Is The Battle Over?
Christian speaker Winkie Pratney often refers to the Japanese surrender in the Pacific at the close of World War II. The formal surrender took place aboard the battleship Missouri, between the Japanese admiral and General Douglas MacArthur, commander of the Allied Forces in the Pacific. As the highly decorated admiral, replete with All the regalia of war, offered his hand of surrender to the American general, MacArthur replied, “Your sword first please, sir.”
We must also surrender our weapons of rebellion before we can hope to be reconciled to our former enemy. For as long as we cling to our selfishness, we indicate our intention of entertaining a prolonged conflict. When we acknowledge sin as willful defiance and lawless rebellion, we also acknowledge that a surrender rather than a cure is needed. “That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Romans 3:19)
If a love of sin remains in the heart, the sinner remains unrepentant. It needs to be mentioned here that there is a difference between “a love of sin” and “temptation to sin.” An individual who loves or enjoys sin has no intention of really terminating it through repentance or a new change of direction. The individual whose heart is full of pride is unwilling to be known openly for what he or she really is. As long as denial and deception are present, no repentance has taken place. Those who cling to their opinions, habits and possessions simply do not mean business with God. They self-righteously display a token commitment while tailoring doctrine to suit their conduct. Painstakingly they construct excuses to conceal their love for the world, apparently unaware or unconcerned about the warning of scripture:
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. —Galatians 6:7 (NASB)
We must come to God with empty hands and broken hearts, for God will not play games with the religious trifler:
Repent,and turn yourselves from all your transgressions …Cast away from you all your transgression… —Ezekiel 18:30-31
No attempt must be made to conceal any selfishness, for God declares in His Word that “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper” (Prov. 28:13). In keeping one you might as well keep them all; for in desiring to hold on to your sin, you indicate your intention to continue battle.