Slaves to Sin

“Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Everyone practicing sin is a slave of sin.”  John 8:34


The other day I stopped into a local restaurant to pick up some food.  Around me were the emotionless faces of those also waiting, as well as the staff of the restaurant who had some heavy rock music blaring in the background.  Business as usual as people were picking up their food, with blank stares.  Looking around, knowing that most of the world’s population are unsaved, the shackles of sin were apparent to those around me.  I was standing amongst slaves, slaves to sin.


Was there anything remarkable about these customers and employees?  Was there anything that made them worse than any other sinner, who is lost without Christ as their Savior?  No, but at that moment as I was in there picking up dinner, the realization that there are so many lost, so many people who are slaves to sin, who desperately need Jesus as their Savior, hit my soul hard.


Having worked in the restaurant industry for many years, I can attest that much of the people whom I have worked with over the years have serious consequences from the sin that is in their lives.  Yet, all mankind, irregardless of how many consequences they face from sin in their current states, have the most serious consequence awaiting them, should they not repent and by faith believe into Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. 


Perhaps you are one of those who are reading this.  Maybe you realize that you have so many issues, that sin has entrapped you, that you are being led astray by Satan and there are times in your life where you wish you could simply break free.  For some the evidence is more apparent than others, but irregardless the result will be the same, eternity in the Lake of Fire.  


“Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later.”  1st Timothy 5:24


How many times do many people seem to ‘snap’ out of it for a moment, pondering their ways?  How many times does the drunkard wake up in the morning, regretting the night before, wishing it weren’t so, but by evening again they are once again continuing on in their daily routine?  How many times does the person who can’t stop gambling away their money or pushing their debt higher, hope to simply hit it big and walk away from their sin?  Is it that simple?


I once heard a story from a security guard at a casino that a woman had hit the jackpot on a slot machine.  They had one slot machine in a high dollar slot room, this was a $100 or nothing.  One hundred for each time the machine was played.  The woman diligently played the machine and suddenly the lights went off, she had won the maximum prize, $100,000.  Relieved, she took her earnings, yet her sin did not disappear.  The very next day she was in the same casino and fed over $35,000 back into that same slot machine, trying to win again.  Just as someone who might only drink excessively once in awhile, cannot yet (and hopefully never) contemplate the life of someone who is addicted to alcohol, others who only play a slot machine in passing would not understand those who were found dead in the parking lot or down by the lake, near this same casino.  The thrills of potentially winning were outdone by the losses that were actually achieved, the sin that they committed became too great for them to handle and they sinned more, taking their own lives, sealing their eternal destination. 


How many people who are trapped by Satan in their sins, drinking away their lives, have a significant event happen?  They get into a bad car accident, abuse their spouse or children or some other serious injury occurs to someone or one of their pets.  For a moment they ponder their ways, for a moment they try to break free from their sin, they try to end the enslavement to their vice, but alas, they return.


Do you ever ponder, perhaps this is your circumstance, dear reader, those who have apparent problems, those whom often are seen in the late hours of the night, whose sin has enslaved them so much, that the addiction to these terrible drugs that are so common on our streets, have someone who once had a bright future, scouring through trash cans, sleeping on sidewalks or benches, prostituting on the corner or their future hopes having been dashed to pieces as their children have been taken by the state, their home gone, their job gone and they, as often as they might try, are such a slave to sin that they seemingly have no hope and are unable to break free from the addiction of the drugs that they are on.


Do we look at them as less of a person.  Do we call them trash and speak behind their back, telling others who might be in the car with us, ‘did you see that person?’  Or rather do we realize as we might drive to an affluent neighborhood (perhaps you live there), where there are nice cars parked outside of newer homes, as the inhabitants of those homes have no room to park their car in their garage, due to their excessive consumerism, that they too (perhaps you) are the same?  That both will stand individually before their Creator, that they too will be judged.  While their sins might not be as apparent as those unfortunate ones who have taken the bait of the fringes of society, likewise they will all call the Lake of Fire their eternal destination without repenting and believing the Gospel. 


So what if you look at your life and realize that you are a slave to sin and you want to break free from it?  Well first we must realize one thing, every man must realize this, that without repenting and by faith believing into Jesus Christ, whether your life seems to be glorious, or as most people you have some deep regrets in regards to sin in your life, both are equally lost, both will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity.  Of course, God doesn’t want it to be like that, He desires that you would become Saved, truly seek His Salvation and rather that you would become a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, of where you would spend eternity with Him. 


“Say to them: As I live, declares the Lord Jehovah, I take no delight in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.”  Ezekiel 33:11a


Over the years, working in the restaurant industry, I’ve had the opportunity to share the Gospel with many people and have found that oftentimes there are some main thoughts that people have regarding it that prevents them from being freed from their sins and brought to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, receiving the free gift of Salvation.  Perhaps you have some of these same arguments:


1.) I’m already a Christian, I believe in Jesus and was saved in such and such a church.


     a.) Did you just repeat a prayer, that a pastor had you repeat? 


Unless you truly repented and by faith believed into Jesus Christ, then they were empty words.  A sinner’s prayer is not laid out in the Bible, but should come from the heart.  Truly it is possible for one to be Saved through such a prayer, but it is truly a heart issue and most will be told by the pastor if they repeated those words they are now a Christian, most will find that there was no change, they are still lost in their sins.  The sadness will occur when they stand before Jesus at the Great White Throne and are cast into the Lake of Fire.  Is this not the most horrific doctrine that is preached by false teachers, and sometimes those who are truly called by God? 


