The Bible says that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. That’s comforting to know, but what does it mean, really?
It doesn’t mean that you are going to be free of the consequence of your sin. At least, not until you are dead.
Oh, my! That’s not quite as comforting. Can’t we change that? Sorry, no. Forgiveness of sins is something that God does for us, and through the sacrifice of Messiah Yeshua we are all able to ask for, and receive, forgiveness of sins. But the actual, temporal consequences of our sins are something we can’t avoid. When we sin, it is always, and foremost, against God. The next level is against someone else. When God forgives us, it is the sin against Him for which we are forgiven, and that forgiveness will be realized most when we meet Him at Judgement Day.
In the meantime, we have to deal with what we did, here and now. Look at David, who sinned against God (he knew the proper order, as you can see in Psalm 51), against Bathsheba, and against Urriah. The result of his sin was the birth of a baby boy, and the consequence of his sin was the death of the innocent baby.
Sin is bad, and the worst part (I think) is that the one who seems to suffer the most from my sin is the one I sin against. Sometimes it’s just an innocent. Well, wait a minute! That kinda makes sense, doesn’t it? Not that this is a good thing, but doesn’t the Manual require the blood, i.e. the very life, of an innocent to atone for sin? Isn’t that absolutely clear? You would think that knowing this we would be more careful, right? On the other hand, sinfulness implies that the person doing the sinning doesn’t really care, doesn’t it?
I sin, and I don’t want to. I know I am a sinner, the Bible tells me everyone sins, we are all born with a sinful nature (whether the Christian thought of original sin or the Talmudic thought of the Yetzer Hara), and we have no hope for overcoming this ourselves. God knew that from the beginning, which is why we can see His promise of a Messiah all the way back to Abraham. The Old Covenant tells us what happened right up to before Messiah comes, and the New Covenant tells us of the Messiah and what will happen when it all comes to an end. That’s one of the many things I love about the Bible,: it takes us from the very beginning to the very end, from what has happened to what will happen, and all the time we see what it is like, even today, in how things and people were then.
Hmmmm….that sounds like “was, is, and shall be”. That should sound familiar to you: it is how we describe God. He was, He is, and He always shall be. Yochanan (John) tells us (at the beginning of his Gospel) there was the Word, and the Word became flesh. In the D’var Adonai (Word of God) we see this description of the Almighty, and the Word tells us of what was, which we can relate to what is now, and it also describes what will be.
Nice correlation, don’t you think?
Anyway, back to sin.
This is an easy lesson for us to learn. The consequence of our sin is twofold: there is the immediate, earthly consequence and the future, spiritual consequence. We are saved from the spiritual punishment sin deserves by Messiah, but there is no escape from the physical, here and now, consequence. The person(s) sinned against will suffer, and (hopefully) the sinner will also suffer. I don’t mean that as a vengeful statement, but as a hopeful one- if the sinner feels the pain of the sin he or she committed, then there is a hope for the future. Maybe they will do T’Shuvah and save themselves. For the sinner that doesn’t care, the future will only get darker.
I don’t think that anyone who sins against God and doesn’t care is really going to feel the pain of their sin, whereas I know, for a fact, that others will feel it. We need to first and foremost ask forgiveness from God, then we need to ask it from those we have sinned against.
With the approach of Rosh Hashanah, I am reminded of a tradition performed at this festival. We are to go to those we may have sinned against and ask for forgiveness. It is an old Jewish tradition, and for those who don’t think that Yeshua did Jewish things, read Matthew 5:24. Yeshua tells the people to do exactly what this tradition says to do. It’s as I always say (besides “God has no religion”): there is nothing “new” in the New Covenant.
Those of you who think that you may have sinned against someone, either in word or thought or deed, go ask for forgiveness. First from God, then from the person. If your heart is truly repentant, God will grant you forgiveness when you ask in the name of Yeshua Ha Mashiach. However, you don’t know what will happen when you go to the human being you sinned against. That person may not forgive you; in fact, you may get a real tongue-lashing. Accept it, and move on. You did right in God’s eyes by asking for forgiveness, and you will do much, much better in His eyes when you forgive those who sinned against you. It doesn’t matter whether they ask you or not. You are commanded, as we all are, to forgive. Check it out in Matthew 6:14-15. There are other places, too, throughout the Tanakh and B’rit Chadashah: check it out for yourself.
Since we are commanded to forgive, if we don’t forgive, we are actually sinning, aren’t we? Isn’t a sin defined as doing something God said not to do? If so, then is not doing something God said we should do the same thing? A sin? I think so…what do you think?
Heck, why argue? Just forgive; if for no other reason, it is the only way to make the pain go away. Anywho, this is getting into a totally different topic.
Sin stinks. It reeks to High Heaven. Fortunately, God provided a way for us to avoid the Eternal consequences of our sins. Praise Him and thank you, Yeshuah!
In the meantime, be careful. Guard your tongue, control your feelings, always pray to Adonai that He guide you with the Ruach HaKodesh. And if you haven’t accepted your own sinfulness and come before Yeshua asking for Him to intercede with God, you better hurry up. The times, they are a’changin’, and not for the better. Think about it: since the End Days are in the future, that means every day brings us closer, not further, from the time we will all face God at His judgement throne. If Yeshua isn’t your defence attorney(everyone wants a Jewish lawyer) , you is in big trouble!