“Living in the light”

Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 18 Oct 2015

Prov 28:13, “He who covers his sins shall not be blessed; but whoever confesses and leaves them shall have mercy. “

If only the world would know this secret things will be different. You can be prayed for, prostate yourself on the floor asking God for success, etc., but you will not prosper unless you have revealed your sins. God says that the one who conceals his transgression will not prosper.

Some time ago at the Emseni AIDS care center, I asked the nursing sister how it was going with the sick people. She said that all the patients except 2 were doing well. But those two were continually going backwards. I asked her what she thought the problem was and she answered that everyone made their lives right, except those two. I asked to speak to them, and sat down with the first one and asked her how she was doing. She answered that her disease was just going from bad to worse. I asked her if she was cleansing her life and bringing her sins to the Lord Jesus, for if the Lord helps a person physically He starts with the heart. I explained that there were bodily diseases but also diseases of the soul, and just as a person need to bath regularly, so you need to cleanse your soul regularly. If I drink a cup of tea and if that cup is not washed, there might be flies in the cup the next day. I asked her if she didn’t have anything to confess and she answered that there was nothing. She was as hard as a rock, feeling she had no sin. I went to the next one and asked her how she was doing. She also said that it was going awful, from bad to worse. I asked her if she had cleansed her life, for the Bible speaks of the confession of sin also for the healing of the body. I asked her if she had done that and she answered that she hadn’t but remember many sins and would like to make them right. She unburdened herself in detail, from her teenage years. We prayed together that God would cleanse her through the precious Blood of the Lord Jesus. Two days later I went back and asked the nurse how it was going. She answered that it was going well with the patients. But regarding the two, the first one that didn’t want to make her life right was going from bad to worse. The other one that did make her life right was getting better, she could already eat and was getting up. Eventually she became completely well. However the first one was getting worse and worse. Eventually we took her to the local hospital, but she passed away.

There were two witches at Efaya (Sandspruit). They were like twins. One of them repented, and the Lord blessed her and used her. God spoke to her and she shared those things. But the second one was hard. Many years passed, without her surrendering her life to Jesus. Many years later they brought her to the mission, very ill. She stayed for many weeks. Sometimes it was as if she was mentally confused. One day she said that she had confessed all her sins, but there was one sin that she will never confess or bring to the light. I said to her that she would never really be helped if she kept a sin back, for satan gets power through sin. Eventually she had to go home, without receiving help, still bound by the chains of satan. She then joined another church where they do not believe in the confession of sin, and she put Western clothes over her skins, eventually died in that condition.

Jesus came to remove our sins. He said that if we hide our transgressions we will not prosper, but the one that confesses and forsakes his sin will obtain mercy. It is not sufficient to confess your sin and not forsake it. You must confess and forsake it. In the sight of God, sin is a terrible thing. Jesus suffered and died because of our sins. He took them into Himself. Even God turned away from Him and Jesus cried out, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ (Matt 27:46)

Sin is terrible, and God Who is absolutely holy has no fellowship with sin. He speaks very harsh words regarding sin, like, ‘the wages of sin is death’ (Rom 6:23). If you do not part from your sins, you will die. Peter writes that the one who has confessed his sins and goes back again is like a dog that vomits and eats it again (2Pet 2:22). The Bible says that a person who repents and goes back to his sin, it’s better that he never repented (2Pet 2:20-21; Heb 6:4-6). It is terrible to go back to your sin after confessing it.

A certain preacher preached on these texts , but then the congregation told him that it was inappropriate to speak about a pig and dog in church. They disciplined him and told him that if he should ever speak in such a way again he would be excommunicated.

Let’s look at the life of David, from 2Sam 11 and 2Sam 12

Many people speak about David’s sin, but they forget to speak about David’s repentance (Ps 51). David’s repentance was marvellous. There is so much we can learn from David’s fall and repentance. It should never be used by mischievous people to cover their sin. The Bible speaks so clearly about his deep remorse, how he said that his bones dried up within him while he hid his sin (Ps 32:3).

For a while it was as if David’s conscience had died. He was silent about his sin. It’s an evil thing if a person can carry on as if nothing is wrong after having sinned. But he found no peace, yet he kept quiet. Some keep silent for years, sitting on sin, without revealing it. But you will not prosper as God has said. After a while, God spoke to Nathan to go and speak to David about his sin, and he acknowledged his sin and repented from it, as we read in the Psalms.

God forgave him and his sin was removed. But there were still consequences. As he had killed Uriah with the sword, so too will the sword never depart from his house, for he has given the enemies of God the opportunity to blaspheme (2Sam 12:10-12). And the child also died. David, though he had sinned was an amazing man.

One day his eldest son, Absalom, rebelled against David, wanting to kill him. But Absalom, during the civil war, was caught on his long hair in a thorn tree. One of the generals killed Absalom and told David that his son had died in the battle. David wept and cried bitterly and tore his robes and even wished that he had died in Absalom’s stead (2Sam 18:33). Yet when this child died, he was no longer sad. David knew that Absalom had died in his sins and gone to hell, whereas the other child went to heaven. That is why he cried for Absalom. David had discernment and understanding. He knew Absalom was not prepared to go to heaven.

It is possible that we are very indignant about the sin of others, but cannot see our own.

The Bible teaches us to flee from youthful lusts (2Tim 2:22). If it infects a congregation it destroys that congregation.

Make haste to confess your sin for the wages of sin is death. Pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you all that is unrighteous in your life.

The Bible says that if a person has something against you then go and be reconciled with that person before coming before the Lord in prayer (Matt 5:23-24).

When David was very old, and he couldn’t get warm anymore, they looked for a beautiful girl to lie with him to keep him warm. But David was cured of his sin and although she was in bed with him to keep him warm, he never sinned with her (1Ki 1:1-4).

Many talk about his sin and fall, but very few speak about his rising up again and his victory over that sin. David had received grace. He confessed his sin and forsaken it.

Are there those who are busy with this sin? May you rise up today, confess and forsake it.

German Translation