Book III: Chapter 14
My friends, I am a sinner.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Even though I have been forgiven of my sins and had my soul washed white as snow, still, so long as I live in this life, I just can’t seem to break the bonds of sin that hold me – for I am a mere human and thus I am tainted with the blemish of Adam’s Sin.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I am completely confident that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ has absolved me of my sins and that when I finally do die I will be welcomed into Heaven and given the gift of eternal life.
But, that doesn’t change the fact that I have been a sinner in the past and I fear that I am doomed to continue to sin again.
It’s not that I WANT to sin – I really don’t.
And I’m not merely giving up and giving in – I DO resist temptation when it comes my way.
Understand that, now that I have been born again (to use an apt cliché), I truly strive to be a righteous man and walk in the ways of Jesus Himself. Unfortunately, I continue to fall short.
For Temptation is a sweet, irresistible fruit and sadly it is not until AFTER you take a bite that you realize it wasn’t what you expected.
You know as well as I that Satan doesn’t give refunds on the fruit we buy from him, neh?
So why am I telling you all this?
Because it just so happens that upon this day I was about to sin again – I KNEW it and yet I just couldn’t help myself!
Don’t you just hate it when you KNOW you are going to sin, but you do it anyway?
I usually try to come up with some logical reason why it would be all right for me to accept the temptation.
But, friends, I can tell you from 2,000 years of experience – sin is NOT logical and it IS evil – and if you succumb to your temptation, essentially you are reducing yourself to a loaf of bread and you’re letting the devil eat his fill of your soul.
It’s not good.
And yet, I continue to do it!
Why? I just don’t know.
And so it happened that this day was like so many in the past when I just couldn’t help myself…
I wanted to sin.
Let me remind you of what Gabriel told me when he last visited me: “…Now is NOT the time for you to act. Now is the time for you to accept God’s Plan and let events unfold on HIS time.”
It’s not that I forgot what he told me – I remembered it all too well.
And yet made the conscious decision NOT to obey.
You see, for the last couple months, I really was repenting and rebuilding my faith:
- Meditating on God’s great works;
- Praying night and day;
- Reading my Bible;
- Heck, I even donned my face mask and volunteered at bit at the Williamsport Community Center.
I was doing all of the things that Gabriel wanted me to do – like a good little student.
Unfortunately, I was also engaging in another, more covert, activity…
I was renewing my Brotherhood of EArth ties in an effort to find out about my friends.
Now I don’t believe that contacting a few of my Brothers to get some news was in and of itself a sin (let’s call that more of a grey area). And yes, even though I believed it when Gabriel assured me that all would be well if I simply waited for the right time to act and then merely did my part; in my mind, Gabriel was referring to the grand scheme of things and even though I knew this is what mattered most, I could not shake the terrible guilt that gripped me over Lazarus and Mary.
For Gabriel so much as told me they would suffer greatly because of MY failures.
Knowing this, I just couldn’t sit back and do nothing — I had to try to save them!
Therefore I chose to take action – unfortunately doing so meant I would no longer be waiting on God’s timing. That’s a bit of a problem.
What I am about to tell you now is the consequence of my sin…