THE OPEN DOOR
I once wrote a story called The Open Door, which took place in a prison. As the prisoners were sleeping, a man came through at midnight and unlocked all the doors of the prison. Finding the doors unlocked, some of the people broke free and began to spread the word to other prisoners, but tragically most of the prisoners refused to check the door because they didn’t want to be free. They enjoyed life in their prison cell.
As hard as it may be to believe, there are actually some people who like prison. They have spent years in prison, and once set free, they just feel out of place in the world, so they break some random law. They commit a random crime to get back into prison. This occurs on a spiritual level also. According to the Bible, all of us have been given the key to overcome sin. Jesus offers us the power to be free, and yet many willfully remain in their prison cell of sin with no desire to be free. They like their sins too much to let go, so they don’t try to overcome sin.
There are even people within the Christian Church who refuse to give up their sins. I am not talking about people who are trying to give up their sins but occasionally slip and fall at times. I’m talking about people who say, “God, you made me this way so you’ll just have to accept me, sin and all.” It is these same people who say things like, “I’m perfectly imperfect.” Referring to their sins as imperfections, some claim that our sins are what make us who we are, and so there is no need to change. This idea that God accepts us in our sins and that we don’t need to change are “doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1).
According to the Bible, this lifetime is our one chance to seek the power of Christ to overcome sin. The Bible says that temptations will come, but God, “with the temptation will also make the way of escape” (1 Cor. 10:12). Because God is supplying the power to overcome sin now, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12, 13). As we struggle against sin, Christ assures us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). Christ is offering the power to overcome sin. The victory is yours.
Tragically, while God is assuring us the victory if we will struggle against sin, many refuse to resist. Those who refuse to overcome sin in this life will one day wake to the announcement, “he who is filthy, let him be filthy still” (Rev. 22:11). While Jesus is offering the power to overcome sin, many shout defiantly, “God made me like this, and He will have to accept me as I am, sin and all.” On the day of Christ’s return, these will find out too late that they lost an amazing opportunity.
Christ cannot let sin into heaven or “anything that defiles” (Rev. 21:27). Those who cling to sinful practices will not make it to heaven because their characters are marred by sin, and sin is like a deadly cancer that spreads. That’s why we must seek the power of Christ to overcome sin now in this life. That’s the point of this life. The good news is, Christ has made a way of escape to “proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isa. 61:1). You don’t have to let that sin control you anymore. Get up. The door is unlocked. You are free.