THE DOUBLE LIFE
I think all of us in this room has enjoyed a slide. Most of us have probably went up the wrong way, but their something about climbing and sliding that we find appealing. Unfortunately, some Christians live their life as if they are on a slide. Let me explain. We are familiar with what Jesus said in:
Matthew 7:13 " Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.† 14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
I am sure we can picture in our mind different ways to visualize what Jesus is saying, but I want to use the slide to illustrate what Jesus is saying. Whether we are climbing the stairs or climbing the slide to get to the top it always more tiring and difficult than sliding down because gravity takes over.
Here is what Christians do sometimes. When it come to Sunday, they start climbing the slide and heading in the right direction even though it more difficult, but as soon as Sunday is over, they through their hands in the air and slide back down toward the broad road that leads to destruction.
This is why our lesson is about The double life, because some Christians more than others, live a religious life on one hand and worldly life on the other. The problem with living a double life is that eventually you sin will find you out. Even if you are not caught red handed, you sinful life will eventual come into your religious life. As Jesus said:
Matthew 7:15 " Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.† 16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?† 17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.† 18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.† 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.† 20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
If you want to see Christians at their best behavior, just come to church. It is easy to look and sound like a Christian at church because the worldly temptations are not on our minds. We have minds set on being Christians, and we are surrounded by those who are striving to live the Christian life. Even those Christians that are living a double life will not bring their sinful lifestyle into the church.
It amazing how people can change their behavior, when they are in church. The husband and wife that have been fighting all day can come to church open the door and put big smile of their face, sit next to each other and pretend everything is ok. Another Christian could have been cursing up a storm just before church and saying all kinds of vile things, but when they enter the church building their speech changes because they check their filthy mouth at the door.
It doesnít matter what the sin is, Christians will leave that sin at the door when they come to church. While they are at church, they do their best to climb up that slide, but the problem is they are just pretending to be Christians. Now I have no doubt that they want to be that person they are pretending to be, and they want to be known as a faithful Christian that lives their life 24/7 for God, but the truth of matter is they are not.
They have serious issues that are at eating away at them and causing them to slide down the slide way more than they are trying to climb up it. Deep down, they know what they are doing is wrong, but the problem is they have had the conscience seared with a hot iron as Paul told Timothy:
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,† 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
At first, when a faithful Christian realizes what he is doing is sinful, he will feel guilty about it because his conscience is speaking to him and telling him this is wrong. For most Christians that is enough to keep them from repeating that sin, but other Christians keep fighting against their conscience until they no longer feel the guilt even though know what they are doing is wrong. Hence their conscience has become seared with a hot iron.
This is one of the most dangerous places a Christian can find himself because once your conscience has been seared, there is nothing that is going to hold you back from become more and more like the world, and it will eventually affect your pretend Christian lives and you will get to the point where you donít even make the effort to climb back up that slide because it is so much easier to slide down that broad road that leads to destruction.
I told you how Christians will leave their sin at the door when they come to church, but guess what. When they leave the church building they will pick it right back up on the way out. The husband and wife will continue their fight, that one Christian will curse and say filthy things all the way home. Again, this is about living the double life.
I am sure most of us have seen the Verizon commercial about their cell phone service, but the one I like is where thousands of people seem to following the cell phone customer no matter where they are. Sometimes I wish that our brother and sister and Christ would follow us everywhere we went because this would prevent most of those Christians who are trying to live a double life to stop living one.
Again, Christians are on their best behavior when they are surrounded by their peers. Those Christians who are living the double life would think twice about saying or doing some of the things they normally do if their breather were their with them. While this is not a practical solution it might help you if you would imagine if your brethren were their with you. You can ask yourself, would I dare say this or do this thing while they were watching and listening?
Even more than that, we must remind ourselves that God is there and He knows what we are doing. We cannot hide anything from Him. Imagine yourself saying or doing that sinful thing with Jesus watching you. Would you do it? Do you think Jesus would approve? If not, donít do it.
It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is for us to forget about God and how we will face His wrath for our disobedience. We start thinking God will forgive us anyway, so we might as well indulge in some worldly sins. We need to remember what the writer of Hebrews says:
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,† 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.† 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.† 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
As many reality shows that have been made over the years, I am sure most of us have seen a show where they constantly record what is going on in a house or some kind of game environment. At first, some people will be on their best behavior because they know the world is watching them, but given enough time, most of them become comfortable with the cameras and their true colors begin to rear their ugly head on national TV.
Well this same thing happens with Christians that are living the double life. Even though they know that God is watching them they get comfortable with that and they completely ignore it and they let true colors rear their ugly head.
Let me give you true examples of what Christians will do. Some will become professionally liars. They will lie to their spouse, their friends, or to whomever they can because they find joy in lying even though they know it is a sin.
Some Christians lose their Christianity altogether when they get around their worldly friends. They will cuss like them, tell filthy jokes, and even drink alcohol with them even though they know that it is wrong, and they know that God is watching.
