An email hits our inbox. FREE TRIP TO HAWAII! Even though we know no one is going to give away a thousand dollar trip to an exotic island without some sort of payback, we hope it might be true anyway. The message is very seductive, and with a rush of adrenalin, we click the link that gives us all the too-good-to-be-true details.
Why are we disappointed to find we have to sit through a presentational meeting, or that certain fees and surcharges will apply? It’s because the idea of a free vacation is very appealing.
In 2 Timothy 3:10-13 Paul does away with the idea that our trip to heaven is no more than a free vacation. We cannot see our salvation as an all-inclusive ticket, one where we can live it up at another’s expense.
There are three lessons to learn in this passage:
Verses 10, 11:
Paul speaks of the persecutions he suffered at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, where he built churches at a great personal price.
Even so, Paul says, out of all the persecutions, the Lord delivered him.
Paul makes it very clear nothing comes for free for anyone, not in our family life; not in our place of employment; not in our walk with the Lord. Paul assures us that all who live a redeemed life through Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
It is by the love of Christ that we live moment to moment.
Paul paints a picture of the end days. Those who fall for the devil’s wiles will tempt people with the innermost desires of their hearts, offering exactly what people desire most, painted in the most exotic terms, and even given for free. Who will be able to resist?
Paul calls these evil doers seducers, a word used nowhere else in the New Testament. Their seductions will only open the door to ever greater deceptions.
Just as there is no free trip to Hawaii, there is no free sin. The devil will make his temptations glittery and easy. However, if we read the fine print, there are always fees and surcharges slapped on the back end of our good time.
When we come to Christ, the sins of our old life are covered by his sacrifice, for he paid it all at the cross. If we falter, all we have to do is return to him, and he will pick up the tab.
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