The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh. The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.Isaiah 24:7-11
Spend enough time in this world and the pleasure of sin will be gone. Look around, all of you who love sin. Truly the message of the world is peace, and love. This peace is only for the wicked, and the love is only for sin. When Christ told Nicodemus that God so loved the world (John 3:16), he was not telling him of love of unrighteousness, but love for the lost who desired to be found, the ones in bondage desiring to be free, and the heavy-laden desiring for an ease to their baggage. The ones who desire to carry on in their sin, “knowing the judgment of God” yet have pleasure and seek reward for it, well they are condemned already (Romans 1:32).
These are crept into the Church, “ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our Lord in lasciviousness”, which means that they deny Christ in order to continue in the pleasures of all kinds of sin and evil (Jude 4). However, they are in the Church, and certainly in the world. These men are wells without water, they are leaders and counsellors, advisors and politicians, pastors and deacons, and what they are is a danger to the Christian, for the things they speak they speak to sway the lost and the saved toward their doctrine of sin and corruption. Moses was a man who teetered on the edge of living a life for God or for himself, but he chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” (Hebrews 11:25). There are some who would sell their own soul for an ounce of power and influence if they could, what do you think they will do with you?
Christ gave his life for the sheep, but an evil shepherd gives the sheeps’ lives for himself. They cannot cease from sin, and they beguile, or trick unstable souls into service for the devil. We must keep a watchful eye to make sure we do not follow them in the ways of unrighteousness. They have seen and heard the right way, but they forsake it, and they follow the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who was willing to curse God’s people for a title, and for a seat at a rich man’s table (2 Peter 2:15). This is the example of the wages of sin, which may feel good but always lead to death.
Currently, we have a pandemic in the United States of America. Perhaps this pandemic is effecting other nations as well, but let us focus on our country for the moment. This pandemic is not Covid, or any other kind of physical sickness, it is a dearth of faithlessness, spread by the pastors and so-called leaders of the Church. They teach that sin is acceptable in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. These things should not be so. Let us make a choice to shed the works of unrighteousness like Moses, and suffer the reproach of Christ, and disregard the temporal reward of Balaam. We must cast off these works of darkness and let the light of Christ shine again. When we cover this light, we help to curse the people that God wants to come to him. After all, “how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).
There is a dearth of joy in this country. The hearts of the people have been turned away from God and have been turned instead to every work of sin. They have found false joy in the sin-wine of this world for too long. The prayer of the Christians should be that the sin-wine becomes bitter to taste, that the pleasures of sin become torture to the soul. Let our prayer be that the ones who care for the sin-vineyards, the ones who bring forth the sin-vintage, and give to drink the sin-wine, that their vines dry up and produce no more.
Let our joy be in the Lord Christ, and let us not have any confidence in the flesh, for Christ is the Spiritual drink that quenches the thirst of the soul. The sin-wine vintage is a drink that gives pleasure temporally, but is eternally damning. The Christ vintage gives eternal life to the soul, and satisfies every desire of the spirit. Jesus Christ gives eternal life and eternal joy, who can deny so great salvation?
Brethren, let us pray that the lost become sick with the sin-vintage, and while they be in thirst, let us give to them Christ, that there be joy in the land again, and that forevermore.
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