Some Christians have the attitude that if they are by themselves and no one is around that if they start viewing pornography on the internet that they are not harming anyone and so they indulge in the sin of the lust of the flesh even though God is watching and knows exactly what they are doing.
Speaking of the internet, I think the internet makes some Christians ignorant because they seem to think the internet is some other world that God cannot see or is a safe zone where a Christian can act however they want to. There is big generation gap in this church when it comes to using computers and the internet. So, what I am about to tell you is not going apply to some of you because some of you donít know much about computers or the internet.
But, I want to make you aware of how some are using it, so that you can at lest be aware of what you children and grandchildren are being exposed to and why I said that the internet makes some Christians ignorant.
On the internet, there have been social networks that have been created. Two of the most popular ones are FaceBook and Twitter. For the most part these social networks are designed for teenagers, but many adult use them as well. One benefit from social networks is that you can easily find your old High School friends and send them a note.
On these networks, you can upload pictures, videos and give information about yourself and what you are doing. If you have a website you can let people know about it so they can visit. For example on my profile I put the church website on there. On one hand, these social networks can be used for good and even be used to evangelize.
On the other hand, some Christians seem to think that these social networks are nothing but fun and games, and they view it as a fantasy world in which it does not matter what they say or do. Some Christians will get on these networks and show their true colors. They will type messages that everyone can see that is on their friend list that are vulgar and rude. They will use services like YouTube or something similar to record videos or audio of themselves saying and doing all kinds of sinful things. They do all this without thinking about what kind of example they are being or how they influence others to be sinful.
This is the reason I say that the internet makes some Christians ignorant. There is nothing wrong with using the services the right way, and there is nothing wrong with Christians talking about things such a sports, politics or other matters they are passionate about, but a Christian should keep their language clean and not sound like the world when they do so, but more and more Christians leave their Christianity at the door when it comes to the internet.
Another technology that works with the internet and the social networks is cell phones. The cell phone is great convenience, but some have made it to something evil. If go to any public place that has changing rooms you might see a sign that says no cells allowed. Some have no idea why, but I am going to tell you why. Most cell phones have cameras built in, and girls will go into the bathroom and take pictures of others girls while they are showering or changing and then take those photos and either send them to their friend via their cell phone, or they will post them on the internet including on these social networks. This happens with guys as well, but it happens to girls more.
I wish I could tell you that Christians were not involved in such practices, but the truth of the matter is some have been because they view it as a game and not reality.
By the way, some Christian will take their own picture in various ways and post them thinking that only a few will see it, but Christians need to understand that once they place a image of themselves on the internet it almost impossible to get it off because even if you remove it, you do not know who copied and put it somewhere else and then you are going be stuck with that image being on the net for years.
What Peter wrote almost 2000 years ago today. He said:
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.† 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. †
The devil never ceases on trying to bring you down. He will use whatever worldly devices he can to make you live a double life. He loves for you to think that the things you do on the internet or in private do not really matter. He has his iron ready and he willing to help you sear your conscience.
I donít know about you, but this make me angry at sin. I cannot stand to see how my fellow Christians are being drug down the slide to the broad road of destruction. It makes me angry how sin is ensnaring our people and causing them to act just like world. We have to break this ugly cycle of living a double life because God wants us to live for Him. He wants us to honor the commitment we made to stand against the evil way.
Even if your conscience has been seared with a hot iron, it is not to late for you because God has the power to help break you free from the shackles of sin, but you must be willing to make the effort. You must be willing stop living the double life and thinking its ok to look like the world, talk like them, and abuse alcohol and drugs like them. We have got to engrain in our heads that living like the world is not worth it as Jesus said:
Matthew 16:26 "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
We need to recommit ourselves to God. We need be like Josiah because when Moses Law was †found and was read to him we learn in:
2 Chronicles 34:19 Thus it happened, when the king heard the words of the Law, that he tore his clothes.
Josiah was devastated by what he heard from the Law of Moses because he realized that his people had not been following God, and he learned that God would punish his people, but since Josiah had such a sincere heart in restoring his life and the life of his people back to following God, God put of the punishment until a later time. Josiah got busy right away as read in:
2 Chronicles 34:29 Then
the king sent and gathered all the elders of
This is what we must do as Christians. We must examine ourselves and, if we see that our actions do not match up with Godís Word, then we must renew our commitment to God and start taking a stand for righteousness. We must change our ways to His ways. We must remove the abominations from our life so we can stop living the double life and start living for Christ.
I would like to end my lesson by reading to you Col. 3, and I want you pay attention to the words because Paul tells us exactly how we must live our lives as faithful Christians and how we can keep from living the double life.
Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.† 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.† 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.† 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.† 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.† 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,† 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.† 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.† 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,† 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,† 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.† 12 ∂ Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;† 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.† 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.† 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.† 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.† 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.† 18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.† 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.† 20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.† 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.† 22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.† 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,† 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.† 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.