“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know, yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you; unless indeed you are ones failing the test?”  2nd Corinthians 13:5


     b.) You believe in Jesus and therefore it is a settled manner.


We must remember that repentance is necessary also.  Repentance is not a work, but is a condition of the heart, one where the sinner realizes their guilt before our holy God and realizes that they are guilty and worthy of hellfire.  They no longer want to do those things and are sorrowful, as such they realize there is nothing they can do, then the great gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ is realized, that He paid the price for our sins on the Cross.


“You believe that God is One. You do well. Even the demons believe, and shudder.”  Jacob (James) 2:19


“For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit”…  1st Peter 3:18


…”who was delivered up because of our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.”  Romans 4:25


“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  2nd Corinthians 5:21


2.) They simply don’t believe the Gospel.


     a.) Many people simply refuse to believe.  They tell you what they think, they often pick bits and pieces from other religions, including Christianity, adding in demonic doctrines of ideas that man have come up with regarding life after death, UFO’s, evolution, etc.   In essence they make up their own religion.


“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but beguiles his own heart, this one’s religion is vain.  Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”  Jacob (James) 1:26-27


     b.) They don’t believe in a literal Hell.  They don’t believe God would send them there.  Yet often these same people, when they have a loved family member or friend who dies will say such things as ‘they are in heaven now’ or ‘they are looking down on me’, yet they want to accredit such things to a life that they assume is now sealed in some sort of eternal goodness apart from God?  How is it that the same Bible that tells us about Heaven, also warns more about Hell and people choose to believe the one and not the other?


“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  Matthew 25:46


“For when you were slaves to sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.  What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.  But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end, eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:20-23


“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  So it happened that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.  And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  Then he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  But Abraham said, Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.  And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, nor can those from there pass to us.  Then he said, I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,  for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, that they not also come to this place of torment.  Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.  And he said, No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.  But he said to him, If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one should rise from the dead.”  Luke 16:19-31


3.) They don’t think that they can be saved because of their enslavement to sin.


     a.) This is another very common theme amongst people.  They might assume that they need to break free from sin, whether drinking, drugs, homosexuality, lies, etc.  They don’t think they can be give it up, whatever it may be.  They don’t realize that Salvation is a supernatural work of God and He is able to break free their bonds to sin and they are able to rest securely in Jesus Christ.  What they must do is repent of these things and put their trust in God.


“For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no one should boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9


“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it unto the day of Jesus Christ”…  Philippians 1:6


“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”  2nd Corinthians 7:10


     b.) There are also those who want to try and get all of these things worked out on their own and come before God afterwards.  They assume that they will clean up their lives of their sins and then seek God.  Rather they are deceived by Satan and don’t realize that if they could rectify themselves on their own, what need would it have been for Jesus Christ to lay down His life so that we might be Saved?  Why did Jesus die on the Cross for your sins?


“I am the Good Shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.  As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.  And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must lead, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one Shepherd.  Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it again. This precept I have received from My Father.”  John 10:14-18


     c.) Another category are those who seemingly agree with the Gospel, yet they need to get things ‘worked out’ in their life first.  Whether it is a family relationship issue, a job problem or even time management, the excuses are never-ending.  Yet how many seem to ever get there?  Would not Satan like to continue to procrastinate problem after problem to ensure that the soul who believes in such lies, instead of the great works of God, would be sealed to eternal doom in the Lake of Fire?  They don’t see clearly or don’t believe that God can resolve each of those situations that they think need to be resolved beforehand.  They don’t believe in the power of their Creator to break free their bonds and set them on the narrow and winding path (Matt. 7:13-14).


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  2nd Corinthians 5:17


4.) They refuse to repent, they would rather have their sin than Jesus.


    a.) There are more in this group than one can imagine and it would seem that often some of the others in the fore mentioned categories of people I often had spoken to also fall into this category.  While they do not like the consequences of their sin that they have to deal with in this life, they refuse to get rid of the sin.  They have made their choice and unless they repent, they have chosen their path, indeed in sin they will die and they will be judged accordingly.


Jesus said, ” I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”  Luke 13:3


“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has established a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has appointed. He has given assurance of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”  Acts 17:30-31


“And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away. And there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God. And books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, out of the things which were written in the books.  And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one, according to their works.  And Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death.  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.”  Revelation 20:11-15

Now these lists are not comprehensive or exclusive, certainly sin is sin.  Whether it is a hardcore meth addict or the nice old lady who bakes goods for those poor children at the orphanage, without repenting and believing into Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, both are equally lost.  Both will be cast into the Lake of Fire, both will regret their decision regarding refusing to believe the Gospel when they stand before their Judge. 


Understand, dear reader, if you are reading this, if you are seeking after God, if you are looking into Salvation, it is very simple.  Understand that this life of sin, can be broken immediately, that you might accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and from that VERY MOMENT that you do so, you will be changed. 


“Seek Jehovah while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Jehovah, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”  Isaiah 55:6-7


“For He says: In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”  2nd Corinthians 6:2


Things will brighten, the joy of the Lord will enter your heart.  There is hope, no matter how destitute of a situation or how great of circumstances you find yourself in.  Don’t put it off to it is too late.  If you want to break free from being a slave to sin, the choice is very simple, repent and believe the Gospel and you will be free.


“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”  John 8:32


“Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6


“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  The one believing into Him is not judged; but the one not believing is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But the one doing the truth comes to the Light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been worked in God.”  John 3:16-21


“And he brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  So they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  Acts 16:30-31


“Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you be immersed in the name of Jesus Christ to the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:38


“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men that is required for us to be saved.”  Acts 4:12