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ASHAMED TO BE A HUMAN
“O Wretched Man That I Am…”
These days I often find myself wistfully thinking about heaven and home, because the horrific events unfolding around the world—“man’s inhumanity to man”—tend to amplify the wondrous prospect of being with my Lord and Savior.
Wild animals maim and kill innocent victims, but in most cases it is done for survival. They are driven by instinct rather than emotion and what they kill, they usually eat. But Homo sapiens stand apart in that we will stoop to levels of treachery and downright meanness not found in the animal kingdom. Sometimes animals turn on their own kind, but man does it routinely! And the present rash of school shootings including the premeditated rape and murder of innocent young girls is a case in point. Suicide by the perpetrators in two of the incidents added an all-too familiar signature to the carnage and once again society scratches its collective head in bewilderment, wondering why people commit such atrocities. But what mankind in general will not recognize or admit is that the root of the problem is sin in the human heart.
The Word of God says all of us were born with that supernatural “virus” and the tendency to do wrong is as natural as breathing! So lest believers in Jesus Christ adopt a “holier than thou” attitude about such things, we need to understand that it is only by the grace of God that we are restrained from doing something equally terrible.
The Apostle Paul recognized that awful reality when he penned the following thoughts:
“We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh [carnal, unspiritual], having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns]. 16 Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it. 17 However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.] 19 For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it [it is not myself that acts], but the sin [principle] which dwells within me [fixed and operating in my soul]. 21 So I find it to be a law (rule of action of my being) that when I want to do what is right and good, evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands. 22 For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in my inmost self [with my new nature]. 23 But I discern in my bodily members [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh]. 24 O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death? 25 O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin” Romans 7:14-25 (Amplified Bible).
It is imperative that we realize Paul made these comments as a saved man. He knew his old flesh—his sin nature—was not eradicated by salvation in Christ. If left to himself and his own devices, he was still capable of terrible sin. And so are we!
The unregenerate human heart is Satan’s primary sphere of activity and he reigns over it with temporary impunity. I say “temporary impunity” because there is coming a day when God is going to abolish sin and consign the devil to the lake of fire for all eternity (Rev. 20:10; 14). But until that blessed day arrives, all humans—whether born again or lost—will have to cope with a fallen and depraved nature. God’s people have the resources of heaven at our disposal to help us minimize sinful behavior, but the lost are totally enslaved by Satan and do his bidding:
“And you [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins 2 In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God]. 3 Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind” Eph. 2:1-3 (Amplified Bible).
The devil and his hordes of fallen angels (demons) constantly entice born again Christians to yield to their flesh and sin against God. They cannot force us to yield, but do have a supernatural understanding of our weaknesses and the “right buttons to push.” So to maintain a discernable distinction between us and the rest of rotten humanity, we must keep our eyes upon the Lord and walk by faith—trusting Him to make the difference in our lives. Otherwise, there will be little or no difference and sin will characterize our existence. We need to bear in mind that even though we may never fall to the level of the school shooters, suicide bombers, or those who commit unspeakable atrocities during times of war—sin is still sin before a Holy God. And if not covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, a single “small” sin will result in the same condemnation as that which will be meted out to the most despicable among us—eternal damnation in the torments (plural) of hell. And that sentence is verified by the Lord’s own Words:
“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame” Luke 16:22-24 (KJV, emphasis mine).
To quickly counter those who think they have reached a degree of holiness that renders them incapable of such foul deeds, I only have to point to King David’s sin with Bathsheba. God said he was “a man after mine own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22)—yet David committed fornication, adultery, and possibly rape when he took another man’s wife to satisfy his lust. Then to make a bad situation infinitely worse, he had her husband Uriah murdered in an attempt to cover the fact that Bathsheba was pregnant with his child. Gentile kings in those days sometimes forced married women into their harems, but God had commanded His people to abstain from such behavior. So if David could commit multiple offenses punishable by death (from which God graciously spared him), we must not be so foolish as to think we are incapable of them.
“Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin]” 1 Cor. 10:12 (Amplified Bible).
Only when we recognize our potential for wickedness and rely on the Lord to keep us from it, can true humility become a reality in our daily walk with Him.
“For the time [has arrived] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will [be] the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news (the Gospel) of God? 18 And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the godless and wicked?” 1 Peter 4:17-18 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
A healthy sense of shame about the fact that we are depraved humans is the attitude believers should have about our fallen race. The world’s emphasis upon “self-esteem” as being necessary to rise above the difficulties of life stands in stark contrast to the teaching of Jesus Christ.
“And Jesus called them to Him and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men hold them in subjection [tyrannizing over them]. 26 Not so shall it be among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27 And whoever desires to be first among you must be your slave— 28 Just as the Son of Man came not to be waited on but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [the price paid to set them free]” Matt. 20:25-28 (Amplified Bible).
“What leads to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fightings) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members? 2 You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures. 4 You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God” James 4:1-4 (Amplified Bible).
Wicked behavior is characteristic of mankind, but the Lord told us it would once again reach a crescendo before His return:
“And [just] as it was
in the days of Noah, so will it be in the time of the Son of Man. 27 [People] ate, they drank, they married, they were given
in marriage, right up to the day when Noah went into the ark, and the flood
came and destroyed them all. 28 So also [it was the same] as it was in the days of
Both the Antediluvian civilization of Noah’s day and the
“Come now, you rich [people], weep aloud and lament over the miseries (the woes) that are surely coming upon you. 2 Your abundant wealth has rotted and is ruined, and your [many] garments have become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are completely rusted through, and their rust will be testimony against you and it will devour your flesh as if it were fire. You have heaped together treasure for the last days. 4 [But] look! [Here are] the wages that you have withheld by fraud from the laborers who have reaped your fields, crying out [for vengeance]; and the cries of the harvesters have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 [Here] on earth you have abandoned yourselves to soft (prodigal) living and to [the pleasures of] self-indulgence and self-gratification. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and have murdered the righteous (innocent man), [while] he offers no resistance to you. 7 So be patient, brethren, [as you wait] till the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits expectantly for the precious harvest from the land. [See how] he keeps up his patient [vigil] over it until it receives the early and late rains. 8 So you also must be patient. Establish your hearts [strengthen and confirm them in the final certainty], for the coming of the Lord is very near” James 5:1-8 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
Are you ready to meet Him?
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
Finally, we would love to hear from you. You can write us at:
Cutting Edge Ministries, C/O Pastor Ron Riffe
P.O. Box 26
Gordo, AL 35466
You can also E-Mail Pastor Ronald Riffe regarding questions or comments about this article.
God bless you