hands, for their minds are consumed with their idols (addiction) of choice, and really not much else matters. Yet, they may go through the motions of religious practice, and they may pretend that they are walking with the Lord, but if we are truly walking with the Lord, there will be evidence of it in our lives.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Isaiah 5:20-21 ESV
“Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
and shrewd in their own sight!”
Now, in the modern market-driven “churches” of today here in America, since they are trying to attract the world to their gatherings, and so they don’t want to offend the people of the world, they have mostly all altered the gospel of Christ and have removed God’s righteous requirements for salvation from sin and for eternal life with God. And they have reduced “the gospel” to us just making some kind of profession of faith in Jesus, and then we are being told that all our sins are forgiven and heaven is now guaranteed us when we die, regardless of how we live on this earth.
So, what they are doing is promoting this diluted “gospel” as the truth, and they are calling the true gospel “the lie.” And in order to pull this off, they removed Scriptures from their full context, and they have twisted them to say what the Scriptures do not teach (in context). And so they are convincing the masses that true grace means God does it all and we do nothing – no repentance, no submission to Christ, and no obedience to our Lord. For they are calling that “works salvation.”
So they are demonizing the true gospel of grace by calling it “works salvation,” and their proof texts are, again, Scriptures taught outside their context and made to teach what they do not teach. And they are painting a picture of God’s true grace as forgiveness based on a mere profession of faith in Christ which then guarantees them heaven, but which makes no requirements for them to forsake their sins or to obey the Lord. And so they are definitely calling evil good and good evil.
And I believe this is one of the reasons we have so many professing Christians here in America who are still enslaved to sin, living for the sinful pleasures of the flesh, because they are being given carte blanche to continue in their sins under the guise of God’s grace and forgiveness. But what is God’s true grace? His grace, which is bringing us salvation, instructs (trains) us to renounce (say “No” to) ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives (Titus 2:11-14).
And what did Jesus teach? He said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For, if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of the name of Jesus we are crucified with him in death to sin and raised to walk in newness of life in him, and so we walk in obedience to his commands, then we have the hope of eternal life with God (Luke 9:23-26; cf. Romans 6:1-23).
Open Your Hearts
An Original Work / September 11, 2011
Open your hearts to Me.
Will you not receive me?
I’m your Lord and Savior, Jesus,
I am King of kings.
Listen to Me speaking to you.
Invite Me within.
Hasten to Me calling.
I’ll keep you from falling.
I am with you, and I will
Abide with you always.
Repent of your sins and
Worship Jesus Christ today.
Come and follow your Lord.
Obey all His teachings.
Witness to your neighbors,
And tell them of Jesus Christ.
Let them know that He provided
Their sin’s sacrifice.
He is your deliv’rer;
Rock of your salvation;
Cornerstone, rejected by men,
Mighty God is He.
He will give the only hope
Of life eternally.