I don’t do a really good job of admitting when I’m sick. Recently, while writhing in pain on my living room floor for about seven hours, I told my wife, “I don’t need to go the ER; my gallbladder is fine; I just ate too much fried food.” Well, guess what. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I did need an ER, my gallbladder wasn’t fine, and although I had eaten too much fried food, that wasn’t my problem. I was having a life-threatening gallbladder emergency. My gallbladder was necrotic—that’s the medical word for dead. For some reason, my gallbladder just decided to quit working, shrivel up, and die. As a result, it was releasing toxins into my body. If I had waited any longer, I would not have been alive to write this article. There was death inside me, but I was too stubborn to see it.
Why talk about death?
So, what does this have to do with you? You’re young and you’re strong. And it feels like you have the rest of your life ahead of you. Why talk about death? Well, it’s good to talk about death because God talks about death. A lot. Not only is the physical shell that your soul indwells dying (Heb. 9:27; Eccl. 12:7, 9:5), but so is your heart terminally sick (Jer. 17:9) and in need of a doctor (Mat. 9:12, Psalm 147:3). There’s inescapable death inside of every person, and you need to face the facts before it’s too late.
That’s the bad news; there’s good news too! Jesus can take your perishing body and make it imperishable. He can even give immortality to your mortal soul (1 Cor. 15:53). Pretty crazy stuff, right? But it’s true and it’s extremely important. Your life depends on this truth. You can’t be prideful and stubborn about this. The Bible tells us that whoever confesses their sin—the death that lives in your—and confesses Jesus as Savior and Lord can live forever (Rom. 3:23, 10:9, 10:13). Accepting God’s gift (John 3:16) is the most important thing you can do.
Making war on the death inside
If you have made Jesus your Savior and Lord, guess what, the problem isn’t over. Hang with me. Yes, it is true that Christ has saved you from the penalty and future punishment of your sin, but as long as you live on this earth, you are not yet free from the presence and pressure of sin (Romans 7:15, 18-19). God hasn’t dealt with that part yet; He will one day (Rev. 21:4). In the meantime, you need to make war on the sin and temptation that wars in your heart. This isn’t a playground skirmish for young kids; this is war.
If you’re reading this and seeking help, here are three steps you could take right now:
- Talk to a spiritual person in your life about the temptations you are facing. It’s good to have friends in the fight.
- Read these passages of Scripture: 2 Tim. 2:22, 1 Cor. 10:13, James 4:7, Heb. 4:14-16. These passages will help you better understand what God says about temptation.
- Pray and ask God to help you in this lifelong battle: “There’s death inside of me. I’m not afraid to admit it. I confess my sin, and I ask for your healing and your help to become holy.”