Every time I see it, I shake my head. Some TV show pictures someone walking into or out of a fire. They explain that because of a suit of armor or special ability or circumstance the person was unharmed by the flames. This is not reality. That fire is HOT! Behind the scenes, some poor stunt person was being covered in protective materials and doused in water or resistant chemicals. Why? Because fire “resistant” or “fireproof” is often misunderstood. Companies that deal in fire resistant or fireproof safes want to be clear that fireproof does not mean a product can protect absolutely from harm. Given certain amounts of time and heat level, any fireproof safe could burn. That is why the advertisements for these products always emphasize “better and longer” protection from flames. A safe could look completely fine after a house fire, but once you inspect the inside you will see that the contents have turned to ashes. Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The Bible clearly shows us that when we get saved we are saved forever from Hell. Once you are saved you are always saved; however, being saved does not mean that you are absolutely protected from the consequences of sin in this world. Paul said it this way in Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Sin is a continual earthly force that attacks Christians. Before we are saved, it ends with death in Hell. After we are saved, it is a continual struggle we must exercise constant victory over. The apostle Paul spends Romans 7 describing this struggle he sees himself. Romans 7:22-23 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
This may sound like depressing news, but Paul tells us excitedly that God provides us an answer to this continual sin struggle: Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. The Spirit of God in us is the answer to sin! As you grow teenager, you will struggle with sins you have previously had victory over. This battle is to be waged at every stage of life! Here is how to be better than “fireproof.”
1. Do not play with fire.
The old saying goes that if you play with fire you wet the bed, but this is untrue: if you play with fire you get burned! Do not believe you will be safe with sin. If you participate in something sinful, you may get away unharmed sometimes, but the longer you are exposed the more likely you will eventually get burned.
2. Do not sit too close to the fire.
I have fell in a lot of different places. Cactus patches, rivers, and holes. I have never fell into a fire though because I never wander or sit too close. Being burned is about proximity. You get burned when you are too close to the source of heat. A hot fire could burn you standing 10 feet away. Welders often have discolored clothes from being too exposed to the heat of their welding arc. Stay away from sinful places and situations. Your pastor, parents and teachers have told you where they are.
3. The Devil may miss with his darts, but the fire still burns.
Paul tells the church at Ephesus that the battle is spiritual. Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Temptation and sin are always being pelted at us by the wicked. Wicked friends, wicked websites, and wicked advertisements. The problem is that we often feel victory by simply dodging or blocking these “darts” of sin. Notice that the shield is not about “blocking”, but it is about “quenching”. To quench a flame means to stop a flame from burning. Do not feel justified just by avoiding sin or even simply saying, “no.” Pray God takes the desires from your heart for sin, leave temptation when you say “no”, and put out the flame of that temptation before it spreads into a wildfire of a problem.
Pastor Jesse McCammon
Calvary Baptist Church | Flora, IL