The Enemy Surrounds Us: Don't Let One Escape
"But if we walk in the light as He [God] is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."1
Vance Havner was known for his fascinating "salt and pepper" statements, one of which was, "The enemy surrounds us. Don't let one escape!"
True, there are external forces for good and evil surrounding us. Both are continually competing for our mind’s and heart's allegiance. However, the greatest enemy we have is not that which surrounds us, but that which lies within us—that is, our own nature—which bears both the image of God for good and our conflicting sin nature with its bias towards sin and evil.
Tragically, it is our sin nature that is the cause of our spiritual death, and in time, will cause our physical death. When God said to our first parents that if they disobeyed him and sinned by eating the forbidden fruit "you will surely die,"2 it didn't mean immediate physical death, but rather that they would implant within themselves the seed of death that would cause them to die physically. However, it did mean immediate spiritual death which is not separation from physical life, but eternal separation from a God of absolute holiness in whose presence no sinner can survive. Just as some germs or bacteria cannot survive in light neither can sinners survive in the all-consuming Light and Holiness of God.
So here's the conflict for us. We are all sinners and the seed of death is within us at the moment of our conception. We are not only going to die physically, but because of our sin nature are doomed to eternal separation from God—a God of absolute holiness—in the place God's Word, the Bible, calls hell.
Furthermore, because God is also a God of absolute justice, all sin must be judged and, as we have seen from the beginning, God's just judgment of sin is death.
But herein lies our salvation. God is not only a God of absolute holiness and justice, but also a God of perfect love and mercy.
However, God is also a God of perfect love and in his everlasting love and mercy provided the penalty to meet the demands of his justice by giving his own Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to pay the penalty and ransom price for our sins. This was so we could be totally forgiven and cleansed from all sin and made holy so we would be able to dwell in the House of the Lord (God) forever and ever!
What a God we have. What a Savior. And what a wonderful gift of forgiveness and eternal salvation God offers to "whosoever will may come."
If you have never accepted God's forgiveness and his gift of eternal life, be sure to do that today. For help, see "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank you enough that you are God and that in your love and mercy you have provided for me the gift of salvation and eternal life. Help me to know that I know that I know that my sins are forgiven and that I am on my way to heaven to live with you forever. In the meantime, please help me to live a life pleasing to you and communicate your love to every life I touch. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. I John 1:7-8 (NKJV).
2. Genesis 2: 17 (NIV).