Besetting Sin Follow Up

Q. I read your answer to Besetting Sin. I thought that when we are born-again, we are a new creation with new desires. So if they keep on living in sin (like pornography and homosexual relationship), then they’re desires didn’t really change. Passages about good trees must bear good fruit because good trees cannot bear bad fruit jumps to my mind. I’m not saying that we won’t sin, it’s just that we wouldn’t dive into sin or live in sin (like in a homosexual relationship). So if someone does behave like that, isn’t it justified to question his salvation in the first place? I do believe in eternal security, it’s just the question of whether or not they were saved in the first place.

A. We make a big mistake in judging a person only by his greatest failure. Many of these public figures lived lives filled with great contributions to the Kingdom before they fell. However, they also allowed the devil to get a foothold in their lives. As they continued to do great things, they also continued to flirt with certain sins. At some point the devil’s foothold became a stronghold, a mighty fortress able to sustain powerful attempts to destroy it. Finally the devil defeated them in an effort to nullify their great works.

My studies in behavioral psychology (informal, no degree) cause me to suspect that at the core of their belief system, these people held a subconscious conviction that they didn’t deserve the accolades they were receiving, and as they became more famous they experienced more pressure to prove themselves unworthy. The enemy uses vulnerabilities like this to great advantage.

All of us continue to sin after being saved, and we all have favorite sins we refuse to give up. For most of us it never becomes a public matter because most of us never have the kind of influence that draws the devil’s attention. Because of that it’s impossible for us to understand the pressure and pain that these public figures endure. It’s one of the reasons that Jesus told us not to judge each other but to leave that to Him. (1 Cor. 4:5)

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